We’re stepping up our commitment to digital skills and innovation
We’re stepping up our commitment to digital skills and innovation with the creation of a brand new, world-class technology hub in Leeds.
Our new tech hub will see the creation of up to 400 highly-skilled jobs and is already open in Leeds. Its focus is on designing and developing our next generation of websites and apps across the product offering. Teams will also work on some of our most popular digital and online platforms within Sky Sports, Sky News, Online Service and Digital Trading.
Based at Allied London’s Leeds Dock, in the heart of the city, the hub is already a dynamic and creative environment for our tech teams, expanding their skills in order to continue to grow our technology for customers.
We’re also showing our commitment to those starting their careers in technology by creating our second Software Engineering Academy, in Leeds. It will give graduates a hands-on, accelerated learning programme, providing practical, on-the-job training including opportunities to develop and support software for teams across Sky.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive of Sky, commented: “Digital skills and innovation are at the heart of what we do at Sky, helping us give customers the best possible TV experience, whether at home or on the move. With our investment in Leeds, we’re creating one of the largest digital communities in the UK. We are looking forward to bringing hundreds of new jobs to the city and giving young people the opportunity to build their skills and help shape the digital services of the future.“
“Here you’re in control of your own journey.”
- Name: Shelley
- Job title: Customer Advisor
- What area of Sky do you work in? I work in Help TV.
- How did you get to where you are now? When I started here I didn’t know much about how Sky worked or its products, so I looked forward to learning all about it. 2 years down the line, things are a lot different; my knowledge and confidence has grown. I've been given the support to gain some great skills. Now what seemed before like something challenging feels like second nature to me.
- Describe a typical day… It’s difficult to describe a typical day, every day brings something new. , I usually spend time taking lots of calls and resolving customer enquiries. No two calls are the same. You can be explaining a bill to one customer and the next selling broadband. Interestingly, many customers aren't aware of the products they have and what they can do with them, so I spend quite a lot of my day talking to them and explaining how they can benefit from these little extras. We also have sessions which give us the opportunity to sit with mangers and discuss how we’re getting on. At these meetings I can ask to work on other areas that interest me, whether it's listening to other teams or researching our products. Here you’re in control of your own journey. There's always something different going on and the chance to learn new things.
- What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? I always try to do right thing for my customer; finding out what I can do make them feel valued and happy.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? The work/life balance here is great because of the really convenient shifts. I have a lot of hobbies and my work allows me to do them more often. I enjoy time with my cocker spaniel, pole dancing and recently I’ve started training for tough mudder. I also go out with my colleagues quite often for meals, coffee and of course nights out. This year I’m hoping to get involved in the mentor support scheme.
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Definitely the people I work with. It’s like being in a little community, everyone is really helpful, approachable and friendly. People really do go above and beyond here to make it a really fun and great place to work.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Go for it! You’ll really enjoy it.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I can milk a goat.
“For the Sky Store team to win a social award is a brilliant achievement. We are looking forward to more social innovation in the future”
Our people at Sky Store have recently won an award for an ingenious way of getting customers excited about their Buy & Keep service back in October 2014 - and it involved firing DVDs at 30mph! Take a look at the video above.
To let people know about the Sky Store Buy & Keep movie service and help everyone understand how it works, last year the Sky Store teams designed and built a Twitter powered, DVD launcher! Live for one day only, audiences watched the stream of action and fired DVDs onto shelves by tweeting #ShootTheMovie. If they landed on a shelf or hit a star target, they won movie prizes galore.
And this brilliantly crazy idea didn't go un-noticed. Sky Store #ShootTheMovie was crowned the winner of ‘Best Interactive, Entertainment Website, App, Game or Campaign’ for 2015 at The Drum DADI awards this year. It fought off competition from Google Maps, Sainsbury’s and Kellogg’s.
Simon, Product Director, Sky Store “For the Sky Store team to win a social award is a brilliant achievement. Our Buy & Keep service had only been live for 6 months so it was great to be recognised for a very successful and distinctive campaign. We are looking forward to more social innovation in the future”
“Sky has made being included easy…”
Last month marked International Transgender Remembrance Day and we caught up with Katie, Communications Specialist, about her experience of inclusion here.
Katie, "International Transgender Remembrance Day, marks thoughts for people who have lost their lives dealing with their dysphoria of not feeling comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth.”
"48% of transgender people in the UK under the age of 26 have attempted suicide whilst dealing with the reality of being trans, whilst others have had their own lives taken for just being different.
I’m transgender and I feel lucky to be working for a company that has been inclusive and supportive of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), my treatment here has been impeccable but other workplaces around the world aren’t so accommodating.
I came out at Sky a number of years ago whilst working in Sky Voice & Broadband Operations and the support I had from my work colleagues has been great, I’m treated just like any other employee.
It has been a tough journey for battling my own feelings of inadequacy and public ridicule but I’m thankful my employer has made one part of my transition extremely easy.
The tide is slowly starting to turn in the UK & Europe with the acceptance of being trans and by and large the media attention has helped but I can assure you Caitlyn Jenner’s journey is far from the reality many people face on a daily basis!
We’re quite a small community within the LGBT spectrum so I can imagine for some people working at Sky it would appear there aren’t many of us working here, so I thought I’d put my face out there and let you know that you aren’t alone.
“Well done guys you are truly awesome!”
Our Sky Retail Teams pride themselves on showing the best of us to every single customer and, recently, two Store Managers, one Sales Advisor and two stores have been recognised for doing exactly that.
First up is Store Manager, Vishal Mehta, from our Brent Cross Sky Retail store who was awarded Employee of the year in the Brent Cross Customer Service Awards.
The award is given to recognise and reward high-quality and innovative customer service given by an employee within Brent Cross, one of the UK’s most challenging retail environments, where expectations and sales are equally high.
Area Manager, Neeta Patel said of Vishal: “Vishal is simply a unique store manager and absolutely stands out in how he leads the team at Brent Cross to deliver a great customer experience and show the best of Sky, whilst not losing sight of how important the customer journey is.”
Store Manager, Ramnik Limbani, (left) and Sales Advisor, Robert Timms, from our Uxbridge store were both recognised by Centre Manager, Angela Vieira.
Ramnik and Robert were given the awards as the Centre Management teams received feedback about the excellent levels of service that their customers had received.
Our Sky Retail store in Aberdeen Union Square recently picked up an award for the ‘Best in Mall’ retailer. Store Manager, Azim Merchant, collected the award from local newsreader, Andrea Bryman, along with Area Manager Brian Smith.
Area Manager, Brian Smith: “The whole team’s delighted. It's a very high-end centre with Apple, Sony, and Hugo Boss stores amongst many, so to win this award is fantastic.”
Our Sky Retail store in Leicester Highcross also picked up the ‘Best Retailer in Mall’ award, thanks to the team, Caroline Kelly, Daniel Saleh Izadkhast and Anil Patel.
Area Manager, Ady Brookes told us: “This is the second year running that the team have won this award. Well done guys you are truly awesome!”
“The teams are doing an amazing job…”
This week we celebrated success at the Customer Contact Association Awards in Glasgow. Eight of our nominees were on the shortlist and recognised for the fantastic job they do every day.
Chris Stylianou, our Managing Director, Customer Service Group, said: “It's fantastic to win awards like this! The teams are doing an amazing job and, as well as recognising their hard work, it shows that what we're doing is the right thing for our business and, more importantly, for our customers."
The Winners were
- Professional of the Year – Manager - Debbie Rankin
- Back Office Team of the Year - Customer & Advisor Experience Team
- Corporate Social Responsibility in Customer Contact - Sky Academy & Sky Sports Living For Sport - People Plan Team
- Contact Centre Team of the Year - Business to Customer - Newcastle Service Contact Centre
- Contact Centre Team of the Year - Business to Customer - Subject Matter Expert Team
- Professional of the Year – Manager - Michael Ryan
- Professional of the Year – Advisor - Cheree Geddes (BBCOE)
- Professional of the Year – Leader - Ben Morrison (Leeds)
"I never thought I’d have the opportunity to get into the industry at this age.”
My time as an Apprentice in the Software Engineering Academy
I’ve always been interested in technology and knew I wanted to do something within this area. However I became more focused on my career in Year 10 when I had to make those important choices; so decided to study Computer Science and I’ve been coding ever since!
Until I saw the Software Engineering Academy scheme on the Starting Out website I never thought I’d have the opportunity to get into the industry at this age. Apart from all the experience I’ve gained, being an apprentice, I’m also working towards achieving Level 4 Certificate in IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professionals. . The best thing about my apprenticeship is that I get to work on various Sky products and feel like a valued member of the team.
Before the start of my apprenticeship I went on a 4-week boot camp where I learnt agile principles, Java & TDD. At the end I was given a task in a team and the opportunity to present to a range of people from Sky. This boot camp was really useful as it’s where I learnt a lot of the core skills that I’m now using on my projects.
After this, all the other Leeds apprentices and I travelled down to London for an induction, not just about software but also about the other departments at Sky. During the induction we had the opportunity to speak to senior people and had a Q&A with Jeremy Darroch, which was amazing! Also the networking event was great, as it gave me a chance to speak to current apprentices and hear about their experience working here.
The project I’m currently working on is the “Sky Way finder” which is an interactive map for the new Leeds’s Dock Campus for mobiles. I work with other apprentice’s and graduates on tasks within this project.. We also have a Product Owner and Scrum Master from the business who are involved in the project; they keep us on track and support us. These projects have given me the chance to learn lots of new technologies, I started with web development but now I’ve moved on to Mobile development and I’m particularly enjoying swift!
What I love about working here is the culture; it’s a really nice, relaxed environment to work in, also everyone is willing to help me, even if its time consuming. Sky is a really fun place to be an apprentice and since I’ve started I’ve felt really welcomed by everyone. This apprenticeship opened up a lot of opportunities for me that I wouldn’t have had otherwise had access to and I look forward to my future here!
The annual Attitude Awards celebrate people who have shaped the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community
The annual Attitude Awards celebrate people who have shaped the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and we continued our ongoing sponsorship of the awards held at the Royal Banqueting Hall in London’s Westminster at the end of October.
This year, our people from the LGBT@Sky employee network mingled with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, rugby player Keegan Hirst, Sir Ian McKellen, Lorraine Kelly, Boy George and Fleur East at the event which raised money for the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Our LGBT@Sky network is a group run by volunteers from across Sky. It’s a support and social network open to anyone who’s interested in getting involved and helping us be a better place to work and somewhere where everyone can be ‘just be’ themselves.
Sky Sports presenter, Mark McAdam presented the Attitude Active Award to the England women’s national football team – heroes of the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Mark said, “Being part of this year’s Attitude Awards was a totally new experience for me - I’m more used to cold football stadiums than banqueting halls - and it was great to meet so many people who’ve done so much to create a more inclusive society. It was a big honour to be asked to present an award and to be part of the team representing Sky’s commitment to diversity.”
We also sponsored three ‘Icon’ awards recognising achievements in promoting acceptance and inclusivity in the UK and worldwide:
- Icon Award for Lifetime Achievement: April Ashley, one of the first British people to undergo sex reassignment surgery
- Icon Award for Outstanding Achievement: Holly Johnson, who helped pave the way for generations of gay popstars
- Icon Award for Outstanding Achievement: activist and artist Yoko Ono
Stuart Murphy, Director of Entertainment, said: “We are proud of being an employer that welcomes people irrespective of their colour, gender, age or sexual orientation. Sponsoring these awards is an important demonstration of those values.”
This year our Shine awards celebrated the people who live and breathe our vision of offering the best service in the country.
Last month, over 300 of our GoldStar winners showed up in style to Prestonfield House in Edinburgh to celebrate the 2015 Shine Awards!
Shine is our recognition scheme for everyone in the Customer Service Group and rewards people who live and breathe our vision of offering the best service in the country.
Over the past year, more than 106,000 Shine recognitions were sent. The best of those are our GoldStar winners, who joined us to celebrate last night.
Our own Ru Scott from Internal Communications was back to host the awards for a second year. He was joined by Chris Stylianou, Managing Director, Customer Service Group, and Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan.
Guests were treated to performances by swing crooner Andy Miller and Saltire Beat, a band consisting of bagpipers, guitarists and drummers who played a mix of rock and pop classics.
All of our guests were GoldStar winners, but there were ten individuals and three teams called up on stage who really stood out. They were recognised in three categories for offering the best service in the country.
Well done everyone!
“Our function helps to drive change throughout all levels of the business. “
I confess being an Auditor is not known as being one of the most glamourous roles in Finance. We’re seen as dull, grey individuals with a liking for numbers, spreadsheets and rules. “Worse than a traffic warden” is one way that my job role has been defined.
But I’m proud to be an Auditor, particularly here at Sky. Our function helps to drive change throughout all levels of the business. We challenge the status quo to create operating efficiencies and identify opportunities to add value to both the customer journey and more traditional commercial terms. There are few roles in Finance which embrace Sky’s behaviours so fully. Take “Change and improvement” for example – this is my job!
I’m proud to be part of a great team, but my role doesn’t stop there. I’m in the privileged position to evaluate processes and procedures not just across the Finance function but across all levels of Sky’s operations. For example my own review schedule is diverse and in the last 10 months has included our Bigger Picture initiatives, HR processes as well as more standard Finance functions. I’ve also been involved in assessing compliance with our insurance obligations and spent time in our Milan office.
There’s always something a bit different to work on and looking forward to the next 6 months, I’m likely to audit: complaints handling, compliance reviews, the Irish and German operations and even our Bulgarian call centres!.. So for those looking into a career in Finance don’t let the stereotypes stop you.