“I can go directly to the CEO and COO for support and guidance”
My role is very people focused. I’m constantly engaged in conversation, whether it’s with colleagues or clients. There’s a great variety to the conversations I have, too; one minute I’ll be speaking with the upper management of a blue-chip company about how we can improve their service support, the next I’ll be chatting with a member of my team about what they can do to take the next step in their career.
I pride myself on building trusted relationships with people. There are around 80 people in the team I manage, so it can be tricky finding the time to build a meaningful relationship with every one of them. But that’s something I believe is crucial if we’re going to deliver the ‘Customer First’ service we aspire to. After all, happy employees equals happy customers.
Harnessing the team’s energy
I’m a strong believer in staff recognition. If they’re doing a great job, tell them. Similarly, if they have areas for improvement, they need to be addressed. They can’t mend what you don’t know about, right?
We have quite a young team, which is great for office atmosphere, but it means we need to keep everyone engaged about what they do. It’s crucial we channel people’s energy so their enthusiasm isn’t misplaced.
That’s a challenge many leaders have to manage, but it’s more interesting for us because we’re required by the client to work in secure zones. Due to confidentiality, when working in a secure zone, you’re not allowed to bring in anything to record the information you see and hear, so no phones, recording equipment, or even paper and a pen.
The younger generation are used to using their smartphones all day, every day. So it’s up to us to keep them engaged so they don’t miss their phones, by getting them involved in training, feedback and meetings, in addition to their day-to-day tasks.
Building trust with the client
Ensuring we don’t fall foul of the confidentiality agreement is as much about building trust with the client
as it is keeping my team engaged. A big part of my job is liaising with the client about how we can keep the operation running smoothly. If we didn’t respect the secure zones, they would lose respect for us as an IT support partner.
I also need to make sure I keep up to date with technology – servers, mainframes, operating systems, applications and software – which can be a challenge in itself when you’re managing operations.
I’m really well supported by the Subject Matter Experts
. They understand the products we manage inside and out and maintain that knowledge as the software develops. They not only offer guidance to me, but the engineers on the floor, too. They are the core of the operation in lots of ways.
I’m used to managing large teams, having come from a multinational enterprise information technology company. The difference here is that you’re supported from all angles – not just by my team, but also by the leaders, which wasn’t something I was used to. Here I can go directly to the CEO and COO
for support and guidance. Communication is very open, which makes my job easier and more rewarding.