International Women's Day: Jacqui Haughey

“I have had a very varied career to date, with my first role being in the Facilities Management industry in Northern Ireland, which I did for 10 years. I absolutely loved this job and the variety that it offered, I know it’s a cliché but it’s true that no two days were ever the same. I was quite young at the time and this, combined with being a female, meant that I faced quite a lot of resistance from the male civil servants that worked in the building but this just made me more determined to show them that I was very good at my job.

“After moving to England, I secured a role in the insurance industry as a Regional Claims Manager with an Irish company that was branching out into the UK. My job involved going out to support people who had been in car accidents to help them fill in insurance forms. Not only did I really enjoy that face-to-face contact, but I also had a huge incentive to help them as I only got paid when the claim was settled! I managed this process for every DE postcode and this helped me see some areas of Derbyshire that I never would have otherwise and it’s a beautiful county, but unfortunately the company pulled out of the UK and I was left looking for a new role in the insurance sector.

Jacqui Haughey“My first job with CET was on the front-line as a claims handler and ever since I have never lost focus of the essential role that this plays in the customer journey. We were a much smaller company then and I got involved in helping out across multiple areas of the business to the extent that people even began to call me The Mother of CET!

“As the company progressed a role came up running the service centre with responsibility for bringing people into the business with the right cultural fit, but it wasn’t something that I felt I had the right skillset for. However, senior people at CET kept asking me to just give it a go for three months and I eventually agreed and now, five years on, the rest is history. The company is great in respect of promoting from within and having faith in people, when perhaps they don’t have it themselves.

“Since we moved to a homeworking model we now have a much bigger pool of talent to choose from rather than focus purely on the East Midlands and we are actively recruiting from right across the UK and even beyond, as the only equipment anyone needs is a good Wi-Fi connection, a laptop and a telephone. For example, when lockdown lifted in the summer of 2020 I wanted to visit my father in Ireland and I discussed with senior management the idea of me simply relocating my workstation to there for a week and they were completely happy for me to do so, with absolutely no negative impact on service delivery.

“When somebody joins our customer facing teams we need them to be empathetic to the caller’s needs but this isn’t something that we can teach, however if they do have this then we definitely can help them to understand our systems and how to use SIMPLIFi. We have a real ethos across the business of ensuring that we have the right person in the right role and I firmly believe that we have always practiced that and, as a result, the company has never been in a better position than it is today.”

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