Our People: An interview with Anthony Youlton

Anthony Youlton

Role: People and Culture Manager
Office location: London and Tunbridge Wells
Joined the team: July 2015

Why Base?
I knew and worked for our CEO, Duncan at a previous professional quantity surveying consultancy where he was a director before leaving to set up Base. I was looking for a new role so I contacted him directly, we arranged a meeting at Base’s London office and the rest is history!

What does your role entail?
As the People (HR) Manager, I am responsible for the culture and learning development at Base. This entails onboarding and integration of new starters into the Base team as well as ensuring compliance with the latest employment law updates. I organise in-house training for internal CPDs, the FEW School of Excellence programme, apprenticeship schemes and other courses. I also manage and oversee the annual personal development reviews (appraisals) and organise an extensive wellbeing programme.

What were you doing prior to joining Base?
I spent 30 years working in the IT industry, starting as a software engineer before doing various analyst roles and ending up as an IT manager for a national retail company. Before joining Base, I worked as a practice manager for a small professional quantity surveying company in East Sussex.

What is your favourite thing about working for Base?
The people, of course! It is rewarding to see the growth of the company and be involved in the development of the staff as well as their accompanying increase in confidence, knowledge and experience. It is great to see staff contribute to Base’s culture of shared ‘expertise’ and help to increase the reputation of Base in the construction industry.

What skills and qualities do you feel you bring to Base?
My previous experience of working at another professional quantity surveying consultancy, life experience, HR and IT skills and pastoral care. I’m also a good listener and am agile and adaptable to ever-changing company strategies.

How do you find supporting the technical teams as someone from a background outside of the typical construction/legal industry?
It’s sometimes challenging to understand the technical language used but is also exciting to demonstrate how I can help to develop our people through learning, technology, and ‘softer’ people skills.

What are your career aspirations for the future? 
In the next year, I’d like to explore the possibility of becoming a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and continue the growth of the company towards the target of 100 people. In the next 5 years, I’d like to hopefully reduce my working hours and look to retire!

It is rewarding to see the growth of the company and be involved in the development of the staff as well as their accompanying increase in confidence, knowledge and experience.

What has been your biggest accomplishment at Base?
Introducing the pension and private medical group schemes as well as an extensive wellbeing programme.

What was your biggest non-career-based accomplishment and why was it important to you?
I coached a boys’ football team for 6 years. It was wonderful to see them understand the benefits of technique and the tactics of playing football as well as learning to win and lose graciously. I have also been walking regularly for past 9 years and getting up at 5.30am, which has had a huge impact on my fitness, health and mental wellbeing.

What motivates you?
The growth of the business, the quality of people’s knowledge and seeing their commitment to and participation in developing themselves and others.

Do you have any hobbies/interests?
My hobbies include keeping up with most sports, such as football, rugby union, golf and F1. I will keep playing football as long as my body holds out – certainly until I retire; then I’ll play more golf – badly! I am also very committed to my Christian faith and involved in the local Anglican (Church of England) church, with a community of around 600 people.

How would your family and friends describe you?
Warm, friendly, caring, an extrovert, sports mad “mate”!