A little over six months ago, a new chapter began at DDC OS as we welcomed Hayley Barlow to the team as Global Director of Customer Operations. With an extensive background in customer service outsourcing, Hayley was an important and exciting hire for DDC.
As ever, time has flown, and Hayley has already been hard at work implementing changes to focus on continuous improvement for our whole operation. However, we did manage to sit with Hayley and discuss her time here so far…
Hayley, it has been over six months now since you joined DDC. Has it been what you expected so far?
Has it really been six months? Wow, that has flown by. I expected to join a growing organisation with a great opportunity ahead, and that is exactly what I have. The bonus to that is a great team who all have a passion for delivering both for our people and our customers.
For the benefit of our wider audience, could you tell us a little more about your background and what brought you to DDC?
Where do I start? I have been very fortunate to have built a career in contact centres over the past 31 years, starting as an agent on the phones for Mercury Communications (now Virgin Media). Over the years, I have developed my skills in multiple disciplines, from Operations, People Development, CX, Transformation, Outsourcing and Consultancy across many different industries, including Telecoms, Finance, Retail, Education and Utilities, but what keeps me getting up in the morning is people and seeing them grow. I joined DDC as I felt I could really make a difference and help take our business and, most importantly, our people on a journey of growth, discovery, and success.
What has really stood out to you so far about DDC? Positives only of course!
The Passion! Any transformation journey is challenging at the best of times, but DDC has hit this head-on! Unafraid to take risks and learn from them, challenging the norm in order to create the DDC way and as we continue to grow our family, remembering to maintain focus on our biggest asset – our people!
Do you believe you have identified some areas that you can really add some value and support DDC’s continued growth?
Absolutely! And over the past five months, we have firmly placed our racing car on the track, delivered some fantastic changes and created a strong operational team that is engaging, supportive and on a journey of self-discovery and growth. We will require a few pit stops along the way, but we have our sight firmly fixed on the chequered flag.
There have been many global challenges in recent years; what do you think has been your biggest challenge in your time so far?
I think, like many, our immediate challenge is that we attract and retain good people. We have so much to offer at DDC, and I want to ensure that all our people have every opportunity to utilise all of our benefits fully and contribute to helping build a brilliant place to work. I have always said you leave one family in the morning and go to another, and that’s what we are well on the way to creating here at DDC.
Looking ahead to the next six months, what are you hoping to achieve and, moreover, looking forward to!?
Investing more in our people with succession planning and strong leadership programmes and working across all of our global locations to maximise our potential.
Have you had the chance to visit many of our operational locations so far?
- What stood out in those locations?
- Were they new destinations for you?
I feel very lucky to have a global responsibility which means that I get to work with some fantastic people across several locations.
Our team in Sarajevo have gone through significant growth and is a great hub for supporting The DDC Group and clients. Our expansion into Serbia is also an exciting time, that will see us continue to be recognised as a key outsourcing provider.
Also, exciting for me personally is that I get to work in two new European locations (although learning Bosnian is a work in progress let’s just say).
To finish off, what is your favourite film, album and meal…
Difficult question! I don’t actually have a favourite album but my top 3 songs are Teardrop by Massive Attack, Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls and Woman’s Work by Kate Bush.
My favourite film is Meet Joe Black (although I am a Harry Potter fan).
And my favourite meal has to be homemade pasta with an amazing fresh tomato & basil sauce.
Thanks to Hayley for her time, we can’t wait to sit down again with her in the future and see how the journey is going!