Meet Rebecca from TGC Aberdeen west

tidy green clean west operations manager rebecca

1.   Tell us a bit about yourself

Outside work, I have two teenagers and I garden and grow as much of my own food as possible. I also cook and I love baking bread, including sourdough. I find making bread is therapy and I stress bake or get into the garden.

My son plays soccer for Inverurie, I’m a soccer mom, and I’m from Phoenix, Arizona. My dad is from Arizona and my mom is from Colorado. I grew up out in the desert on a farm, I was a little desert rat! The Aberdonian weather was a bit of a shock to me when I first came here. I married a British guy and worked for Hilton Hotels as Operations Manager, so it was easier to transfer here to Scotland and I never went back! I do try to go home once a year although I haven’t been back since Covid.

2.   What’s your job title and what do you enjoy about the job? Why do you think good cleaning is so important?

My job title is Operations Manager.  The beliefsI have in terms of leaders and managers lines up with TGC. Our team is our most important asset – without them there’s no business. I look after the team and roughly80/90 sites within TGC West, it keeps me busy.

I train our team and make sure that best practice is being used, Health & Safety is in place, that they’re presented well, and representing us properly. You must treat your staff the way you would want to be treated, with, at the very least, basic human decency. I always make clear what our expectations are and in return, I listen to them. A lot ask about how we can improve and have really good ideas. My team is very important to me. I have three supervisors; all women. I am a firm believer in women’s empowerment.

Facilities and cleaning was a male dominated industry. I was trained in hospitality, that was the same. As women a lot of time we have to be better and do better to compete with the men. I don’t feel like that at TGC. I’ve completed an AdvancedDiploma in H&S and FM, I am always trying to improve myself. You want to be respected as senior management and you need to earn that and also lead by example. You team will perform better if you treat them better. Obviously not everyone responds to that, but I would say here, over 90% do.

3.    How long have you worked for TGC Aberdeen West? Why did you choose us and what do you enjoy about the challenges of the job?

I’ve been here since November 2021, but it seems like a lot longer. During the pandemic I had started studying. I was feeling bored and under appreciated, and I wanted to apply what I was learning to a new position, and I found that here. I am happy here.

I like being out seeing customers and our team. I am feral! I like to be out and about with my team and on the sites. I can’t get as much done sitting in my office asI can out with my team. I need to know my team, the clients, and the sites and that will improve the level of service we can provide. I am not there checking up on them; I’m there to learn from what they’re doing and making sure we are performing to the highest level, and providing the service to our clients. I want to be a presence for the team and to support them, rather than they feelI’m there checking up on them. You have to be a psychiatrist and a boss but you do get more out of them that way. If they need help, they’re more likely to ask you if you’re around and ask for help. A lot of our sites are far removed, and our teams/operatives can work in isolation and so I make sure I get to see them and stay in touch by text.

You want them to know you are around and you are available.  The clients get to know me too. I know the clients well at many sites and they feel like they’ve got somebody to reach out to with criticism or compliments.  We want the clients to know they can call me, or anyone at TGC, and get help at any time. We want to be approachable to the clients. Some never want to see us and that’s fine too. Either way, it’s nice to put a face to a name, rather than just an email; they know we are actual people.

Cleaners have, historically, were never treated well. They’re seen as expendable and that’s just not true. Notoriously underpaid, overworked and not given anything.Tidy Green Clean is not about that at all. We’ve even got Christmas uniforms and holiday uniforms. We get to know our people and their lives and so I can ask if there’s anything we can do for them. They do appreciate it, and perform better as a result.  

4.    Why are Tidy Green Clean’s values about people and the environment important to you?

We obviously want to be leaving a planet for our children. Those Mad Max movies – you know right? You could see that being like that in 20 years. We’re exhausting our natural resources, and we have a duty to be responsible to all living on our planet. It’s why I love gardening. A month ago, I pulled everything up and re-composted the ground with my own compost. If we can reduce/reuse/recycle, it’s got to be good for the future of our planet.

I am a keen gardener, and I can reuse a lot – I can reuse some of the vegetables –carrots will regrow for example; I hate food waste. We want to protect our environment, the air, the land. As I said, I grew up on a desert farm, we raised cattle, had every kind of pet, we even had a raccoon.. My first dog was half German Shepherd and half coyote, a desert rescue. I’ve always been aware of environmental factors. As far as TGC goes, we want to reduce the environmental impact we’re having – bleach and aerosols, for example. There won’t be a planet for my grandkids if we’re not careful. Our accreditations speak for themselves.

5.    What would you like to see happen in the future for you at TGC?

I’d like to continue to progress my career with TGC – I’ve owned hotels and a couple of pubs in the past –– and I want to continue my education. I am finishing the advanced Train the Trainer and the next will be an Advanced Diploma in Leadership & Management. I  enjoy my work here, every day is different, no two days the same. You have to be flexible, have a reasonably good sense of humour, be reactive and proactive.  Working with Callum, and Andrew and David, has been great, and I am so much happier since coming on board.

Interview: October 2022

If you have cleaning experience, and would like to do more; have a positive attitude, take pride in your work, enjoy being part of a team, and share our values, then please contact Callum Cruickshank on, tel: +44 (0)1224 515340 or via our Facebook page to find out more.

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