Motivating the team: are you using the right carrots?

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team are heading, setting the overall business strategy and financial budgeting.

I work with the team to ensure that there is continuous organizational performance improvement that is always customer focused, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Whilst always having been involved with systems implementation throughout my career, I have an operational background and no specific IT experience. However, if anything, I believe this makes me more qualified to ensure the team deliver great service, drawing from my operations experience, and having been on the wrong side of poor IT support in the past. I can relate to how crippling this can be to a business, making it paramount that we ensure that IT issues are as invisible as possible, leaving the customers to get on with running their businesses smoothly.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

 At Q2Q IT, we love to meet like-minded professionals at various gatherings across Lancaster. Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a fantastic networking event for business leaders, which focused on culture in the workplace.

This particular breakfast meeting featured engaging presentations from James Batchelor, chief executive and founder of Alertacall Ltd, and Claire Smith, head of business development at Moneypenny.

The talks were so inspiring, they prompted a fantastic roundtable discussion surrounding some of the day-to-day challenges we – as business leaders – face when it comes to employee engagement. Of particular interest were the pros and cons of various rewards and renumeration options for creating a fulfilled and motivated workforce.

It might not seem like it, but we’re a fairly small team here at Q2Q IT, so in theory this should be an easier task. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we already do a lot of the things that larger, more well-known brands aren’t yet doing!

We’ve ditched the traditional yearly appraisal process in favour of more regular catch-ups and focus less on tasks, and more on the behaviours we want to see, as well as the values that are important to us.

It’s important to visualise that too, and above the desks are five huge wall graphics which read: “Collaboration,” “Clarity,” “Responsibility,” “Efficiency,” and “Fun!” We refer to them constantly, to ensure we’re living and breathing such character traits daily.

There’s also our ‘employee of the month’ reward scheme, whereby colleagues vote for the person they think has gone ‘above and beyond’. This sets the tone for noticing – and rewarding – a fantastic attitude towards work and helps to focus the mind on the positives rather than any negatives.

I believe it’s crucial to have very open team meetings – meaning no subject is off limits – in order to encourage the flow of ideas. Also, they’re useful for maintaining transparency – keeping the Q2Q family abreast of any business development news, my own vision for the coming year, how we’re measuring up against our targets, and the role they play in all of that.

Monthly after-hours team development meetings play a vital role in ensuring we all share the same ambition for the future – and it’s one we shape together. The nature of the business means – for everyone to be involved – such discussions take place after hours, but we have food and drinks throughout, and they’re always fun.

We debate a different topic each time – often linked to a particular project we’ve been working on – and will always ensure there are some takeaway actions from each session.

As a business owner, I understand that I’m not always the first port of call when it comes to any worries or challenges, personal development ideas or questions over their career path. Yet, each of these are crucial elements for retaining a happy workforce. As such, anyone who wants an impartial discussion with a business coach, can do so at any time – we have one on retainer.

Team WhatsApp groups are also a fantastic way to keep in touch with the team and feedback – in real-time – when at a customer’s HQ. They’re also a great place to have some light-hearted dialogue with the rest of your colleagues – away from the pressures of the office.

Of course, we also have regular social events which are ‘designed’ as a collective to ensure there is no organised fun. Then there’s ‘cheesecake Wednesdays’… the less said about that, the better.

It’s taken two years for us to implement each of these activities and benefits – alongside plenty of input from the staff themselves – and I’m proud to say it’s really transformed the vibe within the office.

We’ve gone from a bunch of hardworking – which we still are – yet mildly stressed and chaotic individuals, to a true tech family which loves coming to work and helping tackle clients’ IT challenges. Plus, it’s true what they say about happy employees being more productive!

If you’re reading this and there’s a question mark over the culture of your office, hopefully we’ve sparked some ideas around what you could do. Of course, if you like the sound of life at Q2Q and would like to find out more about the IT services we provide, get in touch with us here.

Team motivation and productivity Team motivation and productivity