Currently on secondment at the Age UK information and advice line based in Ashburton, Devon, Tracey Gregory’s role as contact centre team manager comes with great responsibility and reward.
Third Sector Jobs' Wonderful Workplaces caught up with her to find out more about how she landed her role, what she finds most rewarding, and her advice for those looking to develop their charity careers.
Tracey started her journey with Age UK in March 2015 as a customer services representative (CSR) within the contact centre. As she explains: "During my time as a CSR I always focused on my achievements against the personal targets that I was set by my manager, whilst taking on board any feedback and coaching that I was provided with as part of my personal development."
She soon gained an interest in passing on her knowledge to new employees joining the contact centre, and subsequently she was successful in her application to become a lead customer services representative - a role she commenced in November 2016.
"This involved training and developing new recruits which I enjoyed immensely", enthuses Tracey. "Whilst in this role I also assisted the contact centre team managers with recruiting and call quality monitoring, which gave me a greater insight and interest into the managerial role."
This resulted in her undertaking a number of supervisory and management training courses. She adds: "When the opportunity arose for a secondment to the contact centre team manager role, I thought that this was an ideal opportunity for me to ‘dip my toe’ into the water. And so far so good, I’m greatly enjoying the experience."
An "amazing environment" to work in
In her current role, Tracey supports team members along with the other two contact centre team managers. She has 12 customer services representatives reporting to her directly, who she supports and coaches with call quality and key performance monitoring, as well as individual development. She also assists with the recruitment of new staff into the contact centre and the general day-to-day running of the contact centre operation.
On what it’s like to work in the contact centre at Age UK, she comments: "It’s like an extended family, with everyone working together as a team and having the same goal of delivering an outstanding service to everyone we come into contact with, both internally and externally. It is an amazing environment to work in and be part of.
"What I find most rewarding is working for the ‘go to’ organisation for elderly people, their relatives and carers – everyone seems to be so appreciative of the work that we do. Being the first point of contact to Age UK is a huge responsibility and being able to assist them with their enquiries is the most rewarding aspect."
Tracey adds that the most challenging part of her job is "learning all of the components of my new role and being accomplished in them throughout my secondment period."
For those looking to develop their charity careers, Tracey emphasises the importance of learning and development: "If you strive to develop your career further, take full advantage of any training, coaching or mentoring opportunities available to you. And be your best self to make sure that you stand out from the crowd when the time comes."
What makes a wonderful workplace in the charity sector? Tracey believes "a good environment to work in, great colleagues throughout all levels of employment, good team spirit and togetherness" all contribute to creating a great place to work and are elements you should look out for when looking for an employer.
"Having outside interests and a good work/life balance is key to career fulfilment too", she adds. When she’s not working she enjoys reading, going to the cinema, spending time with family and showing her pedigree Texel sheep at local agricultural shows.
And how does she sum up what it’s like to work at Age UK? "Working at Age UK gives me a great sense of achievement – I feel honoured to say that I work for Age UK."