It was a gloriously sunny Monday morning as I drove down the A41 with what felt like a flock of butterflies wearing steel toecaps charging around my stomach. I was starting in my new role as HR & Operations Manager with ICE Creates, and didn’t have a clue on what to expect, apart from it was going to be very different to anything I’d ever experienced before.
I’d come from quite a corporate background, and my last HR role had been with a construction company – Watkin Jones Group – so ICE was about as far away from this as you could get. Apart from the nerves, I had a really positive feeling about the company. When I came for my interview at HQ I’d been met by Cara, ICE’s Executive PA, who’d instantly put me at ease. The offices were amazing – all bright colours and comfortable chairs - and the interview was like nothing I’d experienced before; it was relaxed but really challenging. Stu (ICE’s CEO) and Jo (ICE's Finance Director) were fantastic – they explained the company to me and talked me through ICE’s ‘Values Map’ and ‘Talent Map’, which are forms of psychometric testing that everyone within ICE completes. The results were so accurate - it made the hairs on the back of my neck go up.
But what I took away from the interview was the feel of the company. A lot of businesses espouse their values, but few live them. My two interviewers embodied them, and I left wanting really desperately to be a part of the team. After a conversation that night, I was delighted to find out that I would be joining the ICE team in July.
On my first day I was welcomed by Ethan, who then introduced me to our office dog, Georgie, who was woofing away at the newcomer. I had a great induction and the perfect touch was a pink sparkly bag with stationary, my own special mug and chocolate, as well as an individualised induction folder – I’d never had anything like this before... what a welcome! My first week flew by and I got to travel to ICE’s many offices as I got stuck into my new role.
Wherever I went, the teams were always the same – supportive, helpful and all genuinely nice people. The dedication, hard work and loyalty to the business was incredibly inspiring to experience. I loved visiting the Gloucester office and joining in on discussions about food and friendship. I picked up some superb tips; incidentally, if you join ICE, ask John about the best pizza in the UK - we all agree on that. I got to visit the picturesque Coventry office in the Canal Basin and I met the hilarious team there who were preparing for the Godiva festival. I can’t forget ‘Mr. Cig’ and seeing the stunning medieval street in Coventry. However, as the team will testify, I was less than enamoured with the Coventry Ring Road!
I'm now three months in and I can say that one thing remains constant throughout ICE: the values. You see, we have what’s called our Code of Honour, which means our company values. Well, these were co-created by ICE’s team, so we all live them in the business. I did wonder if this was all because I’m new – the ‘new paint’ syndrome - and when it would change. But it’s not; our culture is who we are, and it shows. I take pride in who we are and what we do, as does everyone else who works here, and it is really clear to see.
I’m looking forward to my future challenges as the business grows and develops because here at ICE, we Make Better Happen and that’s our promise.