A huge part of what makes Mira Showers so successful is its investment in people. From new apprentices at the beginning of their careers to the board of directors at the top of their respective positions, the 1,000 associates in the UK are at the very heart of the business.
This is the first post in a series of Mira Showers’ A Day in the Life series, giving you an insight into the workday of a Mira Showers employee. Leading the way is Liz Hazeldene, Managing Director. Liz joined the Mira Showers team in Cheltenham in May 2014, after 12 years as Business Director for Rada, the commercial arm of Kohler Mira Ltd in the UK.
My day starts early, getting my two children ready for school and getting the dog to Doggy Daycare – this often involves juggling a hunt for PE kits whilst mentally preparing for the first meetings of the day. Today, my working day starts with a meeting with the Managing Director from one our major customers. We discuss our perspectives on the market and what more we might do to drive incremental and mutual growth, but it is also an opportunity to be present on the factory floor, ensuring that we operate important environment, health and safety regulations.
I am on my way to present a company team brief to our Customer Services department. Every two months a range of Executive Members deliver the brief across the company, and we try to get executives in front of the teams with whom they do not usually work - the connection between the Executive Office and all the departments of the business is really important to us. Our Customer Service team are on the front line of our operations so as well as delivering the company update, it is great to hear what they have to say.
After presenting and answering questions, and then the conversations that always follow afterwards, I walk to our New Product Development (NPD) department for an impromptu walkabout - I quickly dash off a few thoughts on my phone to my assistant, because in every interaction I have, some food for thoughts always raises itself and it’s important we capture all of them! I get to NPD and discover I have accidentally stumbled on their weekly ‘bake off’ – it’s a big department and they are almost as passionate about cakes as our products! There is a distinct competitive streak in the team, which I know also applies in the attitude towards our competitors as well, which drives our dominance in the market. I break off with one of the Associate Directors and a couple of Project Managers, and conversation flows into an update on a current major project… I immediately see a need to draw in some cross-functional support which I will do the moment I leave. I am glad I popped in, these pulse checks are always valuable.
I head to our Visitor Centre where we showcase our product lines to meet the MD of one of our major customers - I love our Visitor Centre because it shows tangibly all the fruits of our efforts. With all product lines, I think it matters just as much that we ‘launch’ our products internally as well as externally; everyone contributes to making each and every product and I want them to feel the pride and excitement of seeing the final article.
Lunch is a working one with one of my Executive Team members. We meet regularly to keep updated and to feed back to each other both ways – this constant, open and honest dialogue is essential to the way I work, manage my team and run the business….and we are human too, so we need to eat!
I change my clothes and footwear (safety shoes) and get in the car for the short drive to one of our other sites where we produce our bar valves. We are very proud of the amount of manufacturing we do both in terms of UK production but also locally to Gloucestershire - we have members of families that have worked with us for generations, which we are hugely proud of. One of these members is an operator who has been with us since he was an apprentice and he is now nearing retirement. The knowledge of these long-serving employees is invaluable, and I have a long conversation with him to make the most of this. Ideas for continuous improvement come from everywhere.
I’m finally back at my desk (which some days I seem to hardly see at all) to prepare for the video conference on our Capital Plan I have coming up at 5pm. Whilst this is officially the end of our working day, we are a global company and as our main offices are in the States we have to schedule these conferences late in the day to accommodate the time difference. I am just glad I am not based in China as I’m always conscious that our conferences are scheduled in the middle of the night for them.
I finally sidle home tired but pleased with the way the conference call went. I make a couple of notes when I walk through the door to pick up in the morning but for now, I have a husband, dog and two children that I haven’t seen all day. I smile to myself as I help my daughter with her maths homework, thinking about the fifty pages of financial statements I have just spent the last few hours poring over…there are all sorts of applications for the knowledge and skills we have! I finally go to bed knowing that tomorrow, will be completely different.
Which department would you like to hear A Day in the Life of next?
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