As they fast approach twenty years in business, Babs Lynds, CEO of Rejus Limited stops to take a breath.
Based in Doncaster in South Yorkshire she takes a look back at the time that seems to have flown by.
She tells us “When we first began we had some clear ideas of our aims for the company and before we began we set some strict principles to stick to. Its worked well for us but we succeed in part because we adapt to our customers needs. We look back on our journey to learn, but we have our eyes fixed on the future”.
We set her some questions to find out more about the success now enjoyed by the company.
Are you originally from Doncaster?
I was born in 1968 in Doncaster at Hamilton Lodge on Carr Hill Road weighing in as one of the largest baby’s born that year. I’ve lived and worked in Yorkshire all my life.
What were your aspirations at School?
When I was at school I didn’t have many aspirations, it wasn’t like it is today where children get mostly what they want, the latest gadget, clothing etc. Back in the day we were excited about getting a landline fitted in the house or even getting a VHS recorder to watch a film, so to have aspirations you had to be one of the brainy ones or your parents had to be rich. Unfortunately or fortunately I didn’t fall into these categories. We were just grateful for what we had that day. It was a good grounding.
What had the greatest influence on your philosophy today?
Definitely my husband Mathew. When I first met Mathew we were working together behind a bar, just one of my four jobs I used to have. He is so laid back he would fall over sometimes but he never doubted the fact that we could achieve anything together. Hence where we are today. We were both hard working individuals but together we were a powerful team, so starting a business together made sense and I suppose he has made me what I am today. Simply put, people seem to fall into two categories, those who say they can, and those who say they can’t.
What was your background before establishing Rejus?
I started work when I was 7 years old and left school at 15 as I was the youngest in the year group. I started a YTS working 45 hours a week for £25.00, of which I had to pay £10.00 board to my parents. I also worked every weekend just so I could buy a moped to get my independence. I started working in hospitality at the age of 14 and for twenty years worked my way up from washing dishes to being a deputy manager in a large chain of prestigious hotels. I have always been a person who wants to please others, I feel obliged and I couldn’t say no, hence why I did so well at my job. It was a simple step into Rejus, its all about caring for our customers, hospitality at work.
Why did you feel Facilities Management was the future for you?
It made perfect sense. People come to stay in hotels and to enjoy themselves. We provide the building, the cleanliness, the food, the decorations, gardens etc. Coming to work is no different, and in fact more important, because you come and earn money, and you will be doing it for more than 2 weeks.
What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?
My strengths are I am strong individual who is focused and will speak when people need challenge or support. We deal with it now. I can juggle twenty balls, as do most women in business. My weakness is that I cannot say no to people.
What do you look for in those you employ?
Definitely someone with passion, drive and commitment. We can teach you the job, but without the the right attitude and passion you will never achieve all you can.
What has been your most satisfying success?
Family life or course, but taking Rejus to places where we could not have dreamed to be. York Minster, one of the most prestigious attractions in the UK is one example. They are our customer and we are part of their team to help them achieve the awards that they achieve. We do that, not because we turn over £50 million or have 4000 staff but because we care.
What are your goals for Rejus in the future?
My goals for Rejus are simple. To be a multi-national organisation achieving the very best quality for my Clients. Why can’t we have branches in USA, Rome etc. We are good enough.
If you could have Dinner with anyone in History – who would it be and why?
Oh definitely Ragnar Lodbrok. Why, he understands and recognises the qualities of people and leads them. He is ruthless and unforgiving in pursuit of his goal. Plus, he is quite attractive!