ILC Industry Leader Interview – Kellie Leigh, HR Director at ICAB

What are the challenges are facing your business right now, and how are you working to overcome them?

Most of our challenges are ones that live on the balancing scales of positive and negative.   That is that they are a due to us being a victim of our own success.  

As a company we are growing and with that comes an increased responsibility to ensure we are sustainable.  The challenge that come with that for ICAB begins with the management of the programme and ensuring we have experts executing and monitoring our actions in the right way. 

The second challenge is also due to our expansion.  We are trying to find new brilliant staff to complement our existing staff and surprisingly this is proving difficult, even in the current pandemic climate.  We hope that ICAB is an attractive place to work and so are not rushing, living by the ethos that the best things come to those who wait!

What has been your biggest business learning from the coronavirus pandemic?

The main thing I’ve learnt is how much I, and our staff care about our company.  This has been a real positive that has come out of such a negative time.  With that in mind we have ensured that we have rewarded our staff fairly and enhanced the package for working at ICAB whether that be financially, with wellness and exercise programmes or just trying to be more flexible. Our aim is to ensure that the fantastic staff we have continue to be motivated and go on to produce excellent results.

As we go to a “new normal” what are you looking forward to returning to and practices will you keep?

I would have liked to return to “business casual” dress code but we put it to our staff and overwhelmingly they wanted to stay in casual clothes.  I’m just old school but I think that’s what happens when you have the first 5 years of your career in the public sector.  You can get a different type of grounding that you don’t find elsewhere.  I’m looking forward to being able to have more team building days out such as summer bbq’s, Christmas parties, corporate events etc – basically anything that includes food and drink surrounded by nice people!

If you could go back to the beginning of 2020, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?

“Things will get difficult, people will be divided, you won’t always be sure of what to do but that’s ok, you’re not expected to know everything.  But don’t worry you’re strong and you’ve got this!”

I’ve kind of lived by this the last couple of years.  I think it’s incredibly rare for women to declare that they are proud of themselves but I will use this question for this!  I have not been perfect, (not by any stretch!) but I think I have managed home schooling and parenting conscientiously, running a business, managing the working lives of 50 staff and looking out for myself, my husband and my parents all pretty well in the last couple of years.  I don’t proclaim to have all the answers but I’ve listened and learned, I’ve stopped to think and I’m now just looking forward to being able to make the most of the fantastic life I’ve got surrounded by amazing family and friends.

What would be your prediction for the industry in the next year? 

This will not come as a big surprise but I expect that there will be even more extreme weather situations which will lead to sudden surges in home insurance claims.  It is up to all of us to do our part in turning the tide when it comes to climate change.  Like I said earlier if all companies within our industry can increase their commitment to sustainability, even just a small amount, we will see real positive change.


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