Jenefer Morgan, the latest addition to BOOST&Co’s Bristol office, is responsible for nurturing all of the company’s talent – its people.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I’m the head of people for BOOST&Co. I see all of our staff in monthly one-to-one coaching sessions, and I organise learning and development. I love engaging with people individually, so I like to travel around our UK offices, and I’m passionate about making sure that our induction process gives each employee the tools they need to succeed. We want all of our people to be the best they can be, and our talent structures are designed to encourage and enable that.
Working with people must present challenges.
It’s hard to see staff going through difficult times. I’d love to flick a switch to put each person in the role they were destined to be in, but sometimes you have to do the wrong roles to realise what the right ones are. Doing things you don’t like is important for what it teaches us about ourselves.
How did you get into this field?
I started out as a chartered accountant, but it was too structured for me; I prefer dealing with people. After working for banks in the UK, I returned to South Africa, where I grew up, and moved into a talent role during 15 years at Deloitte. I worked in a wide range of areas: employee engagement, learning and development, recruitment and induction, all the way through to career development and coaching.
You were head of Deloitte University, too.
I still facilitate four-day programmes there, focusing on how senior managers can take the difficult step of moving to being seen as a leader. Great entrepreneurial businesses like BOOST&Co are trying to break the mould by showing that you don’t need a leadership title to have input into leadership decisions. Magic happens when you have the right people in the right role.
How did you end up at BOOST&Co?
I previously worked in Johannesburg with Dunya Ansems, who mentioned BOOST&Co to me. I met Heather Bingham and we immediately started chatting about ways in which we could collaborate. It was a very natural, organic process of getting to know an organisation, and I was really impressed by the calibre of the people I met.
And what brought you to Bristol?
My family and I love travelling, but it’s hard to do from South Africa, because the long distances make it expensive. So we decided to move to the UK together – my parents, my siblings, my nieces – and my brother-in-law got the first job he applied for, in Bristol. Now we all live close to each other there.
What’s next on your itinerary?
I frequently visit one of my brothers, who lives near Copenhagen, in Denmark, and I plan to spend Canadian Thanksgiving with friends in Vancouver next year. When I’m not travelling, I love to sing and play the guitar.
Which item can you not work without?
A cup of coffee in the morning, to tell my brain that it’s time to start firing. I get up quite early, but I normally save my coffee for around 9am. It’s more important than my laptop, my phone, my pen…
What’s on your bucket list?
I’d love to take my family to the Maldives, but I’m saving it for a special occasion. My dream is to be given an oar for a rowing boat that will take me to my room. You can do that in the Maldives.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d buy an apartment on Manhattan Island, in New York; I’d love to visit regularly, to do a bit of shopping. And I’d buy my dad something he would love – a wine farm in the south of France. I might have to visit occasionally, to see how the vineyards are getting on.
Want to work for BOOST&Co? See our current vacancies here