The Standards: Zoe Brooks is lauded as Unsung Hero

In any business, successful teams depend on the individuals within the team to make it a success. Very often, within these teams are the unsung heroes. Those whose hard work goes into delivering results from the ground up, not looking for praise or recognition.

These are the people who make our jobs and time at Altavia HRG better and easier. In all instances they make a critical impact to the day-to-day running of things.

Meet Unsung Hero award winner, Resources Manager Zoe Brooks whose attention to detail, work ethic and passion has garnered much praise and admiration within the business. Though the job is no mean feat, she is described as a saint who constantly caters to the demands of everyone.

We caught up with her to learn more.

Firstly, how does it feel to be recognised in this way?

I am not one for attention by any means, but it is actually really nice to feel that all the hard work you put in gets noticed, at busy periods it can be none stop for weeks, with the stress levels for the whole company being raised, it’s a good feeling to have your hard work noticed and to feel appreciated.

Tell us more about your role and what your typical day look like?

Most of my working day involves managing the schedule of the artworking and development team, it can be quite a full-on role at times. There are some very intense periods across the year, and it takes a lot of concentration and planning to make sure everything that’s needed is fitted in within the team, in the timescales required.

The other areas I cover are recruitment and onboarding of new staff, sourcing additional freelancer requirements, and working with them regarding and any future bookings.

It sounds like you run a tightly oiled ship. Do you find it can be challenging at times?

Sometimes yes, trying to fit in more work when there is literally no space and with the added pressure of delivering to meet the clients’ requests is challenging. But even when we’re really against the wall, I also lend a hand with artworking.

That’s interesting, tell us more about your work background

I previously worked at the UK’s largest calendar producer/printer as their studio manager so I have a background in reprographics and artworking, so I can generally sort any problems that either the Account Teams or artworking studio have along the way. I’m always happy to lend an extra hand to get the job done when we are bursting at the seams in the studio.

What skillset do you believe you need to have to be successful in your role?

You need to be a team player 100% because you’re supporting and collaborating with all the teams within the business. You need to be well organised and structured with a good understanding of the projects that are being scheduled. A bit of a photographic memory helps so you can go straight to jobs that have had updates or be able to recall when someone fires a question.

What motivates you at work?

Ultimately, it’s doing a good job. But also helping other people within my team as well as the wider business, to understand what we need to do, to achieve the best processes and ways of working.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

I like to see the work we have produced out in the real world and not just on our screens.

Away from work, how do you unwind?

There are a few ways that allow me ‘switch off’ and that I enjoy.  I personally enjoy walking and being outdoors. It’s something we enjoy doing as a family and now with having a dog there is no excuse. We love taking Koko out with us.
For the past 8 years I’ve also been practicing Ashtanga yoga. For those that are familiar with it, it’s a style of yoga that focuses on muscle training and developing physical strength. It helps me feel rejuvenated and controlled.  Oh, and I do love a good true-life movie or series and read thrillers when I get the chance.

So, you’re pretty outdoorsy, where have your adventures taken you?

Yes, we walk anywhere and everywhere, we aim to get two walking breaks each year around the UK. Our favourite areas are in Wales and Scotland – completing the West Highland Way a few years back for Charity achieving 98 miles over 6 days.  
If we’re able to get a summer holiday booked, we’d always pick somewhere that allows us to go off walking too. So, a relaxing but also active holiday.

That’s amazing. Have you participated in many walks to raise money for charity?

Well, I participate in the company’s charity initiative regularly completing 120-130 miles per month. I’ve also participated in the Macmillan Mighty Hikes, which raises funds for those living with cancer. It’s not really a walking event but we love attending CarFest, it’s so much fun and raising money for a variety of children’s charities.

Not only do you support the business in such a critical way, but you also find time to support charities. How do you do it all?

I suppose it’s just the way I was brought up. I’ve always had a strong work ethic even from when I was younger. My brother and I used to work by stacking straw bales in the countryside for £10 a day for the local farmer. It was exhausting but we loved it. I think you’ve just got to get on and do your best, hopefully in the most efficient way possible.

If you could have a career in anything, what would it be?

I would have like to have been a forensic pathologist, it really interests me.