Chantelle Graham knows she’s done her job when those around her succeed. Since 2019, she’s worked in one of Vocus’ toughest roles, leading our Operations Command Centre - a highly-technical team of 35 engineers who work 24/7 to manage our network and support customer needs. But after 15+ years in telco, Chantelle’s learned a thing or two about getting the best from people.
“Vocus was looking for strong people to lead the organisation. They were keen to have more diversity at the higher level, and I had the right skill mix of management and leadership experience within a telco. It was a tough choice as I was actually really enjoying the job I was in, but it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”
“The fact that Vocus is a challenger telco with a strong plan for the future really appealed to me. I also recognised that diversity is very important here; not just diversity in terms of men, women and different cultures, but diversity of thought. I am not a technical person, as many in this role have been before me, but they recognised what I have to contribute as a leader. They took a leap when hiring me and I think that says a lot about them.”
Even without the technical expertise, Chantelle quickly earnt the respect of her team.
“I work with passionate people who have high expertise in their area. I don’t have that same level of expertise, so I had to earn their respect. I’m learning and challenging myself more every day, but technical expertise is not what makes a great manager.”
“To me, a great manager provides support and guidance, allowing individuals to grow and develop at their own pace. They mentor people appropriately, provide clear and constructive feedback, and communicate really well. I also think it’s important to get to know your people; learn things, ask questions. One thing we have shared as a common interest in the team is learning about each other’s cultures and values.”
Chantelle says major issues can arise in workplaces when people don’t know what’s happening, or feel that they have no say in changes.
“People need to feel that they’re being taken seriously and listened to. I try to make sure people always feel comfortable asking me questions, providing feedback and making suggestions. Of course, we can’t implement every suggestion, but I’ll always explain why we’re doing something, or why something hasn’t been done. The team deserve that. That’s how I like to work.”
“Vocus has that smaller company feel to it. There are less layers, meaning you can influence your stakeholders and make decisions quicker. Employees are seen and opinions are heard – you don’t just feel like a number like you often do at large organisations.”
Chantelle says the organisation also does well at following through on initiatives to enhance the company culture. From monthly onsite ‘Vocus Days’ to health and wellbeing programs – if they say they’re going to do something, they do it. “Leadership absolutely recognise that our business is 24/7, so it’s key that our team gets the support when we need it.”
“At Vocus, you can have a great career ahead of you as there are plenty of opportunities to grow while getting access to meaningful work that solves real problems. You’ll be able to learn from the best while working in a caring environment.”
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