A blog from Head of Communications and Marketing, Hayley Terrell, as she reflects on her first 6 months in the role at Highway Care.
They say time flies, and never has the meaning of that phrase been more significant to me than when I realise that I’ve been in my role at Highway Care Ltd Care for more than six months now. Weirdly, the time seems to have passed in the blink of an eye, but it also feels like I am completely embedded in the Highway Care business and the team here. It is with an enormous sense of belonging and excitement at what’s still to come that I write this article.
Of course, part of the sense of belonging I feel at Highway Care stems from my love of the highways industry; a sector in which I have built my career and amassed valued relationships with stakeholders across the delivery chain. I’m in the fortunate position of being in a new role where I have the opportunity to continue working with former colleagues who are now partners and customers. I’m also now responsible for marketing of our #Falcon #ACLM automated cone laying machine, an innovation that I was lucky enough to be involved with at Balfour Beatty plc Beatty, when they first began deploying it on the #M25, through their partnership with Connect Plus Services. Not to mention marketing of our wide variety of products, many of which have challenged me to extend my knowledge and reach out into new markets, including the international highways sector and the security industry. Our strapline is ‘innovative solutions for a safer future’, and that focus on innovation and passion for safety are tangible here. For a comms and marketing professional like me, working with a team that lives and breathes the company’s values is a gift, and it’s clear that our partners trust us to deliver on those values too.
That word ‘partner’ is paramount in our industry, particularly for a company like Highway Care that specialises in the safety aspects of critical infrastructure projects. Teamwork is an important factor in safe and effective work environments, particularly as our customers’ teams are frequently deployed in hazardous conditions every day on the roads. One of the most valuable things I’ve been able to bring to my role at Highway Care is my experience of working customer- and partner-side before I joined the company. I am enjoying seeing the industry through a different lens and bringing my insights into the mix here. As a member of the senior leadership team, I am involved in decision making at a strategic level and it’s exciting to be able to draw on my industry knowledge and experience, along with my marketing and communications skills, to help grow a business with such an established reputation for innovation and such a powerful heritage.
It’s been a busy few months so far, and I certainly feel like there have been some significant milestones, not least our new website, which went live at the beginning of July, and our new company video, which provides an overview of the forward focused and innovative business Highway Care is today. I’ve also enjoyed getting behind industry wide campaigns, including the #Stamp it Out campaign to tackle worker abuse on the road network, and the #giveaconeacuddle campaign to raise funds to send Isla, the granddaughter of Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) chair, Martin Duffy, for cerebral palsy treatment in the USA.
As individuals, as companies and as an industry we have the potential to make a difference – whether that’s providing a kind word to a colleague when they’re having a rough day, or getting involved in a campaign to improve safety and wellbeing. For me, it’s a privilege to work in a company that is guided by those principles and was founded with a mission of making people and places safer.
Marketing and communications are not always seen as central to a company’s purpose. While it’s true that I am not assembling products in the factory, out on the road selling to customers, or on site installing safety systems (though I did get to ride in the ACLM on site recently and it was awesome 👷♀️😁🚍), the value of my role in ensuring effective communication across all stakeholder groups has never been clearer or more rewarding.
Safety is not just a product; it’s a culture, an aspiration and a willingness to work together. Whether we’re explaining why road works are essential to road users to educate them and reduce the potential for worker abuse, or introducing new innovations to market that need to be explained from both a safety and a commercial point of view, effective communication is critical. For me a vital element to my role is also to elevate internal communications as an essential element to a business too. Looking after our people and providing them with the right information is key, whether that’s through a campaign like #mentalhealthawarenessweek or advertising a new process.
Bringing me into the SLT demonstrates a commitment to achieving all of that from Highway Care and I can’t wait keep building on my journey with the company so far.