... A People & Culture Advisor at Ballard Motive Solutions

Amanda McLaren

People & Culture Advisor,
Ballard Motive Solutions

What does a regular working day at BMS look like for you?

I don’t think there is such a thing as a regular working day in HR – that’s why I enjoy this role and my career so much! I work within BMS’ People & Culture team, and we provide an effective, efficient and professional HR service to our UK colleagues.

I work closely with our amazing and talented Head of People & Culture Manager, Karen Colburn, delivering a range of HR processes encompassing employee relations and development, recruitment, on-boarding, HR projects and the end-to-end employee lifecycle, adding value to the business objectives within a fast-paced environment.


What are your main daily responsibilities and what skills have you developed to be successful? 

My career has come full circle having started my professional life as a chemical engineer then moving into HR and management roles in the telecoms and renewables industries, but the role of people and culture advisor is my first HR role in this sector and it’s been an amazing introduction so far.

It feels great to use the skills and knowledge that I have built up over the last 23 years in various people manager and HR roles in my day-to-day job, and I have learned so much this year in such a new and welcoming environment and way of working. Every day brings an opportunity to ask questions and learn something new about our exciting industry.

What kind of challenges do you face on a regular basis and how do you like to solve them?

The challenges in HR are wide and varied. Our industry, like so many others, is facing resourcing and supply issues which in our profession is most obvious in the area of recruitment. To respond to this, we continue to work closely with hiring managers and have introduced initiatives such as a new referral scheme as we seek to secure our most important resource – our people. I always like to adopt a positive mindset when tackling work-based issues. Staying positive when experiencing challenges at work can be an excellent way to stay motivated. There are times when you do need to ask for help; that’s OK and I’m fortunate to work in a close and supportive team that are always on hand to assist in any way they can. 


In the post-Covid working landscape, how do you keep motivated and productive?

I feel that the workplace environment has the biggest impact on staying motivated at work. It’s great being part of an upbeat, supportive and growing team. This really helps me stay focused as I never feel isolated, even when working remotely. We have regular formal and informal catch-ups throughout the week which replicate the interaction in a traditional office environment. A good work-life balance really is important to stay motivated and productive. Outside of work I love to spend time with my husband and three children. When I’m not playing taxi to the kids, I love to travel.

How do you find the new work dynamic and balance? What are your methods for collaboration with colleagues?

I have the flexibility to work both from home and the BMS office in Dundee. Remote working does not mean isolated working as we use multiple communication channels and systems to work collaboratively every day.

What is your favourite thing about working at BMS?

There are so many things I am thankful for in my role. It provides a great work-life balance, flexibility to work both from home and at our Dundee site, and to interact and collaborate with a great team of people – who I’m able to build strong personal relationships with, as well as learn from professionally. I’m excited to be part of such a dynamic and growing organisation.

Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for potential candidates looking for a position at BMS?

I am excited for this next year to see what challenges I face and how I can develop myself further personally and professionally. It is great to receive the support and encouragement to progress from BMS and the environment the company has created really helps to drive employees on to excel and reach new heights in their career.