It’s that time again, meet the Formation team. This month Rachel Swainson…

Rachel initially joined Formation to manage the company’s ‘walled garden’ its team of sub-contractors that are accredited and approved. Her role has grown to now include screening of new partners as well as vetting of new customers.

How the devil are you ?

Really well. In the middle of learning a new government screening process, I always need a quiet, dark room to get in the zone.

You took some time off before joining Formation, what’s changed in the workplace?

Everything! I started work in 1994, everything was paper based, a few computers but very basic, oh yes, people would smoke in the office. Gross toilets. I look back and it was pretty grim.

What else?

I think a major change has been a growing-up by companies and how they treat employees and customers. The changes have been for the better. When I started there was a lack of training, little quality processes and people were generally just a commodity rather than an asset. It was really poor.

What was the first major change?

I decided to join a larger firm, where I met Formation director David for the first time. The organisation treated its employees like adults, lots of training, structure to the day and my first experience of ISO9001. All of these things made me more productive and valued.

What brought you to Formation?

I kept in touch with David and he described a new role to me, it sounded exciting and fitted in well with my life. My role has changed and evolved over time as the company has developed but it is ensuring that we have the right people in the right place at the right time. I identify new partners for Formation and ensure they fit the ethos of the business. The company is focused on doing the right thing and as David says “1% doubt is 100% doubt” so if someone is not quite right, we won’t work with them.. Zero tolerance to poor practices and behaviours sounds harsh but it is what we do.

Can you remember what surprised you when you joined?

Fruit in the office. That was a first for me. Good coffee from a proper machine. Sounds odd but these are small but important things. I like the culture that you’re treated like an adult, can voice your opinion, call out stuff that’s not right and needs improving. A real focus on how you feel. It’s quite cool.

What next?

There’s a lot to do. Better processes, raising the bar with our partners and sub-contractors. Working with our Head of Quality Lucy means we have a virtuous circle that links into our various ISOs. There’s always more to do here.

Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.