Sarah Conway - Central England Co-operative - our SSF UK Award Winner for Leadership

We caught up with Sarah post award success and asked her a few questions, a worthy winner, I'm sure you will agree...

What did winning the award mean to you and what does 'leadership' itself mean to you? 

"Winning the award is a great personal achievement and I am delighted  to shine a light on the Payroll Profession. Leadership for me is about empowering individuals to be the best that they can be".

How did you achieve your award? 

"The payroll team along with the societies Shared Service Centre is embedding a continuous improvement approach to our ways of working. We have introduced daily huddles giving all team members a voice. We have introduced an Information Centre (huddle board) which I see as another team member. Our huddle board allows me and the team to keep track of what’s is working well and what challenges we are facing.

I have introduced Standard Operating Processes reflecting 95% of our tasks. These documented processes have supported the team with cross skilling  reducing single points of failure from 65% to 35%. Cross skilling has allowed greater variety to the teams daily tasks and means that we can offer a better service to our customers reducing hand offs.

Challenges can be addressed through Problem Solving and we have been able to work with our customers to bring about change.

Two key change pieces were the harmonisation of the society’s Payrolls from 2 to 1. And reducing the number of holiday schemes down to 3. These changes were delivered with the support of an internal project team and our customers were engaged throughout the change".

How do you plan to continue to make difference within your shared service sector? "There are always things to improve on and through team 1-2-1 each have individual areas to support me with change, sometimes small changes can make a big impact not only on time savings but also morale.

Two cross function processes that we are embarking on with an initial Problem Solving is our Internal Pension administration and our On boarding process.

I recognise change can be unsettling; when delivered well and communicated sensitively the results can be rewarding and beneficial to our internal customers".

Thank you Sarah and we wish you continued success in your endeavour to make a difference to your organisation. Scott Worth, our Network Chair for Lean/Operational Excellence is shown in the pictures below accepting the award on Sarah's behalf at the Awards Evening.

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