“Getting out of bed might be hard sometimes but striving to look after people motivates me.” – Ryan Armitage
Hi Ryan, thank you for speaking with us today. Let’s waste no time and start by getting to know you. Can you please tell me a little bit about you? We at BoxHuman are passionate about highlighting and celebrating inspiring humans; especially the ones who are inspiring, helping, and bringing light to the world. We do this in order to rebalance some of the negative messages we often hear, see, and receive on a daily basis. We met up with one of these amazing individuals…
My name is Ryan Armitage and I’m the director of our family-run business, Tezlom. I’m a family man myself with two young children, and in my spare time, you can find me in the gym or working on causes I’m passionate about, such as mental health awareness.
Thank you, Ryan, that was a great introduction! Can you please tell us when did you start your business Tezlom and what is Tezlom all about?
Tezlom, formerly known as 247 Professional Health, was established in 2008 by our family foursome comprising my parents Roz (Mum) and Les (Dad) alongside myself and my brother, Tom.
Tezlom is a healthcare recruitment agency with franchises across the UK. With its head office located in Southport. Tezlom supplies Care Assistants, Qualified Nurses, and Support Workers to clients including care homes and hospitals to name a few.
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I am very excited to learn more about Tezlom so my next question has to be…What inspired you to start your business with your family?
Since I was young, and certainly for as long as I can remember, my parents have owned and ran their own businesses. They’ve worked together since the late 80s and so growing up, it was something I was always around, and this instilled in me the ambition to one day have my own business, too.
I’m already inspired and I can see why you would be too! Can you tell us why you like working with your family?
It’s definitely a positive for us that we can discuss business anytime, anywhere – both in and out of work. It’s not unusual for us to be having a family Sunday dinner and talking about what we’ve got on at work that week! As we’re in such close contact, it means any business decisions can be made quickly and efficiently – there’s no going through shareholders, for example, to decide on something. As we’re family, we are already aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and our relationship outside of work mean that we can be totally transparent with one another without worrying about upsetting anybody in the process, there really are no barriers.
It is so refreshing to hear what you just said and to know that a family can work together so well. Families are often depicted struggling to get along, so it’s amazing to hear how your family defies all the stereotypes. So this next question is perfect…What have you learned about each other since working together?
I’ve learned how well we can work together as a team. When you’re working with family and people that know and love you, it gives you the confidence to go for it knowing that you’ll always be in safe hands. Working with my family has also allowed me to learn so much about myself, too.
As with life, it can bring its challenges and its ups and downs. Can you please kindly share any hurdles and challenges you have personally faced since starting Tezlom and how you’ve dealt with these challenges?
My Dad Les was diagnosed with bowel cancer in September 2011, and following chemotherapy and radiotherapy, his tumour was removed. Unfortunately, there were many complications and my Dad had a further ten operations over five years. New symptoms appeared following, and in September 2012, we found out that he had Parkinson’s disease. This had been the biggest hurdle we have faced in the last year.
We lost my brother Tom to suicide in October 2018 and soon after, my Dad began to receive care for Parkinson’s disease. His condition continues to worsen and has developed into Parkinson’s Dementia, which has left my mum and me with a difficult decision to make when it came to running our business.
Rather than run and hide, we wanted to make good of a bad situation and decided to rebrand the company into Tezlom as a tribute to Tom and Les. Not only has the rebrand resulted in a £50,000 office makeover, but we have implemented a range of strategies with the sole aim to help our staff learn more about better managing their mental health and the mental health of those around them. From mindfulness sessions to regular in-house yoga classes, I’m on a mission to make the workplace a better place and to prioritise the mental health of my staff.
Thank you for sharing that Ryan. I am sorry to hear of your loss and challenges, we wish your family love, healing, and light. I can’t imagine how hard this would have been for you, what do you feel you’ve learned from all of these challenges?
Resilience and compassion.
In my mission to learn more about mental health and raise awareness, I’ve realised first-hand just how important it is to talk and to allow those around you – whether they’re friends, colleagues, or family – to talk to you. As an employer, I pride myself on my open-door policy and encourage staff to speak up about any of their personal problems and to do whatever we can in the workplace to support them throughout.
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That’s so inspiring to hear how you’ve turned your challenges into something so positive for others. What do you think people should learn or take from your inspiring story and what do you want to see Tezlom achieve next?
One thing I’ve learned through owning my own business is the importance of taking some time for yourself. When you work for yourself, it’s easy to throw yourself into work and give all of your free time to it. I strongly believe that you need to take care and look after yourself whether it’s setting aside one hour a week or ten to do something good for you; this could be things like going to the gym, reading a book, or spending time with friends.
From an employer’s perspective, I think people should learn to try and cast aside judgment when it comes to managing a team. You never know what your staff is truly going through outside of the office, so it’s important to create a stigma-free environment where staff can feel like they can talk about anything.
What brilliant advice and company ethos! With all the amazing and inspiring things I’ve heard already, I think it’s a good time to keep asking you some more BoxHuman Inspire questions. So without further ado, let’s go…
1. What one is thing you would say to inspire and empower someone?
Make sure you look after yourself – it all starts with you. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
2. Name one person who inspires you and why?
It’s always been my mum, Roz.
In the last year, she’s inspired me more than anybody I know due to her strength and support. Despite facing difficult circumstances herself, she’s made sure to be there for me, for the rest of my family, and for the whole team at Tezlom. She is such a great example of how to handle what life throws at you while still managing to run a successful business.
3. What do you do to inspire and motivate yourself on a daily basis and why?
Sometimes, just getting out of bed is the most motivational thing you can do on a difficult day. I find looking after myself, whether it’s by going to the gym, getting outside, and remembering why I got involved in this business and my original goals, always help.
4. How do you motivate your staff on a daily basis and why do you do this?
I think it’s important to set goals – for example, by giving out tasks but being careful not to micro-manage. I trust all of my team to manage their own time and their own diaries, but encouraging us all to work towards a common goal certainly boosts morale. It’s also important to find out what individual team members want from their life and their careers, and to support their development throughout, ensuring they feel valued as a member
of our team. Our approach to management is person-centred, which allows us to develop individual and personalised relationships with each member of staff.
And lastly…A BoxHuman is an empowered individual. They will not be defined by society’s labels. They show the better qualities of humankind, such as strength, kindness, and inspiration. Can you please tell us what makes you a BoxHuman?
Whether it’s through work or in my personal life, I’m always striving to look after the people around me – I genuinely want the best for them. Whether they’re my staff, friends, or family, it’s important to me to make sure the people around me are happy, driven, and inspired. When it comes to my staff, I want them to want to come to work for the right reasons and I’ll do all that I can to make sure that happens.
“Thank you, Ryan.”
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