Getting to know Steph

Steph Taylor is a friendly and resourceful person with exceptional experience in people management. Grab a coffee and take a couple of moments to get to know her better.

Steph joined us in November 2021 after spending over two decades working for Sainsbury’s. Steph’s aim is to create a fulfilling business for herself using the array of skills and experience she has built up over the years. She understands business and the mindset it takes to achieve incredible things, despite all the challenges.

Getting to know Steph

Alarm goes off at:
7am but I am usually up before then with my 4 year old!

Start the day with:
A large mug of peppermint tea and breakfast followed by the walk to school. The school run gives me the chance to get some fresh air and exercise so that when I get home to my desk I feel energised and ready for the day.

Where do you do most of your work?
In my home office. It has recently been renovated it and it is a beautiful, dedicated and peaceful space that allows me to focus on the task in hand.

What sectors do your clients operate within?
My clients are really varied. At the moment I am working with a video technology company, health and wellbeing professionals and an Employee Relations consultancy. With over 20 years’ experience in retail and HR, I am used to fast-paced learning and delivery and I am really keen to get involved with any business where I can add value.

Best part of your work:
Partnering with clients to find bespoke solutions that make their lives easier and businesses more efficient and seeing that “ahhh” moment when they feel the release from the pressure they’ve been feeling.

Worst part of your work:
Knowing when to stop. When I am focussed, in the flow and enjoying the work that I do it’s hard to stop and leave it for another day.

Clients you add most value to:
Clients with growing businesses and to do lists that seem to be growing even faster. Reducing the pressure on entrepreneurs and business owners by reducing the ‘noise’ for them. Creating a flexible business support solutions for them and their business is my passion… hence The Passionate PA!

After work you’ll be:
Before 7pm it is all about family time so it’s homework, family meals and, at the moment, building Lego. After 7pm (on a good bedtime day!) I will be relaxing on the sofa, planning our next family day out or adventure.

Why a franchise with The Passionate PA and not go it alone?
Why would I go it alone when I can be surrounded by a team of incredibly talented and knowledgeable people led by Kate? The Passionate PA gives me the best of both worlds with a proven business model and structure, coupled with the freedom to manage my own business, clients and workload.

What did you do before:
I worked for Sainsbury’s for 21 years, mostly in HR roles including store based HR Management, HR Project Management and HR Change Management. My time at Sainsbury’s gave me the opportunity to partner with some exceptional business leaders across many disciplines; knowledge sharing, challenging and building an understanding of their motivation throughout. It has also given me a real passion for people and exceptional customer service.

Favourite drink:
Gin and lemonade – controversial for some gin drinkers, I know, but I only found out during the first lockdown that it isn’t gin that I don’t like, it’s tonic. That discovery has opened up a whole new world for me. Cheers!

Favourite location for a business meeting:
Anywhere that is light and airy with as much natural light as possible. The Christchurch Harbour Hotel is a favourite and The Bear of Burton is a recent exciting find.

What are you reading?
At the moment, most of my reading is bedtime stories and school reading books. I do love all the books by Gavin Oattes though and plan to revisit some this year.

Your guilty pleasure:
Friday morning discos at home in the kitchen. It became a bit of a thing with my son in 2020 and it has carried on… we put a disco light on, turn the music up and have a good dance to some of our favourite songs, always starting with Friday by Riton x Nightcrawlers.

Favourite hobby/past time:
Does being outside count? I love being outside, especially with my family, enjoying our surroundings and making memories. So whether it is a walk, a day trip or a day at the beach that’s where I love to be.

Most inspirational/influential person in your career:
Alison Musselwhite. Alison has championed me throughout my career, coached me, encouraged me and sometimes just told me as it is. She guided me to take roles and projects that would give me the greatest opportunities to learn and grow as well as stretching me and pushing me outside of my comfort zone. Her approach to coaching, people management and development is inspirational and her ability to manage complex people issues is insightful. Alison’s generosity with her knowledge and experience has made such a difference to so many people and their careers including me.

Favourite animal and why:
I love all animals so it is hard to choose one favourite but I’d say giraffes because they are such beautiful and graceful creatures. They almost always appear calm and those big beautiful lashes are just gorgeous! I was lucky enough to see some on a game reserve in South Africa – by lucky I mean I added a stop onto our Honeymoon just to see them – and it solidified their place as a firm favourite. I also love penguins which was another stop I added to our Honeymoon to see them on the beach!

Greatest contact/supplier that deserves a plug:
Nathan Andrews of Okana Limited. What Nathan has and continues to achieve is inspirational. Nathan is exceptional in his field, constantly seeking new insights and professional development. He goes above and beyond to ensure that his work is of the highest standard. Not only all of that but he is an all round amazing person, generous with his time, care and enthusiasm.

Your business plan for the coming year:
Embed, Build and Grow – Embed the knowledge I have gained through my start up journey giving strong foundations for all future growth; Build a strong local network to share insight, knowledge and experience; Grow my business by partnering with great clients demonstrating the exceptional value I can add.

You can find out more about Steph by clicking here! Or, give her a call – she does love a natter!

Further blogs from The Passionate PA: