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Q&A with Ben Holt, Managing Director of Loch HR and Loch Training and Wellbeing

22 February 2024

We have put Ben Holt, Managing Director of Loch HR and Loch Training and Wellbeing in the spotlight so you can find out more about him and how Ben and his team can help you.


1. What was your professional journey like before joining Loch?

After getting a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, I began my HR career as an HR Assistant for a security and personal protection company. From there I’ve worked in the NHS, Crown Service and Local Government before moving to Unltd: The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs as their Talent and People Performance Lead. After that I moved on to be an HR Business Partner and then Head of HR at a high-profile business membership group, before setting up an HR Consultancy; Sightscreen HR – focusing on providing HR support and people development solutions.


2. What values or principles have guided you throughout your career?

At the risk of sounding cliched, I’ve tried to treat everything as a learning opportunity – even when (or especially when!) things don’t go to plan. In all my roles, I’ve always found it important to build relationships and understand the organisation that I’m working with, before offering advice or solutions.


3. What is your leadership style and how has it evolved?

I’d like to think that I’m calm and considerate and that I don’t react in a ‘knee-jerk’ way to challenges that arise. I’m a big believer in the impact of taking a coaching approach and allowing people to build their confidence and capability (and also in having people in your team with more talent than you!).


4. What attracted you to Loch Associates?

The conversations with Loch Associates started at a time where I was reviewing where I wanted to take Sightscreen HR. The more we talked, the more I realised we were on the same page and had very similar ideas about the opportunities that existed and the support that we could provide to current and future clients. It made sense to pool our resources and respective talents and I’m very excited about what the future holds for Loch Associates and our clients.


5. What is the future for Loch HR and Loch Training and Wellbeing under your leadership?

Our clients value what we do for them so I’m certainly not looking to make any major changes to that. What we have been able to do in the last few months is look at how we can be even more proactive with clients and strengthen our partnerships. We have also been able to look at how we can expand our people development offer (which is where I specialise) to help clients create great workplaces and continue to develop management and leadership capabilities in their organisations. We will be rolling out our new training and wellbeing programmes in the early part of 2024.


6. What message would you like to convey to our long-standing clients?

I have enjoyed getting out and meeting clients over my first 6 months here. It has been incredibly useful to hear about their interactions and expectations of Loch Associates. Our goal is to continue to evolve our services to meet and exceed expectations.


7. Are there any immediate changes or strategies you have implemented?

One of the first things I looked at with our Head of Training and Wellbeing, Amy White, is how we can build out our people development offering to include more coaching and leadership/ management development options. This is something that Sightscreen HR clients have found real value in and something that I think helps organisations embed impactful change.


8. In what areas do you believe we can differentiate ourselves from other HR consultancies?

I think there are three ways we are different:

  1. The range of skills and talent that we have under one roof (or three roofs to be more accurate). We can support more or less all of the business or employment issues that clients encounter. That range of skills and the way we work across our teams, I think, is a really valuable asset.
  2. The depth of partnership and understanding that we are able to develop with our clients. By getting to know their business and its culture, we can offer considered and tailored solutions to clients that work for them.
  3. The breadth of clients and issues we encounter, means that we are always learning. We can take what we’ve learnt with one client and apply it to what we are offering to another. That allows us to continually develop and to offer new angles to old problems.


9. Outside of the professional sphere, what are your passions or hobbies?

I’m a huge cricket fan (known as a Badger in cricketing circles!). As well as taking any opportunity I can to watch cricket, I play for – and am on the committee of – Southborough Cricket Club in Tunbridge Wells.


10. How do you handle work-life balance and what advice would you give to others?

I’d be lying if I said I had this completely worked out, but it is important to me as a father of a five-year-old and two-year-old twins. I think what I’ve learnt, over time, is that it’s about being unashamedly protective of the time that is for me and my family and not compromising on that. I love the work that I do (which no doubt helps) and I’ll put in the effort needed to deliver an excellent job, but when it’s time to switch off I’m as invested in my life outside of work as I am on the job. As I say, I don’t always get that right, but it’s where I try to be.

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