Our people

Adelaide Forbes

Adelaide Forbes Portraite

My passion lies in fostering a culture of growth and belonging within Macro.

I am committed to creating pathways for advancement, where talent is nurtured and opportunities for progression are accessible to all. Macro is an inclusive workplace where colleagues feel a sense of belonging, and a supportive community where they can contribute their unique perspectives and talents, and flourish both personally and professionally.

I prioritise open communication, mutual support, and collaboration and value authenticity and vulnerability as key drivers of strong relationships within the team. This helps Macro leaders to connect on a deeper level and cultivate trust with their teams. 

Adelaide Forbes has dedicated over a decade helping to build and shape teams that consistently deliver exceptional results for clients. With a global remit for assembling the most talented individuals to drive our success, her passion for promoting Macro’s core values, and cultivating a positive organisational culture has not only propelled her own career, but has also played a pivotal role in setting our business apart in the industry.

Adelaide's Q&A

How did you get into what you do?

With a career that started in South Africa, I was fortunate to kickstart my journey by working with two forward-thinking large organisations that heavily prioritised investments in their people. In 2008, amidst the financial crash, I made the bold decision to relocate to the UK. While this move carried an element of risk, it presented an exhilarating opportunity to embark on a new chapter, fostering personal growth and expanding my professional horizons.

During my initial 18 months in the UK, I engaged in various short-term roles across diverse sectors to broaden my skill set and get familiar with the nuances of the UK work environment. Subsequently, I joined Macro as a HR Business Partner. My primary focus was spearheading the development of our HR capabilities, ensuring that as we secured new business opportunities, we had the right talent in place and streamlined structures to support our scalability.

As our portfolio grew, the scope of my responsibilities expanded to include overseeing the U.S. business operations and I was appointed as Head of HR for the global business in 2017.

What do you enjoy most about your current role at Macro?

What I find most rewarding about my role at Macro is the vast array of opportunities available. We have challenged ourselves to evolve and redefine our position within the market, both as a business and as individuals. 

Our clients expect that our teams partner with them in creating incredible workplace experiences. I am invested in nurturing a workforce that embodies the qualities necessary to deliver everyday excellence, outstanding experiences and everlasting impact for our customers. Witnessing the professional growth and success of individuals within the business is undoubtedly one of the most gratifying aspects of my work.

What has been your proudest achievement at Macro so far?

One of my proudest achievements at Macro has been my involvement in successful bids that have resulted in securing significant client contracts. These contracts have been important as they have driven positive change and growth across the business, and enabled our people capability to mature.

Also, amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, I take pride in the proactive steps taken to elevate colleague engagement within the organisation. While many businesses experienced a decline in engagement during this period, we focused on implementing initiatives that increased colleague engagement.

What motivates you every day?

What motivates me every day is the collaborative atmosphere that emerges when things are progressing positively. 

My drive stems from various factors, including the focus on fostering succession within the organisation, championing equality, diversity, and inclusion as deeply ingrained principles and cultivating an environment of openness and mutual support. This inspires me personally.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

In excelling at managing the people function and influencing organisational culture, several key skills are important in today's evolving landscape.

  • Being adept at understanding your business, markets, and anticipating evolving people needs is vital. Developing people strategies that align with business objectives and priorities. 
  • Taking the time to comprehend the values and motivations of stakeholders is crucial for building trust and credibility. Utilising this understanding in interactions can help strengthen relationships and drive successful collaborations.
  • Use analytics strategically to derive insights and make informed decisions is essential. Leveraging data to measure the impact of people initiatives. 
  • Adapting and being flexible in dynamic environments is critical. Being open to change and ready to pivot when necessary to evolving circumstances and seizing opportunities effectively.
  • Cultivating empathy towards colleagues' needs and concerns is more vital than ever to foster a conducive environment for employee well-being. 

By honing these skills and integrating them into daily practices, HR leaders can effectively navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, drive strategic initiatives, and foster a culture of innovation, inclusivity, and continuous growth within their organisations.

Our leadership

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