Returning to New Role
When Andreya Ashwell started her family leave 10 months ago, RML was a completely different business to its new, larger form, which incorporates the flooring division of National Hickman and is twice the size. On her return, we asked her how it feels to come back into the business which has changed entirely, and into a new role to boot:
Returning to work after 10 months out of the business is a daunting prospect in any job role or industry, but returning to a brand new role with a wider scope of responsibility in a business that has doubled in size is a fairly significant challenge! When I left RML in June 2018 to take maternity leave, I was leaving behind a business with 4 sites and a headcount of just over 100. Today the business has expanded to 7 sites with a headcount of over 200! With the business population now widely spread across the UK, it takes some planning and organisation when you’re not working on a full-time basis to distribute your time effectively across all these locations.
Harmonising and bringing together the culture of 2 different businesses will naturally take time and requires commitment and input from all parties to breed success. Businesses can often overlook the cultural aspects of integration, focusing on more of the tangible outputs, something which Robinson Manufacturing were really keen to avoid with the acquisition of National Hickman. The expansion of the Senior Leadership Team with the addition of Jamie Wilkins, Anthony Moreton, Sarah Horden and Carol Webb has helped to unite the 2 businesses from the top as well as bringing further expertise, innovation and functional experience to the growing business. It has brought with it some practical challenges such as sourcing new locations for our Senior Leadership meetings to accommodate our increasing size and finding a spare desk to work from at our Central Office on certain days can sometimes feel like striking gold!
Whilst everyone recognises the challenges which lie ahead, there’s a lot of positivity in the business as a whole about the journey which lies ahead. The business retains a strong identity of who it is and keeps its core values of Inspire, Deliver, Innovate at the heart of everything it does. It’s clear that nothing in this business stands still and there’s a lot of exciting things to look forward to!