May 27, 2022

UKGA Conversations: How to Spot a Rising Star with MTWO

Have you ever wondered how to motivate and uplift new members in your team? In this article, we will tell you how to spot a rising star, give them the support needed to develop their talents, and what benefits such actions could bring to your company. 

Newcomers may not have years of experience, but they bring a fresh vision that could transform your business. The Rising Star award was specifically created to recognise and celebrate people in our industry who have shown great potential and a natural flair for someone of their experience level. 

The sponsor for this category is MTWO - Matching Talent With Opportunity - a blooming recruitment agency that specializes in the print and packaging industry. After helping hundreds of specialists find their workplace for the last ten years, they figured out how to spot a true talent. We sat down with Matt Hanley, a Founder and Managing Director at MTWO, to get his input on this topic. 

Qualities of a Rising Star

You want to nominate someone from your team but wonder how to spot a true Rising Star in your company? We asked Matt how to identify the potential star and give them the spotlight they deserve. He shared with us three essential qualities that a Rising Star should have: attitude, behaviour, and cultural fit. Other qualities within our sector that illustrate potential are craft and hard work. Wide-format printing is a very hands-on industry. There is no way someone can sit there and let it fly by. People who aspire to achieve greatness throw themselves into the gist of it all and roll up their sleeves, especially when they’re new to the industry, new to a business. They ask questions and learn from the professionals they are surrounded with. 

“There are many ways to find a rising star within organisations. But when you’re new to the industry, I think the biggest telltale sign and signal is attitude and behaviors. How they integrate into a business and how they learn. When you’re coming into a brand new industry surrounded by people who have been in that business for many years, it’s crucial to listen, absorb, and soak up that knowledge. Then you will be able to use it to drive your career and the company’s future forward.”

How to support newcomers

It’s vital to understand what kind of support newcomers need to develop their skills. But there’s no universal approach on how to give out that support. The most effective way in which you help to unleash someone’s potential is always circumstantial and down to the individual. There’s no one-size-fits-all, as people could be on a manufacturing and production floor, client services, or sales. It entirely depends on the function that they’ve got. However, there are some general tips that could help.

  • Create such a culture in your team that covers the needs of new people without them having to mention it.
  • Set up a workplace mentoring program to provide recruits with experienced coaches.
  • Have an open-door policy and approachability around all team members, including the boss.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of every team member.

And as Matt added: “It’s all about showing love and value to your employees.”

Kalub Smith from Sovereign Signs, UK Graphic Awards' 2021 Rising Star

The future of the wide-format print industry

The industry has changed a lot since Matt first started working in it. The large-format wasn’t that massive of a sector compared to how big it is now.

“I’ve been doing it for ten years, and to see how it’s grown and developed is brilliant. Not only from new people coming into the industry but also from the technologies, new processes, and softwares (things like Vism that help streamline everything). When I first started, I felt like the industry was scared of technology and thought it might overtake the print aspect. But once we started to embrace it, we realised that print would be here no matter what year we were in. It’s just going to cycle through continuously. The more the industry can incorporate different technologies and different elements of marketing processes, the better and more powerful the print industry will be,” said Matt.

The future of the industry will be in the hands of a new generation, and we need to share our wisdom with them. Make them keep the best working “old techniques” and reinforce them by new approaches. This fusion of experience and progress will keep the industry flourishing.

The perks of winning a Rising Star award

The Rising Star award is significant to everyone and in many different ways. The title of a Rising Star opens doors to many opportunities within our industry for all nominees. Such recognition helps to keep the newcomers motivated and invigorated. Not to mention that every nominee will be grateful for the sole fact that their company sees their worth.

Such events as the UK Graphic Awards solidify the impression of our industry as one that uplifts its members and gives recognition where it’s due.

“People coming into the industry may not understand how vast and creative it is. Print notoriously had a stigma of being old-fashioned, but we know that it’s probably the most creative and welcoming of industries. We have to give this impression to new people to keep them interested. Attending such events gives newcomers a realisation of how big and cool and vibrant the sector can actually be,” said Matt.

And last but not least, it puts the company of a winner in the public eye. A win of one of your team members is an honor for the entire team. The success of one individual will be tied to your company's reputation and will make your business more favorable among other professionals in the industry.

Your chance to join the Awards

This year, the UK Graphic Awards event promises to be bigger and better. The Rising Star category is a unique chance to embrace the next generation of people.

Matt added: “I’m certainly delighted and excited to be a part of the sponsorship team. It’s prestigious and a huge honour for all the finalists. No matter what the category is, no matter what the award. To be recognised by your peers, competitors, colleagues, suppliers, and supply chain is already a win in itself, and it’s incredible to be involved in that.”

You still have a chance to enter the awards. Learn more about the entry rules here. We hope to see you at the event on the 5th of October in Manchester!