Stacey Crawford, 34
Human Resources Director, Berry bpi
Stacey Crawford has been working as a human resources professional for more than a decade. She graduated in 2008 from the University of the West of Scotland, where she studied human resources, and also earned a graduate certificate in law in 2011.
She has worked as an HR consultant for TSC, which was an operational role across three sites; HR business partner for DC Tomson, where she acted as the key strategic interface between HR and the business; employee relations specialist and HR manager for Rolls Royce, where she helped to design and implement the new global HR information system; and HR business partner for Doosan Babcock. She was nominated for HR Manager of the Year by the HR Network Awards at age 22.
She joined Berry bpi, part of Berry Global Group Inc., in 2017 as an HR business partner, then became the human resources director in January 2021. At Berry, she has implemented career progression frameworks to replace traditional career advancement and pay structures and launched a charitable giving platform across the business.
"The reason I am excited every day by plastics is that they are a permanent feature in our day-to-day lives. Therefore we have an important role to play in ensuring they continue to meet our customers' needs," she said. "There is a significant education piece that we play on educating consumers on the life cycle of plastics including the well-publicized plastic waste. By setting up resource groups that talk to schools to help educate at all levels, we will engage with people at all ages on the vital role plastic plays."
The pandemic has presented a new set of challenges for Crawford. She leads a team across several countries, so the past two years have resulted in minimum time spent together.
"The ability to be with the site team and work through their issues with them is currently a challenge," she said. "Technology has helped, but it doesn't replace the standing in the site and talking to the people."
Crawford was promoted to her current role during the pandemic.
"I believe the grounding within the business prior to COVID helped me maintain my success level. … Virtual teams have become easier as the pandemic has extended, but I do find the lack of interactions on the sites a challenge," she said. "I like to make time to talk to people at [the] site from the minute I enter in reception to when I exit, I am looking to see the engagement levels."
Crawford is involved with inclusion and diversity events, networks with other professionals and continues her knowledge with training programs.
"Before working in plastics, I simplified the product," she said, "but now I have a huge appreciation for the amount of work that continues to happen to make these products have a second life."
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Crawford: My biggest achievement was when I launched the career progression without our factory settings. Having spent time listening to our employees on what blockers were put in front of them and what we could do to keep them engaged, motivated and driven allowed me to develop the career progression.
During the process, legacy terms and conditions were negotiated to have a clear and transparent pay structure. The process involved a significant level of union interaction and employee engagement to get to the outcome.
Now at our sites, from the moment you enter in as a trainee to our top operator role, the requirements are scoped out and the employee drives the relationship to move up to the next level.
At the same time, we launched our flexibility agreement, which allows us to flex our workforce in line with our seasonal demands. Instead of losing skilled workers when our season goes quiet, we use their skills in different departments to support our overall business. In the first year, this saved in excess of 100,000 pounds ($135,000) of cost.
Q: What is your philosophy related to plastics and sustainability? What steps have you taken to improve plastics' sustainability, either in work, your community or personal life?
Crawford: I believe that we need to educate all in plastics and sustainability therefore we have an opportunity everyday either on a small scale or bigger to play a role in educating people.
At work, I have looked at STEM events to generate discussion on plastics and sustainability. We work with schools to help generate further discussion there.
In my personal life, I look to use sustainable products where possible and educate others around me on the use of plastic vs. glass or paper. I am sure my family have heard the argument on more than one occasion.
Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Crawford: Take time before making any decisions by listening and seeing what is going on around me. As a new CEO, you need to be a peacetime keeper before being a wartime leader.