Lamont Jones

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Lamont Jones is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Managing Director HeatherJones
Only 40 per cent of a
workforce is fully engaged
and we ensure the other 60
per cent are brought back
on track
Lamont Jones provide human resources support to SMEs,
offering practical advice and training. Established in 2006,
their team has over 30 years of experience in the sector and
aim to demystify employment law for small business owners.
They also strive to ensure that the entire workforce is happy
and productive, as they believe that only 40 per cent of any
workforce is engaged at any one time. Managing Director
Heather Jones details the formation of the company and the
difference in culture between small and large businesses.
People are the largest expense that a company has, and small businesses often
do not understand the amount of responsibility that employing people entails. No
business can grow without people, and the fear of employing and managing staff
often leaves small businesses stagnating and remaining small.
We are an outsourced human resources support provider. We also provide health
and safety training and recruitment support. We cover the whole life of an
employee and take pride in looking after small employers with fewer than 50 staff.
We do the basics – contracts of employment, policies and staff handbooks – and
we do them well. We also assist with grievances, discipline and all the sticky stuff
that needs doing when employing people.
Only 40 per cent of any workforce is fully engaged, so we ensure that the
other 60 per cent are dealt with and brought back on track. We are practical,
straightforward and firm but kind, and our no-nonsense approach cuts through the
mystery of employment law and delivers what a small business needs, when they
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2006
»Based in Birstall, West
»Services: Human resources
support for SMEs
»No. of employees: 10
Lamont Jones
Highlighting best practice
need it, at a price they know is fair.
We have a culture that ensures that all
clients, no matter their size, know that
we are part of their team.
The importance of staff
Success is down to employing the
right people with the right attitude,
and I value my team and look after
them. Many small businesses are run
on goodwill. If you treat your people
well, they will give you more back, and
larger businesses often do not do this.
I worked in the corporate world for
over 20 years and witnessed first hand
how badly people can be treated and
how a business can suffer when the
goodwill is withdrawn. When people
work to rule, they do not care about
what they do or the impacts that their
actions have on customers, clients and
ultimately the business.
I was the first woman to hold a senior
leadership role in a male-dominated
profession, and I had no idea how
to run a business and how difficult it
was. I learnt from reading good books,
humbling myself and asking for help
from other business owners in my
locality who were successful. I found
out that, like me, they learnt from their
mistakes and that the key to success
is to keep faith in what you do, look
to diversify, watch the economy and
prepare yourself as much as you can.
Our future plan is to grow the
company without losing our soul.
Human resources will be the main
focus in order to gain trust before
introducing other services. Affordable
technology is the key to us being able
to keep our prices affordable. Our
methods have developed over the
years, and we have taken the time
to have all our procedures written
down in an operations manual, which
has become the bedrock of training
The challenges we have faced have
all been financial. Slow-paying clients
with cash flow problems have an
impact on small businesses, and banks
are not keen to listen. They know
that most small companies go under
in the first few years, and this drives
their lending decisions. A few years
ago, I made the mistake of having a
large client who constituted 40 per
cent of my turnover and who suddenly
went bust overnight. The main impact
concerned cash flow; in order to save
If you treat your people
well, they will give you
more back
Success is
down to
employing the
right people
with the right
my business, I borrowed from my own
pension, as the bank was not willing
to listen. I learnt from this mistake, and
no one client can affect my business in
this way again.
When I started my business, the
primary support network was Business
Link. It was useless. Most of the
“advisors” were failed businesspeople
or people who had worked in large
companies and could not relate to the
reality of running a small business.
I was surrounded by “consultants”
who were trying to part me from my
money. What I needed was a trade
catalogue or standard of trustworthy
and proven support providers, properly
vetted with good trackrecords.
Supporting small businesses
The impact that a small business like
mine has on the human resources
profession and outsourcing industry
is larger than one would think. Large
businesses have the resources to have
a human resources department. Small
businesses need practical help at a
price that they can afford. I employ ten
people, but most of my clients employ
fewer than 25. Adding together all of
my clients and the staff they employ,
the head count of people in the
workplace adding to the economy
is over 15,000. If a company such
as mine did not exist, then business
owners would have to turn to the
internet; the Advisory, Conciliation
and Arbitration Service, which is
overstretched; and solicitors, who are
too expensive.
The impact we have on these small
businesses is to guide and protect
employers and, in turn, employees.
Our clients are experts in their own
fields: mechanics, builders, butchers,
bakers, candlestick makers – human
resources covers them all. By working
with us, they have a service that they
can rely on, and employees know that
we are guiding business owners to
work within the law and to improve
the underperforming 60 per cent. We
educate small business owners on how
to treat, lead, guide and get the most
out of their human resources.
We are proud to add to the economy,
to be a thriving small business and to
add value to the clients we look after.
We are proud
to add to the
economy, to
be a thriving
small business
and to add
value to the
clients we
look after
Small businesses need
practical help at a price
they can afford

This article was sponsored by Lamont Jones. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.