Engineering Manager, Terminal Services - A conversation with Geoff
What did you do prior to joining Birmingham Airport?
For 24 years I was employed by the Rover Group. My time with Rover began as an apprentice in 1980 until the closure of MG Rover in 2005. The majority of my 24 years was spent in the Paint Shops. My role was that of a maintenance fitter with the responsibility of maintaining all operational mechanical plant and equipment.
What attracted you to the role?
I had reached a point in my career where I wanted to ‘grow’ more than MG Rover could offer me. I aspired to become a Manager and believed that the Airport could match my ambitions. The ‘diversity’ of the Airport was also a major attraction. No two days were/are the same.
Tell us about your training?
The Company have certainly heavily invested in my development. From enhancing my skills as a Technician to completing the Chartered Management Institute Level 3 and 5 courses they have supported me immensely. Again with the Company’s support I am two years into an MBA course at the University of Worcester. It really does go to show how much Birmingham Airport values the development of its employees.
So what’s a typical day for you then?
Being a 24/7 business is vital that the assets maintained by the Engineering team are always operational. I am always available to respond to operational challenges outside of my time spent on site. This also includes the night time period. In effect you could say my day encompasses the whole 24 hours.
A typical day, in the office, begins by reviewing the operation and any challenges that have arisen whilst I was not on site. Communicating with my Management team is essential to highlight potential plant and equipment faults that could affect the operation of the Terminal. By identifying faults early, contingency plans can be put in place to minimise the effect on the Terminal operation.
Typical days can consist of operational, financial and vendor meetings. The role of Engineering Manager also requires the team to be Health and Safety compliant. There are days when the departmental risk assessments and legislative documentation is legally required to be updated.
I also take the opportunity to see as many of my team as possible on a daily basis. A quick ‘hello’ or to ask ‘how they are’ is important. If a team knows they have a manager who does care I believe they are more motivated to ‘deliver’ for the business.
What advice would you give for potential new recruits?
Birmingham Airport is a fantastic place to work! No two days are the same, it really is that diverse. The Company does invest in personal development to enable employees to reach their ‘goals’. The airport is also a very friendly environment. When the C.E.O states: ‘that his door is always open’ it is true. I do not believe that many organisations have such policies for their employees. We are a caring Company and employees who want to succeed will!
So what do you like best about your job?
Everything! But most of all when I go home it is the pride that I work for such a great Company and that, we, the business have provided a quality service for all our passengers and stakeholders.
And what qualities are the most beneficial?
Leadership abilities are most beneficial in my role. Good leadership does produce highly motivated employees who will ‘go the extra mile’ for the Company.
Business acumen is also very important. Understanding the business as a whole gives an oversight how decisions made by me and the team can affect the operation. Financial acumen is also a vital quality. Operating the business from a strong financial platform gives us the opportunity to invest more on our infrastructure.
Are there opportunities to develop in your career?
I joined the Airport in 2005. I have been promoted three times in the six years. If you want to succeed at Birmingham Airport you can. My advice to all current and future employees is do not wait for opportunities to develop to find you, go out and find them yourself!
What would you say to someone thinking about joining BHX?
‘Go for it’ a fantastic opportunity awaits current and future employees. If you are prepared to work ‘smarter and harder’ the rewards will follow. A ‘can do’ attitude does aide opportunities for growth and development. We are a very forward thinking Company. Talent is identified and quickly grown. Investment in development is always available but you do have to show willing. It is not about what the Company can do for you but what you can do for the Company, apologies to Lord Kitchener.