The first ever woman MD of a truck company, Isuzu Truck UK’s Honorary Chairman and inspirational business leader, Nikki King, was awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to the road transport industry. In this exclusive blog she reveals why ‘office angels’ are the glue that holds a business together.
Nikki King OBE is a famously inspiring leader and champion of women in the workplace, with over 50% of her senior management team being female. Nikki is well known in business and the media for championing employment best practice and women’s role in the business.
Nikki featured in Channel 4’s Undercover Boss series, an experience that bought home to her the problems faced by women returning to the career ladder; BBC 1’s Question Time as one of few business leaders to join the panel, and has spoken out about women’s employment experience and the glass ceiling on Women’s Hour and many other programmes. Nikki is a business mentor for the Prince’s Trust and holds many other charity and educational roles.
Nikki herself experienced all levels of business in her career. Until her 40s she was a part-time – self-confessed – ‘really bad secretary’. Then her husband left her and their three young children, so to make ends-meet she took a full-time role at a Ford dealership; and her career blossomed. She led a management buyout of Isuzu trucks in the UK in 2004 and became an inspirational leader and champion of women in business. Says Nikki: ‘I never could type or take shorthand. That is why I value my PA so much. I am sure she could do my job but I know I couldn’t do hers!’
In 2014 Nikki famously gave up running the £48m company and her £100,000+ salary to look after her twin grandchildren. However, though ‘nominally’ retired, Nikki is still a familiar industry and media figure: championing the role of women in the workplace and the need for more flexible hours to help working mothers.
Nikki is a judge for our Everyday Heroes awards. In her Guest Blog she discusses the qualities necessary to be an office hero, and why ‘office angels’ should receive the recognition they deserve.
Nikki is our Business category judge for the Everyday Heroes competition. Do you know an Everyday Hero worthy of jetting off abroad for free? Nominate them here and they could win two free tickets to any destination of their choice.
What qualities are necessary to be an office hero? That is a really difficult question as most of these qualities are really difficult to define. After all, if it was that easy we would all be writing a manual and training all our people to achieve this end.
Like great customer service, whether a great leader or a relatively junior member of staff, true office angels have great empathy and the ability to delight others above their expectations.
Angels give unselfishly to improve the lives of others and delight their customers. They encourage others to do their very best and offer help and support at all times. They never gossip maliciously and are always empathetic to others feelings. They are loyal to their company and their workmates and never claim others’ success as their own.
Small things make such a difference. A sympathetic and confidential ear, an offer of help when needed and small actions that make everyone feel optimistic and comfortable.
Often quiet and unassuming, office angels are the glue that hold an organisation together and are often not truly appreciated until they leave.
That is why ParcelHero’s Business Everyday Hero award is so special and important and I am delighted to be part of this great initiative.