Target wouldn’t be Target without its fantastic experts.
What do you like best about working at Target?
The pace of change. No two days are the same. You’re pushed, challenged. Exposed to lots of different things and opportunities. The people are also a big selling point. Lots of fun and laughter.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety. We have lots of communication channels. We’re always learning new ways of doing things and looking to improve and build on what we have.
What would you want someone to know coming into this role?
To be flexible and resilient. Things change all the time. It can throw things up in the air with event schedules and the like, but you just have to roll with it and do the best you can. Above all else, try and have fun. It’s so important to like/love what you do. And I do!
What’s the most “memorable” project you’ve been on?
Wow. There are so many! A couple of intranet launches that I project managed. They were fun. In 2014 we changed our values. It was a huge project. The One Team conference where we had 500 colleagues learning the Haka was probably a standout moment for me. I’m working on something exciting right now but it’s top secret so I can’t tell you just yet.
What’s been the most challenging part of your role?
Honestly? Coordinating diaries. Our senior leaders are busy people. It can be quite challenging getting them all in the same place at the same time. But, life’s no fun without challenges. We get there in the end.
What motivates you to do what you do at Target?
I’m naturally a motivated person. I’m always looking for the next thing we can introduce. I suppose the positive feedback we get from colleagues when we deliver great comms. It’s the knowing we’ve made a positive impact.
What’s your go-to productivity trick?
Turn off notifications. Set focus time. I used to respond to emails within seconds of them landing in my inbox and then prioritise that request over what I was doing. Now I look at them at the start and end of the day. I also set focus time to work on the big things I need to do and shut out all the noise. Working from home helps me focus a lot. There’s an element with Internal Comms roles where people like to talk to you – a lot! It’s great because you can keep an ear to the ground, but it can be distracting too.
In your opinion, what is a good customer experience?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Everyone has customers regardless of your role. So, for me my customers are my colleagues/company employees. I want to ensure everyone has the same experience and level of service with me and is left positively impacted by it. They may need help with a communication, some advice on brand etc. It’s important I provide them with the best interaction possible so they too can fulfil their role.
What are the values that drive you?
Start each day afresh. Try and be the best version of yourself. I have bad days like everyone else. We all do. I beat myself up over it. I’m trying to teach myself to write those days off and come back the next day with renewed rigour and determination. It’s a process.
What does inspirational leadership look like for you?
Being authentic. Sharing a bit of yourself no matter how difficult it may be or worrying about how people will respond or judge you. I want to know I can relate to my leaders. I can’t do that if they hide behind a public persona. Being vulnerable. It’s ok not to have all the answers. But by being open and transparent you’ll earn more followers and respect.
Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
It’s impossible to pinpoint one individual. There have been many, some positive some negative. With the positive ones you need to be like a sponge and learn all you can. Keep finding new influences to learn from. The negatives are also a positive as they teach you how you don’t want to behave.
What are some of your favourite hobbies outside of work?
Snowboarding. Love it! I also have two young kids who keep me very busy.
What’s your ‘target’ in life/work?
Be happy. That’s easier said than done. I was chasing salaries and titles for a long time. Comparing myself to others and setting myself internal goals. It’s not the be all and end all. I try to live in the ‘now’ these days. Occasionally when I start to overthink, I give myself a bit of a slap and remind myself that most people would give their right arm (or their left, I’m not discriminating) to have what I have. I’m very lucky.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh god. A fighter pilot. Sadly, as a glasses wearer it was not meant to be.
What was your first job?
I managed a small call centre in Yorkshire. Specialising in fascias, soffits and guttering. I loved it. Northerners are great!
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
Nothing, I don’t think. I’m an open book. What you see is what you get. If you want to know something. Just ask me.
What’s something—big or small—that you’re really bad at?
Maths/Excel. Spreadsheets bring me out in a cold sweat. Numbers just don’t compute for me. I did a senior managers’ assessment test a few years ago. They said they’d never seen anyone through the roof for verbal reasoning and through the floor on numeracy. It’s probably a good job I’m in Comms.
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
Probably someone high up in MI5. Just to see what I could find out.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
Healing sick kids. No child should have to suffer in pain. I imagine that would be an amazing feeling to be able to do that.