Antony celebrates his six-year anniversary this month so we felt there’s no better person to ask about what it’s like to work for TSL, as well as learn a bit more about him.
We first asked TSL’s Managing Director, Dexter Copeland, what it’s been like to work alongside Ant over the last six years;
“Amazing to think it has been 6 years already, it doesn’t feel that long ago that I watched him drive out of the office car park whilst we conveyed on what a great guy he was to interview, and how we will be making an offer for him to join us. Ever since that day he has been fantastic to work with and has always been a standout with colleagues and clients at all levels. With numerous personal accolades and successful projects under his belt, there is no one here at TSL who doesn’t think highly of him.”
“Ant’s personal development over his tenure has been a fantastic sight with constant development of his technical understanding, people management and project management abilities. The previous doesn’t do justice to how much he’s grown as a person though, and I believe his loving family showcases that fact very well!”
“On a business level, we cannot thank Antony enough for his commitment to the business and his approach to work. He’s been a role model for our recent new joiners on what it means to not only work for TSL but to take the “TSL Experience” into your day-to-day. From a personal level, I cannot thank him enough for not only trusting in the business whilst we have been on this journey of growth in recent years, but for aiding our growth and improvement plans year on year and being that shining example to others. I look forward to working alongside him for many years to come.”
We then sat down with Ant earlier this week and asked him a few questions;
What do you enjoy most about your role?
“I enjoy being out on site and having the freedom and responsibility which comes with it. Giving instructions to the guys and planning the day-to-day.”
What’s the best bit about working at TSL?
“Feeling like you are part of something more important than just your job, being part of something that’s happening not just in your role, but a movement throughout the company.”
How would you describe our company culture?
“It always feels extremely inclusive, like you’re a part of everything. The whole family feel with the company, it’s just a nice, good place to work. I love it.”
How would you describe your role to someone? What does it entail?
“I have responsibility for quite a few people on-site and their health and safety. Ensuring that everyone who walks through the gates leaves the same way they entered. I ensure the project is completed to a high standard in a timely manner and to client expectations, trying to always exceed those expectations. Providing support and help to all onsite and to the rest of the site management team. In addition, I ensure all my team have the tools and support they need each day to complete what’s required of them.”
What would you say the hardest part about your role is?
“Balancing the relationship with all on-site is probably the hardest aspect. You want to be friendly and liked by all, but the team needs to understand and follow your instruction, as well as understand the reasons why you’re asking them to do it, especially when health and safety are concerned. The culture of health and safety in the construction industry is getting better and better, but TSL is taking it to the next level. And it’s quite hard to drill that into people when they just want to turn up and do their job. Getting new people to change from the construction industry way to the TSL way is quite a challenge sometimes.”
What does the TSL Experience mean to you?
“It’s providing a package to the client that is delivering exactly what we tell them we’re delivering and more. And when I say ‘and more’, I don’t mean physically giving them more, but the way you do it. The way you approach it and the relationships you build with the client, having a friendship with them as well. Keeping them well informed with communication is massive. The earlier you communicate problems or positives is always best, to be honest, and open as much as possible.”
“What I do like about TSL is the honesty, which resonates with how I am personally as well. It’s almost cliché to say it’s my weakness and strength at the same time. The TSL way is making sure everyone feels they are part of it as well, they don’t just have to be ‘the client’ they can be made to feel part of that project.”
“We do a lot internally too, making sure all our staff on-site feel valued, things like organising pizza days for the lads on site, that’s why I love the relationship element of my job, and something I feel like I’m quite good at as well.”
What’s a day in the life of Ant? What do you do for fun?
“What I do personally for fun is few and far between these days, but I like to play golf, but most of my fun is being with my wife and children, days out in the new forest, we love it there. My boy is 2 and my girl is 6, so as you can imagine they are so time-consuming – In the best of ways! It’s all about family.”
What’s one thing that surprised you about being a project manager?
“What surprised me, or what I found difficult, was taking a step back from site manager to project manager. As a site manager, you get a lot more involved in the day-to-day tasks, and now I’m delegating what I used to do to other site managers, that transition I found difficult because I felt like at times I wasn’t doing enough – I Was! I originally ended up still being out there doing things only to be told ‘you don’t need to do that anymore’. That was odd.”
“My focus became a lot more, still on-site, but office mindset based, with a lot more interaction with clients, more progress updates, and more program planning. The client interaction part I found really enjoyable but the delegating to other site managers was tricky.”
Who inspires you the most at TSL and why?
“It’s hard not to say Dex but, when I started TSL 6 years ago, where we’ve gone from, to where we are now it’s quite remarkable, I don’t want to come across as cheesy, but it really is. When Dex really got hold of the reigns at TSL the growth and change in every department was truly remarkable. And it solely comes down, and we’ve got a really good team, but it comes down to his determination and motivation to do what he’s doing. To be at the age he is, to have an office of all ages and they all love working for TSL, I don’t hear any negatives ever, for a young person to create that working environment and atmosphere, why would you work for somewhere else.”
“Out of the newcomers, you’ve got Ross Johnson, for a young lad he’s going places. But then again, I could say the same for Conor and Lewis, to be Directors at their age and the direction they’re heading, but ultimately you have to stop at Dex. As long as he keeps doing it I’m not going anywhere (unless he sacks me).”
What’s the most unique part about working here?
“That’s a difficult one as there are so many possible answers. The fact they’ve given me the opportunity to grow so much in my professional career. My abilities have grown almost as much, not quite the same rate, but as much as the company itself. Over the years the company has helped me and pushed me so much, and I feel part of that company’s growth too. I feel a part of something, as opposed to just being there, in a role. I feel like I really contribute, and I’m constantly reminded of that. Working for TSL is rewarding beyond means, it really is. I’m amazed I ever got employed…I was as green as they come when I started! I remember being told I was employed not for what I know, but the person I was, and I think that applies to all those who join which is just so refreshing.”
Out of the TSL core values, Passion, Family, Dedication, Progressive, and Excellence, which one resonates with you the most?
“Well, I’m definitely dedicated, it’s been six years, or foolish…One of the two! I know it’s a bit of a cop-out, but I value all of them equally. Those core values have helped me grow so much at TSL because I do genuinely believe in and embrace all of them, it’s really helped me love the job.”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for TSL?
“Absolutely work for TSL, You’ll struggle to find a better place to work. And if you are going to work for TSL be honest, own everything you do, good and bad, and don’t be shy to ask for help. Don’t hide away if you need help, ask for it because it’s always there. Just be an honest open employee, if you do that, there will always be a place for you. We don’t like to hire and fire, if you’re honest, hard-working and take on board the core values you’ll be supported to achieve everything you want to achieve.”
If you were told to plan a company event, what would we be doing?
“I’d like to turn around and say golf but we can’t keep doing that, and I love things that get everyone involved. You know what? I missed out on the race day, and I was gutted about it! It’s bitter-sweet in honesty as I went on a stag do, but it’s always a bit disappointing when you miss out on something. I probably would do something like the race day as it’s something everyone in the company can experience together at the same time, you get a chance to mingle with everyone.”
What’s the last song you listened to?
“It was Paul Weller, Wildwood. My playlist is all my favourite songs at the moment, it’s made up of Paul Weller, The Jam, Kings of Leon, Plan B, Paolo Nutini…with some 90’s hip hop thrown in for good measure.”
What’s your secret talent no one knows about?
“Not many people know this, but until 16 I was a national standard gymnast, I went to a training camp in Moscow, and competed twice in America. I did win a few medals. I started when I was five and quit at 16 when I started finding other interests in life. I could do a backflip now in the office if I wanted to, I’d ache a lot tomorrow as I’m a lot heavier than I was though! (Ant did promise to do a backflip when he’s promoted next, for the record).“
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
“Teleportation, so I can click my fingers and be somewhere. Not escape, but just be able to see the world even more, I loved travelling when I was younger and to be able to click my fingers and be anywhere would be great. It would have been great on the three peaks challenge too, to be able to click my fingers ‘top of Ben Nevis please!’ would have been fantastic.”
I think all at TSL will agree what a pleasure it is to work alongside Ant, here’s to the next six years!