30 May 2014

My time at BGV so far

By Vicky

I have survived my first two and a bit months working at Bethnal Green Ventures. Part of my role is to manage the team, and make sure we work collaboratively and effectively. So I have been observing how the rest of the team works together, and learning about what makes a good team and I thought I would tell you about it.

A key thing I’ve learnt is the importance of building relationships with the people you work with. One of the ways we do this at BGV is through our lunch times. Most days, a couple of us (or anyone who is around) have lunch together, whether that is grabbing ingredients from the supermarket or out somewhere. Lunch ‘al desco’ isn’t really allowed. Making the effort to take a break and stop what we are doing creates a collaborative environment where you really feel like you understand and trust the people you are working with.

I’ve also learnt the importance of getting to know people outside of meetings, to make sure that we get enough conflict within meetings. That might sound funny but I think a team needs to feel confident and comfortable about voicing their opinions, and challenging each other, no matter what hierarchies might be in place. One of the ways we do this at BGV is by going to the pub after a long heavy day or a heated debate. This gives the team a chance to unwind, and get anything off our chests which we previously felt too nervous to say. Since I have joined the team, they have made a significant effort to make me feel that my opinion is valued and trips to the pub have helped.

At BGV, we focus heavily on personal development. This is important for understanding and growing your role within the team. Every six months we all give each other constructive feedback where we have a chance to say what we feel is working and not working. From this, we each have a meeting with our development managers (who we choose ourselves) to discuss our feedback and work towards career goals and ambitions that excite and challenge us. This has had a massive impact on how motivated I feel everyday at work. I’ve learnt that no matter what level your position is, you always have room to grow and this should stay throughout your entire career.

I am very early in my BGV life, and still grappling the different elements of my role as General Manager. Nevertheless what I have found in my short time here is that forging strong relationships, building trust and encouraging personal development are the key parts of making a successful team as well as a fantastic place to work.