Rooted in Numbers: Christine Harwood – Pick of the Bunch

Here at Glendale, our team members form the very heart of our operations. Whilst you might think of our arborists scaling trees or our gardeners tending to plants when we say that, we also mean our dedicated team members working behind the scenes here at Glendale. The ones who keep our clients happy and keep each contract ticking over nicely – whilst not public-facing, they face many challenges in terms of managing tight deadlines and the responsibility of upholding meticulous standards. So, for September’s ‘Pick of the Bunch’, we’re giving props to and spotlighting Christine Harwood, one of our extremely hard-working Purchase Ledger Supervisors.

Christine embarked on her Glendale journey nearly two decades ago, prompted by the company’s proximity and stellar reputation:

“At the time I only lived down the road from the Head Office and had heard they were a good company to work for and I saw it as an opportunity to help contribute to a forward-thinking fast-moving company with my knowledge and skills”.

Christine began her journey at Glendale in the role of a supervisor with existing invaluable experience in the field. She was previously a Purchase Ledger Clerk for a different company when her dedication and prowess in the role led her into a supervisory position, something she hadn’t initially anticipated. Reflecting on this, she shares:

“I never intentionally set out to be a supervisor but became one quite quickly in a previous job and enjoyed it, and it progressed from there.”

In a world where many shy away from numbers and complex statements, Christine dives in headfirst, when we asked her what part of the job she most enjoyed, she stated:

“I enjoy solving problems and liaising with contracts to sort their E5 queries out, and I know it’s sad, but I love to reconcile the large supplier statements. Also knowing that I am helping to keep the finance department running smoothly and suppliers happy.”

Christine might jest that her love for this part of her work is ‘sad’, but we see it differently. It’s a testament to her sharp, logical thinking – a skill that many would find daunting, yet she navigates with grace and precision.

We asked Christine how she would describe her work life to a friend,

“It’s a hectic work life but enjoyable, especially when you see the end results.”

Behind the manicured landscapes that Glendale is renowned for, is Christine’s whirlwind role. It’s a pace she thrives in, especially when the payoff is tangible. Since joining us, Christine has seen an evolution in her skill set, attributing much of it to Glendale’s supportive ecosystem.

“By learning on the job, and ongoing training.  There are always new things to learn and there is always someone there to help and train. over the many years I have worked in purchase ledger, the whole process has become more complex, mainly with guidelines and rules set out by HMRC, so it is important that I am always aware of these and fully understand them to ensure we are compliant.”

Though this already sounds like a challenging and fast-paced role, we asked Christine what the biggest challenge she’s faced in her career is,

“The biggest challenge is also one that is an ongoing challenge, it is ensuring the department runs smoothly, ensuring suppliers get paid on time so that accounts don’t go on stop which can affect the company operationally.”

Challenges don’t often come without rewards though and there’s a twinkle in Christine’s eyes when she speaks of her proudest Glendale moment,

“A number of things have made me proud over the years, but I think the stand-out thing was being awarded my long service award from Tony Hewitt, which was a great honour and a very memorable day, and now I have worked for Glendale for nearly 20 years.”

With almost two decades under her belt, Christine proved to be the perfect person to ask why more people should look into this role,

“Teamwork is important and Glendale Finance takes pride in teamwork at every level, as does the whole of the business really. The culture and atmosphere we create within the business means it is a great company to work for. In terms of people working in the finance field, if you love a challenge, like solving problems and are good with numbers, then finance is definitely an area you should explore.”

If you’re looking to get into becoming a Purchase Ledger Supervisor like Christine, she mentions that the most important skill is “Dealing with colleagues on every level.  Everyone works for the same company so it is important to share knowledge, help when you can and ask for help if needed.”

Here at Glendale, we don’t just offer apprenticeships in our manual labour jobs, we also offer them in admin, accountancy, and finance roles. Our arborists are hands-on in the field, and you can be hands-on in the office – both are equally as important to our core business. We’ve got an award-winning apprenticeship scheme and put a massive focus on helping people reach the career goals they desire. If you work hard at Glendale, you’re rewarded – many of our apprentices have since progressed to management roles.

It was an absolute pleasure to hear about Christine’s Glendale journey, we hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed writing about it. A massive thanks to Christine for taking the time to answer our questions and shed light on the vital roles that keep Glendale running smoothly behind the scenes. To all our colleagues who aren’t always in the limelight but make a significant difference daily: We see you, we value you, and we’re immensely proud to have you as part of the Glendale family. Here’s to the unsung heroes who help us grow stronger, every single day.

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