Welcome to HSSCU’s Staff Focus!
We are delighted to introduce you to our Phones Team Manager Michael – the man behind the phones! Michael is that energetic and lovely voice that many of our members hear on a daily basis and we thought it was about time you got to learn some more about him 🙂
Hi Michael, firstly tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m 37, from Limerick originally, but Cork is home for the last 6 years. I’m married to Evan since 2016 and currently we are saving mad to get our feet on the property ladder.
What path led you to working in the Credit Union Movement and what has your path been like in HSSCU?
I joined HSSCU as a Member Services Officer in August 2018. In March 2019, I interviewed for Team Co-Ordinator and was successful. In February 2020, the position of Phones Team Manager became available and I decided to apply for it and I am delighted to say I was successful. My career has mostly been in finance. I worked for Bank of Ireland for 12 years before deciding to move to pastures new. I have also worked in retail, hospitality, the civil service and recruitment.
What does your role and team look like?
My current role is the Phones Team Manager with a team of 8 spread across 2 offices (Cork and High Street).
What is an example of your general day in HSSCU?
Most of my day involves monitoring the team and call centres to ensure all calls are answered in a timely manner. Daily meetings with Celia my team co-ordinator to discuss any outstanding issues and plan for the day ahead. Running daily reports to see where improvements can be made to ensure the member is getting the best service. Assisting the team with any queries they may have. Ensuring any daily jobs assigned to us are carried out. Replying to emails, following up on queries and tasks that have been brought to my attention.
How have things changed since COVID-19?
With the arrival of COVID-19, a lot has changed. My entire team with the exception of one, are working remotely from home now. Which is tough both for them and myself as we normally work so closely together on a daily basis. So regular communication is key and the team know I am only at the other end of phone if they need anything.
Do you have any guilty pleasures to help you through the pandemic?
During the pandemic I suppose like any of us, our social lives are non-existent. So, I have taken to online shopping (I really need to cut up my card) and baking. My new thing is brown bread, both vegan and regular. We’ve also started tackling the back garden so by the time lockdown is over, it will be beautiful.
What is your favourite thing about working in HSSCU?
I suppose coming from a career in banking, my favourite thing about HSSCU is the fact that we are like a family. Everyone looks out for each other. There is a great team spirit and, as you spend so much of your life working, you need to be able enjoy going to work. And I can say that I don’t not enjoy coming to work. Now don’t get me wrong, I look forward to my holidays!!
How is it interacting with members on the phone each day?
As HSSCU is nationwide, when you answer that phone, you could be speaking with a member from any part of Ireland. So, the variety is great. Some members only want a quick query, but then others might have a few things to do and you end up having random conversations with them. It makes the day so interesting.
We’ve noticed your team in Cork has a soft spot for donuts. What do you and your team do to brighten up your days?
In the Cork office, the phones team is based on the top floor so we have a lovely view out onto the river Lee. We do enjoy our sweet things. We have the bottomless biscuit box for the 3pm slump, which is regularly topped up with our favourite biscuits. But we are not fussy, we like a fresh cream sponge, donuts, whatever is going. I also do a bit of baking so the team are the tasters. We also welcomed the newest member to the team last September, Webster our plant who has pride of place in the office.
Lastly, what, in your opinion, makes credit unions different to other places you’ve worked?
I suppose the major difference with Credit Unions is the personal touch and at the end of the day it is all about the members and providing a good service to them.