Coffee & a Chat with Donna Herman – HR & Office Manager

Donna Herman – HR & Office Manager

With nearly 25 years of refurbishment & fit-out industry experience under her belt, Worksmart’s HR and Office Manager Donna Herman tells us about her role, the responsibilities she has and how she came to be where she is today.

Tell me a bit about your working background and how you joined Worksmart?

I have always worked in an office doing an Administration/Office Manager role since leaving school nearly 30 years ago. From when I was a young 23-year-old and before joining Worksmart I had worked for a couple of companies which were of the same background. I met Steve, who owns Worksmart in one of these companies nearly 20 years ago. He was a Quantity Surveyor in the firm, so I’d known Steve a long time before he set up Worksmart in 2002. Steve was looking for an Office Manager and I had a chat with Lisa, came to join Worksmart and I have been here since! It’ll be four years in February.

Describe your role and the responsibilities you have?

It’s a bit of everything to be honest. Because of my background I have knowledge in a lot of different areas. Mainly, I do HR, Accreditations, help with PQQ’s, Clearances and obviously managing the office as well.

How do you find managing the office?

I enjoy it, it’s what I’ve always done. I’ve done the job for so long; for all the differences in the companies I’ve worked for, it’s always been pretty much the same throughout.

You’ve witnessed the growth of the company first hand, how much has your role changed in that time?

There’s a lot more people now so I’ve progressively got a lot more involved in the HR side of things. The company has gone from 10 or 11 people when I started to around 46 now. So this takes up more of my time now, just down to the number of people.

What’s your best piece of advice for a young person looking to get into your profession?

Don’t give up. I’ve got here through experience much more than education initially. I’ve always put my all into every job I’ve had, and I believe that’s been a major factor in my success.

Education is massive, but you don’t necessarily require to have a degree to make your way in the world; I’ve only got Highers. What I’ve always said is that you can work your way up the ladder. As long as you have the correct work ethic and attitude, are hardworking and you put your wholehearted effort into something, you can get to where you want to be.

There’s been a big thing recently about exam results; both of my kids have done really well and have been or are going to university which is great, but if they hadn’t achieved the results they’d been looking for, I wouldn’t ever push them to be anything other than honest and hardworking with a good attitude – I believe that can get you far in life.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Worksmart?

Steve, Lisa and all of the Directors want us to work as part of a team, striving to get to where we want to be. They’re very good at recognising people who work hard. If you do come into Worksmart and you work hard and put all your effort into it, they will recognise that.
When you’re working in an environment that recognises hard work, it makes you want to push further.

When you’re not in the office, what do you like getting up to?

I look after my elderly parents, I’m their main carer, but at the weekends I tend to try and give myself time off. My social calendar is always really busy to be honest; there’s always something going on! I love spending time with family and friends.