Train operator Avanti West Coast has elected its first employee director, who will take on the role of representing colleagues in the boardroom.
Lizzie Power, a Euston-based train manager who began her railway career in 2012 as an onboard customer service assistant, was elected to the position, which is designed to provide senior leadership an employee viewpoint on matters affecting the overall business.
She was inspired to stand for the post because of its focus on people. The 33-year old wanted to be the bridge between Avanti West Coast’s boardroom and employees and was shortlisted to the final five by campaigning to be the voice for colleagues at all levels. Now, she will be responsible for engaging with her colleagues to bring their ideas, suggestions and opinions on a wide variety of topics to the boardroom.
Lizzie will step back from her job as a train manager (a role she has held for six years) during her three-year term as employee director, while she aspires to strengthen relationships and create an open forum amongst all roles through meetings and surgeries at offices, stations and depots across the network – focused on the changes and challenges colleagues will experience as a new business.
The role of employee director originated from First Group – Avanti West Coast’s shareholder – which has overseen the creation of similar positions across its businesses.
Speaking on her appointment, Lizzie said: “I love working with people – I get so much from seeing and talking to individuals, so what job could be better than to engage with our wonderful people and represent them in our boardroom.
“We work best when we work together and as Employee Director I will strive to strengthen relationships amongst colleagues to create a better understanding of what matters to them in their role, which will help us to deliver the best for our people and our customers.”
Pauline Whitehead, executive HR director at Avanti West Coast said: “People build brands and the success of our brand is dependent on keeping our people engaged and involved, which is why the new role of employee director is vital in ensuring our people are represented in the boardroom.
“It was great that so many colleagues from different areas of the business expressed an interest in this opportunity making the shortlisting decision very difficult. Lizzie’s energy and passion to make a difference shone throughout this process and I’m looking forward to working with her in her new role as employee director.”