Alex Gilroy, CaterCloud Manager at HQ

When we say family run, we really do mean family run! Our co-family culture is not just written on paper, we literally do have quite a few family members that work here at EF-group. Lots of businesses strive for a culture like ours but often fail to achieve that true co-family feel. Ours is real, authentic, and worthy of celebration.

Our clients recognise this too and it’s one of the many reasons they value working with us, as we extend the same approach to our business partnerships as we do to each other.

It’s one thing working in the same business as your mum but it’s double trouble for me as I have two family members within the company, my mum Anita Gilroy-Sykes our Chief Financial Officer and my auntie Amanda Potter-Haslam our Customer Service Manager. Doesn’t sound ideal for some and I often get lots of questions about what it’s like to be professionally surrounded by two of the most important women in my life. For me, working with family is great, you’re collaborating with people you trust, you know each other very well (strengths and weaknesses!), you share the same core values which makes cooperation between departments smoother, and it gives you a lot more confidence especially if you are on the same page about an idea or project.

Sometimes it can be a challenge and of course, we don’t always agree, but we do all understand that there is no special treatment given, clear roles and boundaries are set and we ensure that business is left at the office on nights out and at family gatherings! As a family we have our own set of rules that we abide by:

  • Keep it professional
  • Respect roles and responsibilities
  • Don’t talk about business outside of business

I must admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of being in a business where my mum was part of the leadership team at first, I was apprehensive about what others might think but being in the business with your family makes you want to work that little bit harder and prove that you’re in your role for a reason. I’m so glad to say I’ve made my own mark in work, built my own relationships, worked hard and moved up into my CaterCloud management role on merit rather than the family connection. Any anxiety I had was also quickly put to the back of my mind when I saw how many other family connections there were in the business, each of them digging deep and achieving things together, it’s a really incredible feeling.

The level of pride when you see a family member doing their thing and smashing goals is that little bit extra special, it’s also great to have more understanding at home when things are tough and there’s lots going on, but here at EF-group all staff are treated like family regardless of their last name and this is our secret to loyalty and happiness.