We sat down with Neal Bartram, one of our longer serving team members (see his career infographic below), to find out exactly why he has stayed with ICON to build his career, and what makes ICON different.
Chris (ICON Communication): What would you say is the one thing that makes ICON different as a company to work for?
Neal: I think it's that we're small enough to be incredibly flexible. We can come up with an idea that will change the way we work and change something positively for the client, and we can make it happen fast. Implementing change is made easy here, if you have ideas and are willing to take the extra step in making something better you can. It isn't just seeing what’s wrong and suggesting it, you need to be willing to drive it and implement it, then you will get the opportunity to grow. At ICON you can be a successful change maker and be recognised for it - these are the people we're always looking for.
Chris: Everyone thinks a call/contact centre just does outbound cold calling, what's the reality?
Neal: One of the interesting things about ICON is the diversity off things we do. We handle tech support, database work, create and manage client CRMs, operate web servers, inbound payments, customer service requests, lead generation, and an immense variety of other services for our clients. Everything we do is centred around communication and customer care. For people coming to ICON for a career there really is something interesting for everybody that applies.
Chris: You have been with ICON for 6 years and grown your career here, but what expectations did you have when you started?
Neal: I didn’t have any expectations at the start, I did everything I could to the best of my ability and ICON facilitated that. You get what you give here, I stayed focussed and delivered results. It was a simple strategy but it has worked well and I am now the Senior Business Unit Director.
Chris: As Senior Business Unit Director what does your job entai?
Neal: Over the past 2-3 years my role has meant ownership of client projects and ensuring that they are delivering the goals, financial targets, and profit margins, as expected. I work closely in managing clients and their expectations so they are happy with the service they receive from ICON. I'm in constant communication with our clients because it's important that they're aware of the little things we do on a daily basis that drives better results for them. We continually reassesses what we're doing and implement change so we're delivering better service. Part of my role involves coaching team members, and facilitating them to be better at their position and helping them to succeed. We take a real hands on approach to getting the most from all our efforts so our clients know that there is a team working hard for their brand.
Chris: You have had 5 promotions in less than 6 years, is that normal?
Neal: ICON's drive to develop people and hire from within is significant, and it's very rare we hire externally. We always have a succession plan and I have been fortunate that the people underneath me have been excellent. There is genuinely lots of opportunity for people that are driven to succeed. We also move people sideways so they get more skills and can work in different fields so they grow their experience.
Chris: What do you like about ICON on a more personal level?
Neal: We have such a really nice group of people here. The amount of people that just say hi and are really genuinely friendly and genuinely nice, is great. The diversity is a tremendous positive.
Chris: Describe the opportunity that working ICON has allowed you to have?
Neal: For me it’s been an opportunity to live a nice life, with fulfilment on both personal and professional levels. I have been able to progress my career without sacrificing my personal life whatsoever. There is an opportunity to socialise with people at work, but also time to retain my current group of friends. Prague is also excellent for living every day. You can enjoy a multi-layered day, everyday, and not be always waiting for the weekends - ICON has facilitated that. I can also afford to go away for holidays!
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