By Lauren Stariha
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work at HR Assured, let me take you behind the scenes. I had the opportunity to sit down with one of our Senior Workplace Relations Consultants, Fizzah Usama, to talk about her role, how she supports HR Assured’s clients, and her career progression at FCB (our sister company). Appearing on each other’s screens on a Friday afternoon, we jumped right into it.
In August 2019, Usama armed with her immense drive, joined FCB as one of our Workplace Relations Consultants. Working within the 24/7 Telephone Advisory Service team, her role was to handle advisory matters from business owners, managers, and HR professionals from HR Assured’s client base, helping them with varying workplace situations, and answering their questions to solve their problems.
Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of growth and development for Usama. Moving from Pakistan to Australia in the same year she joined the company, Usama already made so many leaps and bounds that it was only natural her journey with the company was just as successful. After only a year and a half in her role as a consultant, Usama applied for a senior role earlier this year and successfully secured it.
Not everyone has a mentor who goes above and beyond for their mentees, but Usama’s mentor was the reason she ultimately applied for the promotion. Reflecting on the experience, she said: “My mentor, Nicole Visedo, helped me prepare not just for the interview but for the role itself. She helped me recognise my strengths. Without this type of support, most employees don’t realise their full potential and often let opportunities pass them by.”
Usama earned her law degree from the University of London and has a wealth of experience working within Pakistan’s legal and corporate sectors. Equipped with this knowledge and expertise, she leapt into Australian workplace law and quickly adapted to her new working environment. She’s also studying at the University of Sydney to supplement her qualifications and obtain her New South Wales Legal Practising Certificate next year. She believes that FCB provides that necessary culture and conducive environment, strengthening her career and expanding it. “Everyone is really approachable, and my seniors are always encouraging me,” she said.
So, what does a typical working day look like for Usama? She explains that each day is different, and you never know what you’re going to get being in the Telephone Advisory Service team. Conducting a client’s compliance audit, directly advising clients over the phone, reviewing and drafting policies and contracts, supervising the advisory team, reporting on project work, and presenting on technical topics such as Modern Award changes – these are just some of the tasks she covers in a day.
Having a good company culture is crucial to any business, and without it, employees won’t feel empowered to stay, especially if they don’t feel valued. HR Assured’s Telephone Advisory Service receives hundreds of advisory matters on any normal day and in a fast-paced working environment, the great culture within the team makes all the difference. According to Usama, being able to easily exchange knowledge, communicate and share the workload is critical to the success of the ‘dream team’ as “we don’t just deliver what’s required, we go beyond what is expected of us. The proof lies in the quality of work we produce for our clients.”
When it comes to FCB’s core company values, they’re front and centre. Earlier this year, FCB decided it was time to re-evaluate and revamp the existing values, ensuring they accurately reflected the company’s current culture. This process was driven by our people including Usama. Exceeding expectations is something Usama strives to do every day and her dedication and commitment to the success of this project was no exception. “It was an incredible process – we drew inspiration from the values of the very people working for FCB and the culture created by them!”, she said.
Another important aspect of Usama’s role is ensuring service levels are maintained. While the past two years were filled with pandemic-driven changes to the Australian industrial relations framework, these changes have brought new challenges to the Telephone Advisory Service and the team continuously redefined clients and the company’s expectations. Usama says that exceeding targets, maintaining and delivering high-quality advice, while at the same time ensuring each client interaction is meaningful and are just some of the areas the team is proud of.
The support Usama received in her early days as a Workplace Relations Consultant has helped her understand the significance of investing in and supporting the consultants in her team as they provide tailored advice to clients. It’s this type of investment in training that helps shape their knowledge, using a model that encourages isn’t just about answering the question but weighing up whether it’s the right advice for the client’s particular situation.
HR Assured is the outsourced HR and WHS solution that helps you build a smarter business. From HR and WHS audits, HR and WHS software, and 24/7 telephone support to insurance and representation and hundreds of legal documents and templates, you can avoid the admin and create the culture with HR Assured.
For HR Assured clients, contact our 24/7 Telephone Advisory Service.
Not an HR Assured client and need some advice? The team at HR Assured can support your business on a range of workplace matters. Contact us today to arrange a confidential, no-obligation chat.
Lauren Stariha is a Copywriter at FCB (HR Assured’s sister company). She spends her time curating our brand’s message across all platforms. In between editing and proofing blog posts, she assists the digital marketing team to create interesting and meaningful content across all FCB businesses.