Network Development Manager: Alan Ackerley, Manchester
I joined UK Mail in 1996 as a part-time Data Inputter working night shifts and soon found myself promoted to Supervisor after excelling in this role. Within a year I had landed myself a position within the Customer Service department working day shifts which made a great difference to my work-life balance.
Promotion swiftly followed with my appointment to the Operations department where I co-managed the operational aspects of the FedEX contract with two other staff members.
After a further promotion which saw me responsible for organising and managing the driver fleet the opportunity to become Chairman of the business’s Employee Consultative Group (ECG) arose. This was exactly the sort of challenge I had been waiting for!
The challenge I had been waiting for!
As a new role to emerge out of the ECG’s restructure and re-launch I knew instinctively from the outset that I could really bring value to it - and make a difference. Being a brand new concept meant I could make the role my own and in 2005, to my delight, I was appointed ECG Chairman. I was determined to raise the profile of the ECG and increase its accessibility and appeal to all members of staff; in short transform it into part of the UK Mail fabric. Now I can safely say it’s a company institution. In my three year stint as ECG Chairman (normal terms last two years but mine was extended for a further year) I effectively strengthened the group to make it a more robust platform for employees to make a significant contribution to bring about change and established its pivotal function as a forum for the exchange of information, opinions and feedback.
Not only do I feel that I brought about real benefit to UK Mail employees as a result of my initiatives, but the ECG Chairman experience was also an incredible learning curve for me. I am now a Network Development Manager heading up key projects that promote change, progress and innovation within the company and there is no doubt that the ECG Chairman role was instrumental in my rapid career progression.
I feel extremely lucky that UK Mail has had an unshakeable belief in me right from the start and supported my ambitions with relevant training from assertiveness and presentation skills courses to Front Line Management schemes. My confidence has also grown immeasurably and I now believe that anything is possible.