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Cathy  Potgieter

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About Cathy Potgieter:

Experience and skills :

  • I have 7 years of working in Bio/technology companies within a start up arena.
  • In all three of the above companies I have worked with very little structure and created the HR strategy, what I called the HR roadmap.
  • I initially worked for the founders at both Sense and Telensa (later a CEO was brought in to lead the company), I was able to work in an agile environment, often having to pivot as the company changed direction. This included scaling down Telensa as Covid took hold. I also worked closely with the C-Suite, including recruiting a lot of the team.
  • As for job descriptions – in all three companies it was not about job descriptions, it was about doing what ever was required to reach the company goals. 
  • In all the above three companies I worked closely with the VC’s. At Charterhouse I was on the board and attended the quarterly board meetings, where the VC’s were present. At Telensa, I often presented to the board and had excellent working relationships with our VC investors. At Sense I often presented at board meetings, sat on the RemCo board with the VC’s and during the acquisition was part of the advisory board presenting to the VC, with our CEO and CFO. 

 

 

 

 

Key Achievements:

  • I have partnered with business leaders in planning and implementing reorganizational effectiveness:
  • Core values – I created an international working group to put in place an agreed set of guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that would help Sense and Telensa function together as a team and work toward the  common business goal. From this we created the Values and Mission Statements. This was embedded in everything we did. 
  • I have developed strategies to insure employees have a five star on-boarding experience and ensuring the company I worked for (Sense & Telensa) were employers of choice :
  • Employee engagement plan – Undertook an employee engagement survey, to measure the commitment, motivation, sense of purpose and passion employees have for their work. Evaluated responses and put together a plan to enhance engagement. 
  • Salary bands, including equity and bonus – I introduced a banding structure, to ensure employees were paid like for like, this also ensured there was a promotional path (career ladder). The bandings were then linked to bonuses and equity. This process also included a formal bonus policy. 
  • Implemented on-boarding surveys, to capture what was working and areas of improvement.
  • Implementation of Workable (applicant tracking system) and brought 75% of recruitment in house. 
  • I have used HR metrics to solve business problems and improve productivity:
  • Recruitment metrics:
  • Cost to hire, acceptance rates, new hire turnover, time to hire 
  • Engagement and Employee Retention Metrics:
  • Employee satisfaction, retention rate per manager/department,  talent turnover (high performers) 
  • Absence rate:
  • Absence rate for the company and by department – used data to put in areas of improvement in high absence teams 
  • Performance Management Metrics:
  • Employee performance – self assessments and manager assessments
  • Performance and potential – using the nine box model
  • Training and development:
  • Training completion rate, training effectiveness, cost to train per department/company

 

 The subject matter expert: 

  • Training and Development - During my career I have written and presented numerous training courses in-house. Including appraisal training, interview techniques, management training, managing performance and many more. I firmly believe that internal training can be more effective as I understand the culture, areas in need of improvement and company focuses, therefore I can design training courses with this in mind.
  • Performance Reviews - Designed and implemented performance reviews that improved employee performance, ensuring employees understand what their objectives/goals are and how their work aligns with larger company goals. The performance review criteria is measured against the Sense/Telensa Core Values. 
  • To improve communication and inclusion, I introduced quarterly ‘All Hands’ meetings, led by the CEO – quarterly newsletters, monthly management meetings, with a cascade of information from the leadership team. 
  • Career progression plans - to ensure the company was not just recruiting senior employees externally but was growing in house talent, which also helped companies with attrition.
  • Reviewed the benefits plan – increasing holiday, hybrid working arrangements, pensions and flexible benefits. I also introduced a social committee.
  • HR policies & processes -  I have written all the HR policies and processes within Sense and Telensa, including the employee handbook. 

Experience

Experience and skills :

  • I have 7 years of working in Bio/technology companies within a start up arena.
  • In all three of the above companies I have worked with very little structure and created the HR strategy, what I called the HR roadmap.
  • I initially worked for the founders at both Sense and Telensa (later a CEO was brought in to lead the company), I was able to work in an agile environment, often having to pivot as the company changed direction. This included scaling down Telensa as Covid took hold. I also worked closely with the C-Suite, including recruiting a lot of the team.
  • As for job descriptions – in all three companies it was not about job descriptions, it was about doing what ever was required to reach the company goals. 
  • In all the above three companies I worked closely with the VC’s. At Charterhouse I was on the board and attended the quarterly board meetings, where the VC’s were present. At Telensa, I often presented to the board and had excellent working relationships with our VC investors. At Sense I often presented at board meetings, sat on the RemCo board with the VC’s and during the acquisition was part of the advisory board presenting to the VC, with our CEO and CFO. 

 

 

 

 

Key Achievements:

  • I have partnered with business leaders in planning and implementing reorganizational effectiveness:
  • Core values – I created an international working group to put in place an agreed set of guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that would help Sense and Telensa function together as a team and work toward the  common business goal. From this we created the Values and Mission Statements. This was embedded in everything we did. 
  • I have developed strategies to insure employees have a five star on-boarding experience and ensuring the company I worked for (Sense & Telensa) were employers of choice :
  • Employee engagement plan – Undertook an employee engagement survey, to measure the commitment, motivation, sense of purpose and passion employees have for their work. Evaluated responses and put together a plan to enhance engagement. 
  • Salary bands, including equity and bonus – I introduced a banding structure, to ensure employees were paid like for like, this also ensured there was a promotional path (career ladder). The bandings were then linked to bonuses and equity. This process also included a formal bonus policy. 
  • Implemented on-boarding surveys, to capture what was working and areas of improvement.
  • Implementation of Workable (applicant tracking system) and brought 75% of recruitment in house. 
  • I have used HR metrics to solve business problems and improve productivity:
  • Recruitment metrics:
  • Cost to hire, acceptance rates, new hire turnover, time to hire 
  • Engagement and Employee Retention Metrics:
  • Employee satisfaction, retention rate per manager/department,  talent turnover (high performers) 
  • Absence rate:
  • Absence rate for the company and by department – used data to put in areas of improvement in high absence teams 
  • Performance Management Metrics:
  • Employee performance – self assessments and manager assessments
  • Performance and potential – using the nine box model
  • Training and development:
  • Training completion rate, training effectiveness, cost to train per department/company

 

 The subject matter expert: 

  • Training and Development - During my career I have written and presented numerous training courses in-house. Including appraisal training, interview techniques, management training, managing performance and many more. I firmly believe that internal training can be more effective as I understand the culture, areas in need of improvement and company focuses, therefore I can design training courses with this in mind.
  • Performance Reviews - Designed and implemented performance reviews that improved employee performance, ensuring employees understand what their objectives/goals are and how their work aligns with larger company goals. The performance review criteria is measured against the Sense/Telensa Core Values. 
  • To improve communication and inclusion, I introduced quarterly ‘All Hands’ meetings, led by the CEO – quarterly newsletters, monthly management meetings, with a cascade of information from the leadership team. 
  • Career progression plans - to ensure the company was not just recruiting senior employees externally but was growing in house talent, which also helped companies with attrition.
  • Reviewed the benefits plan – increasing holiday, hybrid working arrangements, pensions and flexible benefits. I also introduced a social committee.
  • HR policies & processes -  I have written all the HR policies and processes within Sense and Telensa, including the employee handbook. 

Education

FCIPD

Degree Human Resource Management 

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