The recent bHeard survey results revealed that Alex Munday is the most energising manager that we have within our ranks at Advanced.
Alex has experienced a long, successful tenure at the business since joining in the summer of 2006, with his most recent promotion earning him the job title of Head of Hosting and Technical Support.
We caught up with Alex a few weeks ago to shed some light upon his management style: looking at how he enables his team to stay energised, engaged, and efficient under his leadership.
Why did you decide to come and join Advanced?
So I’ve had quite the journey with Advanced, and I don't think I've been in the same role for particularly long. To give you an indication of how old I am, I was 21 years old when I first started.
There's been a lot of changes and challenges along the way, but with technology, everything is different every day, and that's what gets me out of bed in the morning.
I'd like to think of myself as kind of a dying breed, having been with the same company for so long. People would often ask me why would want to stay in one place for such a long time?
But you know, I've not just stayed in the same role; fortunately, I've been able to progress and found opportunities where I've been able to apply my skills to different areas of the business.
I've not really felt the need to kind of look elsewhere or go elsewhere to look for another role because there's always been a challenge, and that's what I look for at a company.
"Alex is very supportive and allows me a very good level of autonomy with accountability which is key to my job satisfaction, nothing is ever too much trouble, and he actively supports me in my career development" - Andy Riach, Operations Delivery Manager
How would you describe your management style?
I've been in management for about 10 years and the way that I've found that works for me is that I try not to look at myself as a manager. I just see myself as another person in the team and I try and encourage everybody to be open with me as they would do another colleague.
For example if you want to swear at me, I'm not going to be offended by it, and I'm not going to take it personally.
I like working with people and I think that is one of the key things that keeps you at a company, especially me for so long. It's not just the day-to-day challenges and what they bring, it's about who you go through that journey with. It's all about how you treat other people and how you get on with other people in the team.
When it comes to making decisions, it works similarly, if you decide as a team rather than as an individual, then you can try and progress and work more efficiently collectively, well that's how I see it anyway.
I think it's also helped that I'm very passionate about the content and the area of the business that I'm in as well. I've been a 'techie' ever since I was 10 years old when I built my first PC with my dad.
What would you say is the best part for you about being a manager?
I think one of the things that I can't pinpoint to one specific thing, but one of the things that I've really enjoyed is watching other people develop.
You know, when you if you get somebody who's maybe more challenging in the team: then you can coach them, you can speak to them and you can help them develop in their role.
That makes me feel very accomplished and makes me feel that I'm doing a good job as somebody who's ultimately responsible for that person within the business. So, that's definitely one of the key things that I get a buzz out of.
It's all about being able to oversee someone's entire journey throughout the business, from coming in at an associate level to developing and passing them onto another team within the business through internal mobility.
To sum up my management style, I do try to treat everybody how I would like to be treated myself and that's seemed to work quite well so far anyway.
"Alex is open, approachable, and manages with integrity. Alex is very knowledgeable and an expert in his field. He is always happy to share his knowledge with others when required and it is a pleasure to be part of his team." - Paul Smith, Technical Support Engineer
How do you motivate your team and make sure that they're engaged?
The way I motivate people is by hopefully passing on some of the passion that I have for the business and by speaking to people and asking the right questions. Ultimately, you have to enjoy coming into work, if it was just dry and everybody was a robot then nobody would want to log on every morning.
It's also about finding the right balance as a manager. You've got to be able to deal with different people, who have different personalities. Some people like to come in who are confident, and they like to have a bit of banter, etc, whereas others just want to crack on with work and get their head down.
Therefore, it's very important to get that balance right and ensure that you're being adaptive as a manager to each employee. Making a conscious effort to avoid painting everyone with the same brush.