1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I manage and look after the Helpdesk team of around eleven people. This involves organising rotas and the allocation of day to day tasks, providing mentoring and coaching and some low level HR responsibilities, such as reviews and return-to-works. I also deal with second-line queries and issues from the customer.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The skills that have been developed include leadership and motivation, as these are things used every day to be able to manage a team of people in the workplace. I have also learnt how to view people according to their skills/abilities/learning styles, and how to treat them accordingly.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have very much enjoyed the programme, it feels good to be recognised as one of the strongest in the team and be rewarded thus. Though there have been a lot of difficulties in taking this new role, I would definitely not want to return to my previous role having experienced this.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The first structure was done very well - all meetings and learner sessions were booked well in advance to allow planning for holiday etc. Some difficulty around christmas due to Skills Coach issues - went without contact from QA for quite a long time, however now being sorted and returning back to normal.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer has a fairly relaxed approach - they leave me to get on with things and arrange my own times for meetings/time to do assignments. I have never once been denied the time to do anything LEAD related by my employer, and they have done all signatures/reviews as needed.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
As stated before there were some issues with skills coaches when my first one left + QA were unable to replace. However the interim skills coach has been very helpful though only able to communicate via phone, and has marked assignments etc. The tutors have also been very helpful and always offered their personal details for any questions/issues we have.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification and learning sessions have certainly made me think and behave more like a manager than previously - I am able to separate myself from the day-to-day world of the job and consider more detached and long-term plans. I also believe that the sessions to come about project management and finance will also help improve me further.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Not as such - I believe this would be very difficult to organise as people can travel from a long way away to get into work - not everyone lives in Basingstoke. A lot of people also have unusual working hours eg nights, weekends - this would limit a lot of people from joining teams. The only way to organise things like this are outside of work informal get-togethers.
9a. Would you recommend Gist Ltd to a friend?
It's a big company with a lot of opportunity for development - not just within head office but at depots all over country - can experience new places if so desired or stay close to your local area. There are also several different departments/areas you can get involved with - if you prefer working in an office you can join NPC/CET, if you prefer getting involved/'hands dirty' can join a warehouse/site team also.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Gist Ltd?
Be open-minded - be flexible with you working hours, you will not get the full experience/development by only working Monday-Friday 9-5. Be available and enthusiastic to try different things - visiting/secondments at depots, seeing supplier sites - this will really help your reputation. Don't just sit back and do what everyone else does - speak up about change/improvements you can see around your area.
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