“I’ve become a better coach and a better leader”
- Name: Margaret
- Job title: Customer Experience Leader
- How did you get to where you are now? I was an Advisor for 7 years then applied for the Customer Experience Leader role. I’ve now worked here 15 years and love it!
- How have you made a difference in your role? I’ve become a better coach, better leader and have developed my people skills more. I’ve also built a strong profile of my individual skills which is recognised and called upon to support others by sharing best practice.
- Describe a typical day… I work on a range of things from coaching, one to ones, HR process management projects, group sessions about service quality and do sickness reviews. I also review the weekly performance of my team, which includes looking at the teams’ stats, productivity, and quality.
- What’s your work environment like? Awesome!! Great fun, fast paced, can be loud, and very interactive.
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Coaching and supporting others, as well as our buzz and fun days.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? Great! I work part time as I have a little girl who is 4 years old but I can still manage a team of 12 Advisors.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Develop people and coaching skills. Also learn how to become a manager and a leader, so you can lead by example.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I did karate for 12 years!
“It has been challenging but also extremely rewarding.”
On the 18th November Sky Q was unveiled as the next-generation home entertainment system, opening up a whole new way of watching TV. Sky Q creates a seamless, effortless TV viewing experience, which Sky calls ‘Fluid Viewing’. With Sky Q, it is easier than ever to watch your favourite TV, whether live channels, recordings or on demand, in any room, with the new wireless Sky Q mini box or with the Sky Q app on your tablet.
The Sky Finance team played a crucial role in supporting the business throughout the evolution of the product, partnering with those closest to the product and ensuring they were on hand to give advice and assistance where required. We’re all extremely exciting about seeing the final product.
Laura, Finance: ‘I joined Sky Q in September 2013, controlling costs on such a fast paced and complex programme has been challenging but also extremely rewarding. Finance worked closely with Sky Q commercial teams from all areas of Sky. Forging strong working relationships with these teams meant we were kept up to date with the programme status at all times. This was key to keeping the programme’s financial position visible to the Exec and senior stakeholders. Being part of the biggest programme we’ve delivered for years has been really exciting, particularly seeing these innovative products go from a vision to reality.’
Neil, Finance: ‘I was lucky enough to be working with Home Service and Supply when the product was in its early development stages. Our team helped the business review previous product launches and understand cost erosion profiles which helped Commercial negotiations. I also attended planning sessions with the business, reviewing product road maps helping us to understand the key steps in getting the product to market’
Simon, Finance: ‘The whole project has been a fantastic learning opportunity for me across different teams and roles. From first being involved in Dec 2012 as part of my responsibility for set top box hardware whilst in Home Service and Supply Finance I was then lucky enough to continue to work on the project and help to develop the commercial proposition working with the SMG business team to present a business plan for the first Sky Board presentation in Spring 2014. My experience and learning then continued whilst helping to develop and refine the launch plans for our Customer Service Group proposition and ensuring business readiness and flexibility in our Engineer workforce.
“We’re a small team who work really well together, so I feel really supported by them.”
- Name: Tricia
- Job title: Delivery Manager
- What area of Sky do you work in? Platform Services, that’s part of Conditional Access Services in Broadcast Services so Technology
- How did you get to where you are now? I started my career in Software Support, and later moved into Project Management.
- Describe a typical day… It’s all about the projects: keeping up with what is actually happening as well as anticipating what might happen. We need results and we also need to be ready and prepared for whatever is thrown at the team. Occasionally, we even get to celebrate success: when a new service goes live, or a new organisation starts using an existing service.
- What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? Delivery, which means how soon is the project going to be completed. Also keeping upbeat & cheerful when the team has identified ‘another’ bug which delays the next success, reminding everyone that together we have prevented something that might have harmed the platform from going live.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? Better than anywhere else I’ve ever worked. We’re a small team who work really well together, so I feel really supported by them.
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The brilliant people with whom I get to work and the new and emerging technology we bring to life. It’s also pretty good being in and around Sky Studios and of course, the amazing new gym.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Get some experience of managing technology projects in a variety of different environments, so that you have both a skill to offer and some perspective on what is needed that is specific to Sky.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I dance social tango.
“I work in Livingston and I love it, it has a great sense of community and the people are amazing.”
- Name: Vicky
- Job title: Customer Experience Leader
- How did you get to where you are now? With hard work, determination and never giving up. I started as an advisor, then role model, SME and now am a leader- I absolutely love my job!
- If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role? I believe I’ve made a difference to the journey of advisors here by helping, coaching and giving them the best support possible. I’ve grown so much since becoming a leader, I love it!
- Describe a typical day… Coming in early to get ready for my shift, creating briefs, workshops, coaching my team and making sure they’re all ok and have everything they need in order to do an amazing job and give our customers the best service. We also regularly play team games and reward the advisors who have great conversations with our customers.
- What’s your work environment like? I work in Sky 4, Livingston and I love it, it has a great sense of community and the people are amazing. We’ve just had a whole revamp here and it looks amazing.
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I love helping people, seeing them succeed and grow, this makes it all worthwhile.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? I think my job is great and would like to think I’ll still be leading people in 5 years, I also fancy being involved in the training and recruitment side, so a seconded role could be great.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? Being a mother it can be tough juggling work and life but here it’s very flexible and balancing my work is made as easy as it can for me.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? I’d say – do it! Believe in yourself and go grab it. It’s such an amazing job and so rewarding.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I don’t think it’s any secret… I’m a total Belieber!
“I love being at the centre of what is going on, helping the team and seeing new product features coming to life.”
- Name: Charlotte
- Job title: Scrum Master
- What area of Sky do you work in? Sky Q
- How did you get to where you are now? I joined Sky last year as a Technical Analyst after being approached by Jenna, one of their internal recruiters. I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to join a fast growing and highly respected company. After working as a Technical Analyst for a year I applied for the position of Scrum Master on my team and was successful.
- How have you made a difference in your role? As a Scrum Master your team relies on you to not only remove things which may be stopping them doing their work but also to make sure they have all they need for their role and encourage their personal development. I’d like to think I’ve made a big difference to my team. We develop software using Agile methods. I come from a very Agile background and have been able to share my knowledge with the team. This enables us to work together to build a great product.
- Describe a typical day… It has to start with coffee of course; from one of our great on-site coffee bars and perhaps a visit to ‘the Kitchen’ if I’m in early enough for breakfast. I have a standup at 10 am with my team, each member of the team updates on what they are working on and if there is anything which is causing them a problem. After that it varies. It’s part of my role to ensure everything is running smoothly and to remove any obstacles the team have. I work with the business acting as a point of contact for new features my team are looking after and also spend some time looking at the current work in development as well as future work and any defects.
- What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? My specialties are software development using Agile methodologies, analysis, testing and team coaching. I have many years of Agile software development experience, I’ve held the roles of Software Tester, Testing Manager, Senior Product Analyst and Technical Analyst.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? Family is the most important for me. I currently take my son to school each day which is great. It’s very flexible here, so I’m able to attend school meetings and work from home when needed.
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The people. I have a great highly skilled team which I’m happy and privileged to be a part of. I love being at the centre of what is going on, helping the team and seeing new product features coming to life.
- What do you think about Sky Q? Until recently Sky Q has been top secret, I’m still very limited on what I can talk about. But what I can say is that I think Sky Q is a fantastic product which our customers will love.
- How does it feel to have been part of the team that developed it? I feel lucky and proud to be part of such a large high profile project. My favourite moment so far was the recent launch of Sky Q and seeing the team’s work coming together.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? You have to be willing to put others first and go the extra mile for your team. The title of Scrum Master in Agile means ‘servant/leader of the team’. No, not to make tea and coffee but to make sure your team have what they need to do their job to the best of their ability. It’s not about telling the team what to do but inspiring them to embrace agile working and working as part of a self-organising team (passing the ball back and forth). To be a Scrum Master you need to have a strong agile background, excellent organisation skills and ideally a history of working in software development. My advice would be to go for it – try to arrange some shadowing perhaps, it’s what you make it.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I was a keen horse rider growing up (a little out of practice now).
“Be inquisitive and don’t be afraid to take on new responsibilities. You might surprise yourself.”
- Name: Yew Chin
- Job title: Broadcast Systems Design Manager
- What area of Sky do you work in? I work in the Technology division of Sky. Specifically in Broadcast Engineering
- How did you get to where you are now? My first job was a trainer. I travelled all over Asia, teaching engineers how to fix portable ENG (Electronic News Gathering) cameras. Then I worked as a Shift Support Engineer in a TV station and was on call for front line support. I had to fix all kinds of equipment from soldering broken microphones to stubborn robots that keep dropping tapes on the floor. After this role, I went on to Project Engineering and was part of teams that initiated changes for the company and now I manage a team of engineers who design Master Control Rooms and Playout Systems.
- Describe a typical day… Fuelled by coffee, the first meeting of the day would the TDA (Technical Design Authority). It’s a drop in session for anyone to come in with a technical query. We also vet Firewall rules associated with Broadcast Networks. With so much going on here, governance associated with a project is normally via routine Project Board meetings. There’s normally one every day. I also meet with product vendors to discuss their product’s roadmap or see if they have anything new to offer.. In between those meetings is a mixture of emails and resourcing activities, and of course more coffee.
- What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? I’m the de-facto “accountant” for the department and have to keep an eye on timesheets, CAPEX targets and expenditure on behalf of my line manager.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? We now have a brand new, awesome gym. Two floors of workout area and classes at morning, noon and evening. My resolution is to try to get in three workouts a week. Fingers crossed that I don’t start to cop out and get lazy. I can see that happening……
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The sheer breadth of technical activities that goes on here. In terms of physical scale and complexity. From running fibre optic cables all around our campus to satellite transponder migrations. We built a new studio while keeping the show on air; this was because we had to sortout issues related to putting a voiceover on at the right time. Never a dull moment.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Be inquisitive and don’t be afraid to take on new responsibilities. You might surprise yourself.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I’m learning Spanish. Hola, mi llama Yew Chin.
“My team is like my second family...”
- Name: Claire-Louise
- Job title: Customer Experience Advisor
- What area of Sky do you work in? Service/ BB Tech Team
- How did you get to where you are now? I’d been working in Retail for 3 years and was looking for a change. A friend of mine was working for Sky and recommended the job. From the moment I looked at the role on the careers website, I knew it was for me. 18 months later, I’m still enjoying every moment.
- Describe a typical day… My day job is to be there for our customers, resolve their queries and review their products and services. I find it really rewarding when I resolve our customer’s queries or tell them more about our great products, which they weren’t aware of. Every day is different we often have fun days (or weeks!) where our teams work together to win prizes or celebration days where we’re recognised for doing a great job! My team is like my second family, not only do we work together but also have a great relationship and often arrange group activities and events outside of work.
- Describe your work/life balance? I have a great work/life balance. Outside of work I meet up with friends and family on a regular basis as well as going to the gym every couple of days. The hours I work give me the flexibility to do all the things I love in my own time.
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The most enjoyable part of my job is the growth of opportunities here. Alongside my day-to-day role, I represent my team at a forum which meets monthly to discuss ideas to make our workplace even better and we set ourselves actions to bring these ideas to life. It’s great to hear feedback from my colleagues about the things I’ve helped create which has been really successful!
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”