Three graduates (from AUT and MIT) joined Mercury during the year as part of a programme to attract new skills and thinking to our business while introducing our sector to potential future leaders. The graduates spent their first few months engaging directly with customers in Mercury’s award-winning Contact Centre.
The graduates brought up-to-the-minute IT skills, fresh thinking and energy. They gained and then have been able to share with Mercury a fresh perspective and their valuable understanding of our customers.
Our Contact Centre teams also benefitted from having the IT graduates onboard. They contributed to process improvements and a new system for working with customers. The Digital Experience (DX) team are early adopters of Mercury’s High Performance Team framework and have utilised this in integrating the graduates into their team.
"I started as a graduate in the ICT team last August.
I’m definitely a ‘people person’. When I was at school and studying I worked for eight years part time in retail. I loved the customers, and now I work for Mercury it’s still all about the connections with the people I work with, as well as knowing that the work makes a positive difference for our customers.
One of the things that attracted me to Mercury was our commitment to renewable energy. It’s great that Mercury cares about what’s happening in the world, and it’s something that people of my generation particularly relate to. It’s rewarding to see from the inside the different ways that Mercury tries to connect with its customers and to think about power in different ways such as through Evie, the classic car converted to run on electricity.
Mercury seems ready to change as the world changes.
I started off with three months in Mercury’s customer Contact Centre. This is the first time Mercury started ICT graduates there, and it’s an amazing way of getting to understand the business, and actually meeting (on the phones) a lot of Mercury customers.
New Contact Centre team members have a full four-week induction, with lots of support for learning and there’s a really uplifting spirit evident. In all the teams I’ve been in there’s a feeling of being able to express yourself and be who you really are at work, and I really like the encouragement of individuality.
Right from the beginning in the Contact Centre, we were asked to keep a list of anything that raised a question for us in terms of process, systems, or how they were working. At the end of our time there we had a meeting with the manager and the team leads and ran through the list. We really felt that they listened.
Starting off in the Contact Centre now helps my ICT roles. I’m able to connect what I learned about the business and our customers with how our IT systems and processes impact our customers. An example is knowing the experience our customers have when they join us. It’s been great to have that fresh knowledge that I can share with the rest of the ICT team.
My managers also really encourage Mercury’s 'Curious and Original' Attitude. If there’s something I don’t understand, or something I think isn’t quite right, I ask. My managers have told me: “you’re here to shake up the status quo and challenge us”. I’ve felt very empowered that I can speak up."
"More and more of our customers are choosing to engage with Mercury through our digital channels. I am a member of the Digital Experience (DX) team. We work mainly on the Mercury website and the online customer portal My Account, to make these experiences easier and more streamlined for our customers. That’s how we connect to Mercury’s mission of Energy Freedom. This makes business sense too, as it differentiates us from our competitors.
There are seven of us in the team, representing different areas of ICT. But it’s actually much bigger than that. The work we do is informed by our colleagues from Marketing, Customer Insights and the Contact Centre. They get feedback and ideas from our customers and that filters through to us, to make the technical changes.
I really enjoy working with the different Mercury teams, and that the work we do has a positive impact on our customers. It makes it easier for them to engage with Mercury. The other thing I enjoy is the different way of working in the DX team. In the digital world we know we need to move very fast. With advances in technology, a year-long project might not end up being the best solution for our customers. Our new way of working delivers small bites of new features and continually assesses whether we’re doing the best thing for our customers.
Every two weeks we make a plan for what we’re going to do, with the goal to build, test and roll out something useful.
For this approach to work, the DX team members have to have both the ability and the willingness to communicate. This means actively contributing to discussions and also listening respectfully to other points of view.
We also need to be able to deal with uncertainty. Sometimes you’ve got to give something a go without being sure of success. The two week pace of what we deliver forces us to do that because you haven’t always got time to explore things into the real nitty gritty detail.
The other thing is resilience. Sometimes things don’t work out. But you learn from that and then you go forward.
I enjoy working with graduates like Siobhan. They are smart and enthusiastic and they pick things up quickly. They’re keen to give things a go, and they own the job and carry it through to the end.
Sometimes they’ll see things from a different perspective. Because they’ve had experience in a different part of the business such as the Mercury Contact Centre, they bring direct customer focus to our team through that experience and their conversations with customers.
The graduates ask us questions that make us question ourselves and the way we work. It’s a real opportunity for us as a team to talk about what we do and to learn. Sometimes you get into a routine and it’s only when someone new comes in that you really look at how you’re doing something. You’re delivering stuff together, and also learning as well."
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A high performance team is a diverse group of individuals who all have opinions and different thinking styles, and who are supported to give their best to achieve great results.
We use the collective brain power of the team to make things easy for our customers - faster.