Rich Davies: My First 100 Days at Highlander


Rich Davies: My First 100 Days at Highlander



It’s been a busy first few months since I took up my new role as Business Development Manager, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the start to my life here at Highlander.

It’s been great getting stuck into my new responsibilities, while also getting to know the different characters within our own team, as well as the people who make the organisations we work with so special.

Through my long association with the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, and during my previous roles, I’ve always taken great pride in the connections and relationships I’ve been able to develop with those in the local community, and that’s something that I’ve been able to continue since joining Highlander.

In some ways, taking up a new position here feels like the culmination of a long journey, as there was an opportunity to potentially join the team back in 2015. The timing wasn’t quite right back then, but with some more experiences under my belt, including some specific industry knowledge gained through previous roles, I’m delighted that the opportunity to join the team has come around again.

With that in mind, I’d like to share my experience of my first 100 days at Highlander, the highlights of my time so far, and my aspirations for the future.

The right fit at the right time

Through my work with the Sheffield Chamber, and my association with local organisations such as Hallam FC, I’d been fortunate to build good relationships with some of the team including Directors Steve Brown and Ryan Connolly. One of the things that always stuck out to me from the outside looking in was the genuine good feeling and family environment that exists here.

It’s one of the reasons I was keen to take up my role, and something that I’ve found to be very much the case now that I’ve joined.

In fact, this is perhaps the first time in my career that I haven’t felt the usual nerves or apprehension when starting a new role, and that’s because of the warm welcome extended to me by the entire team.

Even in my short time here it’s clear that Steve and the other directors are in touch with the needs of the team and really care about the things that matter to you. This extends even further into the charity work that we regularly support which is a real buzz. It all makes for a great experience, and genuinely makes me feel good about where I work. I can see that this is how many of the team feel and this spirit is taken forward into the interactions with customers and partners. At the risk of sounding corny, I think I’m embodying the same feelings and hope I too project this as I represent the company.

My time so far

As with any new job, you can expect a bit of a whirlwind start, but I certainly feel like I’ve really settled into the team.

I was keen to hit the ground running, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting out there to connect with the organisations within our local community, whether that be attending business events, networking opportunities, customer meetings, or supporting charitable causes.

One of the most pleasing things to emerge from my opening few months here is our recent partnership with Sheffield Business Together, a charitable organisation that looks to galvanise local businesses and resources to support and overcome key challenges facing those living and working in Sheffield and the Sheffield City Region.

While we’re delighted to be able to support many named charities each year, as an individual I’m always keen to try and do more, something that I know is echoed by the rest of the team. Through Sheffield Business Together, we have the opportunity to provide free support and IT services to a wide array of amazing organisations, and have already got underway with a project for City of Sanctuary.

It’s this charity work and our efforts within the community that have made my time here so satisfying. It’s always great when the people I’m talking to comment on how much they enjoy working with us as a company. As a new starter, it reassures me that I’ve made the right decision.

Other highlights include some other charitable causes, both of which have involved the wider Highlander team.

We recently welcomed Chris, Becky, and Jemima from Support Dogs UK to our Sheffield HQ for a Dogs and Doughnuts day, and they were kind enough to introduce us to support dogs Regis and Lottie. It was great to learn more about the charity, and enjoy some time getting to know the team while raising money for a great cause.

We also recently held a Lunch and Learn session with Weston Park Cancer Charity which was a really eye-opening experience for all those that attended. Anyone who has experienced the impacts of cancer on a family member, friend, or colleague will know just how difficult it can be, and for those in the session it was a valuable platform to share our own experiences. It really brought us closer together, and it was heart-warming to hear more about the good work this incredible charity undertakes to support those in need.

Away from charitable endeavours, I’ve also spent plenty of time engaging with our local customers and other organisations within the Sheffield and South Yorkshire area. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the customers we work with, and I’m looking to build more relationships in the months ahead.

All eyes on the future

While it has been a very rewarding opening few months, there’s still plenty of exciting work ahead.

I’d like to think that I’m already a familiar face to many within Sheffield, and I’m keen to continue building and developing both my own personal relationships and enhancing the reputation of Highlander within the South Yorkshire area.

Beyond that, I’d love to grow and expand our footprint across Yorkshire, Derbyshire and the East Midlands in places such as Leeds, Doncaster, Chesterfield, and Nottingham as we look to establish our reputation in the local community, both with the services and technology we provide, and the support we deliver for charitable organisations.