Kyle Hughes

Hub Co-ordinator
Salford Quays: The Soapworks

How would you describe working at TalkTalk?

Since my first day at TalkTalk, I knew this company was different from any other company I’ve worked for before. It’s fresh, it’s exciting and no two days are the same. TalkTalk have been so forward thinking with their approach to working flexibly & collaboratively and, like the tagline, it’s for everyone! Working here means that I’m much more able to plan my day how I see best & work the best that I can with fantastic people in a modern & contemporary environment.

Tell us a little bit about your role

I’m a Hub Coordinator. Only those that have done this role can truly understand when I say that it's really hard to describe! The team are the ‘go-to’ team for anything to do with what’s happening in the workplace. It’s our job to make your workplace experience the best that it can be. The team and I are involved from the moment any colleagues/visitors walk through the door. We manage the reception desk, write and post internal communications/blogs, plan and assist with in-house events, book all aspects of colleague travel and lead induction tours of the building.

Tell us about some of the projects/initiatives that you’ve worked on whilst you have been here

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great initiatives not only within TalkTalk but within the local community too. Over the past year I’ve worked with The Hub’s community lead (Amber McDonnell) conduct a School Uniform Collection for Oasis Academy in Salford. We collected uniforms, put together a raffle, had a tuck shop and worked with our in-house restaurant to do a ‘School Dinner’ menu for the day – all of the proceeds went to help children in poverty in Salford. I help manage some really fun projects too. Just a few months ago we welcomed Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett celebrate TalkTalk’s 1st Birthday at Soapworks. The team and I helped organise an afternoon tea party for our colleagues. This was a highlight of the year as the Mayor loved spending the afternoon hearing about what TalkTalk has been doing to help out Salford & enjoyed a cup of tea or two at our Wonderland themed party.

A passion project for me has been the work I’ve been able to do to celebrate Pride throughout our workplaces. It’s been my job to set up pick & mix stalls and adorn our offices in rainbows to show our inclusivity and celebrate Pride. I’ve literally been on a journey, visiting London, Gateshead & Salford! On the surface, it seems like we’re just running a pick & mix stand but the warm welcome and the important conversations I’ve had with LGBTQI colleagues and their allies has been staggering. This is the first year that TalkTalk has really made an effort to shout about what we’re doing to be inclusive and I am so lucky that I got to be a part of this.

"Don’t be afraid to take risks! Sometimes they’ll pay off, sometimes they won’t but I'll never know unless I try."

How has this helped develop your career?

It’s helped my career massively just by helping me create a profile for myself. Attending these events and putting my name to them has helped me to reach a wider network of people within the company who I may never have spoken to. I’ve learned that I’m a good communicator, a good listener, can organise events, source products and produce a really good event at the end of it all. Working within my role has given me a boost in confidence as I feel reassured that my manager and the company itself will be behind me being able to develop and learn new skills that will enable me to follow a career in this field.

What have been your key career learnings?

I’ve learned a great deal, especially over the last 12 months. The the key things that I will keep with me are: Listen to hear, never stop learning & take risks.

Trying to keep a whole workplace happy is never an easy task so I’m lucky that I’m a pretty resilient person. What I’ve learned is to listen more to hear what someone is saying – I will hold my hands up to say that I have been known to just listen to respond and that is something I’ve worked on massively. It’s helped me so much as I've taken the time to listen and empathise, and importantly, used it to find resolutions in a more efficient way. It’s also essential to me to never stop learning. I love to learn and will always seek out ways to improve and grow through new methods of learning. It took a while but discovering that the existing way may not be the best way has been eye opening! Applying for, interviewing and taking this job in itself was a risk – I've always worked in admin and customer service but I'd never worked in a job like this before (I don’t think anyone has!). I’m very glad I took the risk, wanted to challenge myself and that has taught me well. Don’t be afraid to take risks! Sometimes they’ll pay off, sometimes they won’t but I'll never know unless I try.

What advice would you give to somebody wanting to move into a similar role or considering a career at TalkTalk?

I would say: do it! I was one of those people that didn’t know what they wanted to do when they “grew up” (I'm 29!) and settled for administration & customer service roles. Take that chance! Now I’m in a job that I love, working for a company that look after me well.

I never wake up dreading going to work, I look forward to it! Working for TalkTalk has opened my eyes to the possibility of what my career path could eventually look like and I know they are committed to helping me succeed. They encourage flexible working, there are plenty of opportunities available and, most importantly, you feel like they care!

What helps you “Be yourself” at TalkTalk?

Knowing that I am valued is a major factor for me being myself at TalkTalk. I know that I can have an opinion, speak my mind and put forward thoughts and ideas to be heard. The company works so well because we have an open line of communication between colleagues and even right through to our Executive members - no questions are unanswered! I’ve seen in the time that I’ve been here that everyone is open to new ways of thinking and communicating. That encourages me to be myself.