Paula explains how she juggles panicked relatives and tardy builders with al fresco performance reviews and achieving 100% customer satisfaction.
7.00am – My day begins in a slightly unusual fashion: standing in my house waiting for builders to arrive, wielding a list. We’re having an extension built so I’ve got a RAG status report to show the tasks I’m happy with, the ones that need work and new ones to be done – Red, Amber, Green. You can see their poor hearts sink when they see me with my list…
7.30am – I live in Fleet, Hampshire but the office is in Basingstoke. So I’m in the car and on the way to drop off my 2 young kids. My brother calls. He’s getting married and still hasn’t ordered the flower girl’s dress. He asks me to get my daughter out of the car and to measure her. They’re getting married in 2 week’s time – what’s wrong with him?!
8.00am – All of which means I’m a bit later to work than usual. I have a one-to-one with my manager first.
9.00am – Straight into a Customer Experience Leaders meeting. There’s great news that across the claims area (my role as Head of Customer Care is what other companies call Head of Claims) in Dorking and Basingstoke, we got 100% in a customer satisfaction survey. It’s a brilliant achievement and I’ll be buying cakes for the team on Monday – but we’re also challenged about how we can do better. How are we getting feedback? Does it meet our needs and the needs of customers?
10.00am – Next up is a weekly manager’s meeting. At the end of last year we changed the way we work. We used to have teams that just looked at Group Income Protection claims and others that looked after all our other products. But now we work end-to-end, meaning that regardless of the product, you’re dealing with the same people. With such a big change it’s important we keep a close eye on workloads and making sure service standards are the same – or better – than they were before.
12.00pm – I run into town for some last-minute/panic shopping. I need some clothes and medication for a trip to India with my husband next week. 24 hours after we get back we’re off to Ireland for my brother’s wedding so it’s rather busy at the moment…
2.00pm – We’ve reinvented our one-on-ones to be ‘performance experience’. This afternoon I do one with a direct report of mine, walking around the beautiful Eastrop Park (I need to get my 10,000 steps somehow!). The new approach to reviewing performance and development asks 3 questions: 1. What worked well? 2. What could have gone differently? 3. What are you going to do next?
I love this part of the job. The team member prepares the answers in advance and we have a discussion around them. It’s a great way to have a true understanding of performance and puts the initiative back on the employee to think deeply about their role.
3.00pm – I’m at my desk dealing with queries, responding to emails and reviewing the induction programme for a new staff member that’s starting shortly. I’ve worked in my current role for 2 and half years, but I also worked for Unum in the past as an insurance nurse. The people and culture are 2 major points that brought me back to Unum – plus there’s a real feel-good factor about putting the customer at the centre of everything.
4.00pm – Conference call with the sales team ahead of a customer meeting next week. We’re reviewing how we manage the account. Then it’s back to my desk for more emails.
5.30pm – Off to collect my kids from the childminder. Homework, supper, bath, bed. Then it’s all about checking the work the builders have done and making a whole new list for the morning!