Leaders should have enough time and focus to help their team perform better, but it is also essential for them to understand how the team’s output is connected to the organisation’s values and goals, a veteran contact centre manager said.
Sarah Mannion, Global Support Centre Manager for Fisher & Paykel Appliances, believes in having a structure where leaders understand the team’s value to the company and in being able to coach every staff member they manage.
“Connecting people to the voice of the customer, to our values, to our purpose, and making that whole connection right through the roles, so everybody’s clear on where they’re going – that brings the whole structure together,” Sarah once said.
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This was what she did exactly for Fisher & Paykel at the start of the pandemic, when they learnt that their team leaders had been performing administrative day-to-day actions so much that they had little to no time to understand the business and coach their members.
Sarah said they had to take a step back, look at their structure, and make some adjustments that would free up their team leaders and give them more time for coaching. The restructure led to the creation of a shift coordinator function for one of the team members who had leadership skills.
The result of the restructure helped them through the pandemic. Team leaders were able to maximise their potential, productivity increased, and shift coordinators were trained to become team leaders.
For Sarah, the increase in movements within the company suggested that they hadn’t just resolved operational issues, but they had also given much clearer career paths to employees. Today, this has been key to retaining staff.
What Sarah did, however, was no guesswork. She has decades of experience in both HR and finance operations, so it was a matter of combining all the learnings she had over the years and applying them in her work today.
Sarah has been with Fisher & Paykel for over 15 years and as Global Support Centre Manager in the past four years. Before that, she also spent more than five years as CHRO for Fisher & Paykel Finance.