Senior Human Resources Manager – ER
From Dublin BBQs to cucumber sandwiches with Her Majesty, Andrew fills us in on his Groupon journey and creating supportive spaces for the LGBTQ+ community inside and outside Groupon.
We see you’re a member of Pride@Groupon. Why did you join?
When I joined Groupon, one of the first things I noticed in Europe was the strong leadership coupled with a strong employee base. We had an opportunity to strengthen the bridge between the two, and my outside experience in Diversity and Inclusion drew me to our ERGs. I honestly believe that these resource groups can play a fundamental part in ensuring that employees are empowered to make change and have a voice at the highest levels of the organization. I could see the willingness from senior leaders, and the eagerness from employees so I helped to create the Pride@Groupon team for International at our Dublin HQ.
What’s your role in Pride@Groupon?
Why is it important for Groupon to champion and support Pride@Groupon?
Groupon already does value and support all of its Employee Resource Groups. It’s imperative that the business supports its employee base through groups like Pride as it empowers LGBTQ+ persons and their allies to work together to build something special. Without it, the employees feel unheard and often misunderstood.
What makes Pride@Groupon unique?
The team’s resilience and perseverance its so amazing. It can be tough to get these things started, and the Pride@ team have done a fantastic job so far.
How are you celebrating Pride Month?
This year, Groupon is Silver Sponsor for Dublin Pride…so I could not be any more excited!!
Who are some notable figures you’d like to recognize for Pride Month?
If we are talking historical, Oscar Wilde is probably the one that stands out the most for me. He has links to my home and to my new home in Dublin. Present day, it would definitely be my co-creator at the charity I work with, Lorna McArdle. Her tenacity and resilience really have been the beacon of light the team there needed to build something great from scratch and make it work despite all the odds.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
My favourite Groupon memory has to be my first month in the company celebrating our employees at our summer event in the Dublin office with a beautiful BBQ in the garden and some “interesting” singing on the karaoke machine. What would we do without the social elements?
Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it? What does a typical day look like?
In a nutshell, I am here to make sure everyone is treated with Respect, Integrity, and Inclusion in everything that we do. I spend time working with our international leaders to roll out best practices across the international teams, build solid and productive relationships with our Employee Representatives/Work Councils, ensure our Employee Resource Groups get the things they need, and support Local HR teams/management with their people agendas. The thing I love the most is the variety in my role and the commitment that the company shows to making Groupon a great place to work. As I said, variety is the most exciting part of my role so I honestly cannot tell you what a typical day looks like, as I have yet to experience one. 😉
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?
4 Letters….GDPR! It has been a monster project across the business, but something that everyone has taken very very seriously. It was an experience to work on such a large scale, international project. From understanding the various new requirements in the regulations to engaging with internal and external counsel on the rollout, to building our processes, to supporting our local teams with an understanding of the implications and impacts on our employee experiences. At times it felt like there was no end to the project… but I am thankful to the rest of the HR/Legal team who have helped to get this over the line without completely losing our sanity!
Who inspires you?
My line manager Cathy O’Grady. She will go mad when she sees this as she rarely likes to take the credit, but it is well deserved. She really champions each and every one of her team members to grow in their roles and more broadly across the business. She is not afraid to “get her hands dirty” and stands by your decisions. What inspires me the most with Cathy is her honesty and integrity in getting things done without compromising on her values. Something I aim to be.
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
My first week was crazy…lots to learn and the pace of the business is fast.. so you have to keep up. Having said that, the team around me were there every step of the way. It was a lot to take in, and it can feel like you are learning as you work. If I had to sum up the experience in three words, I would say Fun, Fast, and Flexible.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
Everything that I do is for our employees and making this the best place to work for them. That, in turn, ensures our employees enjoy what they do and put their heart and soul into making the best experience they can for our merchant and customers. Ultimately, our employees are the voice, vision, and future builders of our platform, so we have to get it right for them first so they can get it right for everyone else.
What do your parents think you do?
My parents think that I travel to different offices all the time to make sure Groupon employees have enough food, drink, games, and parties apparently.
Where were you before you joined Groupon? How did you get here?
I was in the UK. Brexit was a trigger for me to review my options and take the jump to a different country. I wanted to retain access to Europe but keep close enough to home. You could call it a “trial-run” to see how I cope living somewhere new.
You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? What are your hobbies?
I continue to act as Chairperson for a charity that I co-created in England called “Support U.” The charity is a resource centre for the LGBT+ community and acts as a safe place for those that need help with all things LGBT.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
I would be President of the US. Nothing too crazy, I am just keen to know whats really going on in those secret squirrel missions/bases.
What’s your favorite local business?
I would have to say so far my favourite Groupon local business has been my dentist, White Smile Dental. I started my braces on a Groupon deal, and they have been fantastic all the way so far. A real gem and a fantastic deal.
Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique?
Honestly, Groupon is such a young company so my role has a big opportunity for impact, and I see almost every day how the decisions I make and actions I take directly improve the lives of so many Groupon employees.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
In May 2016, I was one of the specially selected people to attend a tea party at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was a wonderful day and I still cannot get over the lack of cucumber sandwiches!