Malcolm Fyall, Group Operations Director, shares his career story and some sporting achievements, as well as looking back on facing up to one of his biggest challenges.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your career to date.
After finishing my degree in PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at University of East Anglia my first role was working at the Millennium Dome, London as a Senior Host. I didn’t know it then but this role laid the foundations for my future career path in that all of my roles have involved managing people in operational environments with a focus on great service delivery and operational excellence. I worked in Property Management/FM for the next 15 years, firstly at MWB Business Exchange in London as a Centre Manager. I then moved back up north and worked for the commercial property company Bruntwood for 10 years; my final role being Head of Property Management where I led a multi-disciplined team of c135 staff.
It was during my time at Bruntwood when I had experience of both Nationwide Window Cleaning and High Access as a customer and was able to appreciate the qualities of both businesses from that perspective.
I then joined Nationwide Window Cleaning in July 2015 as Key Contracts Director.
What does your current role with the business involve?
My role to date at Nationwide Window Cleaning has involved the management of key customer relationships across c.20-25 of our largest contracts. I need to be close to the detail of our performance on these contracts and prompt improvements where necessary to ensure we are delivering to and exceeding customer expectations wherever possible.
I regularly meet and speak to our key contacts and I am their go-to person when they need support; my/our ability to provide quick and effective solutions to customers when they need our help is a critical element to retaining their trust and business. I have also had the added responsibility of leading the Service Support and Analyst teams as well as a number of business improvement projects.
Describe your own style of management.
I hope that anyone who has reported into me sees me as an honest, balanced, inclusive leader who provides clear direction and decisive action where necessary. A wise man once told me that feedback is the breakfast of champions and I try to encourage this within any team I manage; if there is something to be said let’s air it, discuss it, agree next steps and move on.
What has been your proudest achievement to date?
Outside of work I’m a very proud Dad to Tom-7, Maddy-4 and Ben-2. I’m also proud of my sporting achievements in my younger days; I captained the University 1st XI Hockey team and represented Durham County and the North-East Division. I got close to representing England in that I attended trials but missed out unfortunately.
Within work, it’s hard to pick out a specific achievement. I’m proud of the value I have added and I’m also proud of the strength of relationships I’ve built with colleagues and customers in all previous roles; many of whom are among my circle of friends today.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced throughout your career?
Again, it’s hard to pick out a specific challenge as there’s been many along the way but to lay myself bare a little, I think the biggest challenge I had early in my career was overcoming the nerves surrounding public speaking. I used to be pretty good at hiding the nerves in that feedback from colleagues/managers following presentations was that I didn’t come across as nervous but boy did I have to work hard to get through some big presentations. It’s amazing how common this issue is and I’ve heard many accounts from people I love to hear present along the way about their nerves in advance of doing so. For me, preparation is key and the more presentations you deliver, the more comfortable you get, so take every opportunity you can to do so.
What advice would you now give to a younger self?
Be brave and dream big!
How do you relax or unwind outside the office?
I’m a family man so you’ll likely find me at a dance class with my daughter or rugby match with my son outside of work. For me-time though I’m a keen runner and like long walks in the fells. I enjoy live music and I’m a fan of Newcastle United although I’m not finding the current form good for relaxing/unwinding.
What sets the newly formed NSS apart from the competition?
Service, safety and professionalism with a strong range of specialist services. Our people and evolving culture are our greatest asset though.
A wise man once told me that feedback is the breakfast of champions and I try to encourage this within any team I manage; if there is something to be said let’s air it, discuss it, agree next steps and move on.
What does the future hold for NSS?
I believe there are exciting and successful times ahead for NSS with recent collaboration post-merger being very productive and refreshing. Our collective vision and future plan for the group is taking real shape now and I’m personally invigorated by the clear opportunities that lie ahead.