Meet the MD: Glenn Pickersgill

Meet the MD: Glenn Pickersgill

After spending part of his childhood living in the care home his family owned, Glenn Pickersgill eventually set up his own homecare business, Heritage Healthcare.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I am an ambassador for Heritage Healthcare. As Managing Director I lead our workforce and I strongly believe in the power of change. To grow a business, change is vital. My team and I encourage our franchisees and our employees to continually evolve, adapt and excel. It’s my job to create the right atmosphere across our offices to ensure they are able to work effectively and efficiently. I provide each department with the resources they need to achieve their goals and I support our managers, ensuring they are happy and confident in their ability to lead their individual teams. 


What is it the company does?

Heritage Healthcare provides expert care at home. Our four company-owned offices and further 8 franchised offices, ensure that our clients are at the heart of everything we do. We work with those that require care and support to improve their independence and quality of life. We provide clients with practical, personal and social care and changing support plans as their needs or wants change. As a franchisor we provide our franchisees with constant quality support, helping them to build their own successful business.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I bought my first business at 18 – a cigarette vending machine business. It was something I worked hard at for seven years before I sold and decided to buy my first care home.

It seems like quite a jump from cigarettes to care but care is in my family, I’m the third generation to provide care and I even spent the majority of my childhood living in the family owned care home. In 1985, my parents asked me to work with them. After that, we purpose built a care home which we opened in 1989. By 1993 the Care Act 1991 was out and domiciliary care was the main topic, then in 1994 we wrote policies and procedures for home care which received ISO9001 quality assurance and we began to deliver home care in Darlington.

Although we’d started with home care, we were still heavily invested in care homes and went on to buy another home in Richmond in 1997, followed by another in Barnard Castle in 2002.

When my parents retired we sold the business, but after a while I missed work, my business and care. My wife and I looked to purchase a care home but in 2008 decided on home care.

It was the start of who we are today, Heritage Healthcare.

Two of my previous managers, Amanda Jackson and Michelle Fenwick QFP, came back to work with us and are now directors. We were providing care in Redcar & Cleveland, Darlington, York and Teesside and we wanted to grow. Confident in our business model, we decided to look in to franchising.

It took 2 years to perfect everything, and in May 2014 we sold our first franchise. On December 25th 2014, the Cardiff office provided their first care hours. Today, we have 4 company owned offices, a further 8 franchises and we continue to grow. 


What do you believe makes a great leader?

I think the ability to listen makes up a huge part of being a great leader. Not just hearing, but actually listening to your clients and your workforce. To be a good decision maker, you can’t make knee jerk reactions in business – it doesn’t work. I think to be great you need to offer others the opportunity to be great too. It’s important to empower the people that work with you.

Positivity and stability are another two big ones. I really believe you get nowhere in life without being positive and you need to offer stability to those in your workplace.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Franchising the business was tough. Although I was already a franchisee with another business at the time I had very little idea about how you became a franchisor. We worked hard and we invested time and money – it took over two years for everything to be right.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I’ve been an MD since I was 18, so to a certain extent I’ve just got used to it, I try to remain positive and keep my work and personal life separate. I also play squash and golf.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be either a farmer or a footballer. My grandparents owned a farm and I helped out but they wouldn’t let me do any more than that.

I actually went to Middlesbrough football club for a short while when I was young but it wasn’t to be.


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?

I love people and I love working with people, but I hate it when people are lazy or uncommitted. As an employer it’s not good as it can be detrimental to the rest of the work force. I also hate liars – the truth always comes out!


Where do you see the company in five years time?

We will have a bigger network of quality franchises – I wouldn’t put a number on how many as for myself and my director, the quality of our franchisees is much more important than how many we have.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Listen, think, and change. You don’t get anywhere by being the same. You need to think ahead, consistently enhancing the quality of your product, service or company. Don’t just sit on your laurels.