While working with Chesamel on the Google Digital Garage project, I had the pleasure of line managing up to six Team Leaders. These leaders were based in three Google stores across the UK and between them managed up to around 60 coaches who worked in these stores.

The very first highstreet Digital Garage store was in Sheffield (I wrote about a blog about its launch here) and since then Google opened stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, each opening for about 12 months and getting a little bigger and better each time.

The stores are in popular city centre locations, open to the public to offer completely free digital advice in the form of seminars, workshops and one to ones (check out some of the #DigitalGarage activity here.)

Chesamel, the agency I work with are involved in the process from start to finish – beginning by recruiting local digital experts to work in-store and being heavily involved throughout.

leadership

Each store has two Team Leaders, onsite every day to manage their team on a daily basis. My role was to line manage the Team Leader’s performance and ensure strong two-way conversation between stores, agency, Google and other partners.

Communication | This involved lots of visits to store, spending time with Team Leaders, the wider team and customers. Plenty of video calls also allowed us to stay in contact remotely. I made it my priority to be open and honest with the teams I managed, filtering down information from agency and client. I took the responsibility seriously to filter back the great work the teams did back to the agency and client in the same way.

KPIs and Objectives | I met individually with each Team Leader each month – a time to discuss personal and store progress. We set objectives and KIPs together. We reviewed store numbers, the performance of the wider teams as well as personal goals. Good performance was rewarded with monthly incentives and group recognition.

Being Accessible | The stores I managed were open long hours, every day. There were also many events running alongside the stores in different venues around the UK. Being on call to support was key to being able to manage such a large and dispersed team. Setting expectations for how I could be reached and when was important to this working well.

I was lucky enough to work with and manage some highly talented and inspirational professionals on this project. Sharing knowledge and respect was imperative to the success of our working relationships, as well as promoting learning and opportunities for development.

 


I recently took on a more personal project after finding out about the work of non-for-profit Yorkshire Mentoring. Mentoring and coaching small businesses and start-ups has been part of my work as a digital marketer since I’ve been a freelancer. I was interested in doing some voluntary work to build up my experience but also to be involved in something more impactful and worthwhile.

Yorkshire Mentoring run a number of projects, one of which is ‘Youth in Mind’ a project run across the Bradford district matching mentors with young people with mental health issues.

After some initial training and meeting some fellow mentors, I was paired quite quickly with my young person. We had regular meetings (once a week or fortnight) for six months.

mentoring training

The pairing was a good one… a great one in fact and luckily we hit it off straight away. The sessions involved chatting, planning, brainstorming and discussing coping strategies. We had some serious conversations but we also took trips out and had a lot of fun.

For the young person, the benefit was confidence building, someone different to speak to and hopefully receiving new or alternative inputs and ideas.  For me the benefit was huge… I genuinely enjoyed the experience and learned to slow things down, listen more and how to plan sessions for this kind of mentoring.

To find out more about the work Yorkshire mentoring do visit their website www.yorkshirementoring.org.uk