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Progression at Churchill – Meet Neil McKechnie

The second person to take the spotlight in our Progression at Churchill blog series is Neil McKechnie. Neil joined Churchill in 2015 as a key account manager in Scotland. Now he is the regional director for Scotland, a role that entails travelling all over the country to visit clients and support his team.

Neil is another great illustration of the culture of development here at Churchill. Giving our employees the opportunity to make strides in their careers, as well as their own individual development, is part of our core philosophy.

Neil’s story

Starting with the company in 2015 was certainly exciting. I was brought into the Scotland team due to my previous experience with different clients and managing large scale operations. Before Churchill, I had worked in HR for many years. I also ran a successful events company for ten years before moving to Compass Group to manage their catering and events operations at Edinburgh Zoo.

It was clear from the beginning of my time at Churchill that it was a growing, ambitious company. Being the only manager out in the field in Scotland at that point was a great opportunity to grow with the business and start building my team. So, as we started to win more contracts, I built a team to help support this growth.

Churchill let me build the team structure the way I felt would be most effective and efficient. This really helped to have area management in key locations, to build on our client relationships and have a better support network in place. Building my team has been a very successful process and has helped our client retention rate. We are still working with clients that I started with in 2015!

The business in Scotland has gone from strength to strength and I was promoted in 2018 to be operations manager for the area, and then to regional manager at the beginning of 2020. We have 11 managers across the region now, a mix of both contract and field-based account managers.

We have grown progressively in the last seven years as a team here in Scotland and I’m very proud to be a part of that. The support from Churchill from the very beginning has been phenomenal, especially from Louisa Clarke, who has provided support and guidance throughout.

The fact that Churchill let me work quite independently was important and appreciated, as it gave me the chance to grow and learn organically, but always knowing the support was there in the background when I needed it. It became a really healthy work/life balance.

The stability of the existing management team has been another big plus. We’ve had low staff turnover in the Scotland team, and the positives of keeping the team together means we all know our team objectives, how we all work and we’re all supportive of each other. It makes the working environment for everyone much more positive and secure.

I’m extremely grateful for the investment and backing Churchill has put into me as an employee. I’ve had the opportunity to undergo official Health and Safety training and gain my certification in IOSH Managing Safely, enabling me to have further knowledge to keep the safety and wellbeing of the team as a priority. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to grow our networking at Churchill, both internally and externally, with support in setting up regular management meetings across the regions, as well as freedom to attend professional networking events with professional bodies like the IWFM.

Working at Churchill has been a great experience and having the ability to grow my own team has been both rewarding and great for the development of the Scottish team. I am proud that I can pass on these opportunities to my team as well.

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Phil Matis