It’s not every day you find a company that not only makes you feel welcome but also provides a variety of opportunities to grow and develop. Shannon Critcher, Digital and Social Channel Manager for ahm, knows this feeling all too well as she celebrates her 19th year of being an ahm employee.
Beginning her career with ahm in 1999 as part of the Contact Centre, Shannon did everything from being the first point of contact for members on the phone, to processing new memberships and claims. Back in the day, the Wollongong office had a front counter, which is where Shannon moved to next and became a face-to-face point of contact for customers. Her next role as Maintenance Trainer would be her last position based in the office, before continuing her career working from home.
“I worked from home for 10 years as a Telecommuter. To be able to work outside of the office is such an amazing opportunity, especially when you have children. It’s a big help and makes a real difference to be able to be there for them more while also working on my career.”
Shannon with her fiancé Adam and two daughters.
Shannon with her son Connor.
After 10 years of working from home, Shannon felt it was time to go back into the office and be physically part of the team once more. She returned as a Step Up Team Leader in Operations and later on became the Team Leader of that team, managing the hospital and gap cover team. She then moved on to become a Team Leader in the Contact Centre before eventually landing her current role as the Digital and Social Channel Manager.
Coming back into the office environment after a decade of working from home did come with its own challenges but she knew that this was just another learning curve.
“Coming back into the office to manage a team after having worked from home for a long time wasn’t easy. I don’t think that’s ever an easy task for anybody but ahm is an organisation that has a deep focus on developing and promoting staff wherever possible so it’s something that I’m very grateful for.”
Shannon and fellow ahm Team Leader.
In the last 12-18 months, the Digital Team has become the fastest growing team within ahm’s Contact Centre and there’s no doubt this is something Shannon has played an integral part in.
“I started off managing the Sales & Service teams in Digital, which has expanded and is still growing so we’ve now got three teams within that. I’ve transitioned from being a Team Leader to managing three team leaders, which is a big responsibility but one that I’m so happy to have. I’m also not an IT expert so understanding all things digital has been a challenge but it keeps me on my toes and prevents me from becoming complacent.”
Shannon with some of her ahm Digital Team.
Once a month, Shannon travels to and works in Brisbane where her fiancé is based. This is thanks to Medibank’s FlexBetter, which offers all employees, including ahm, different flexibility options.
“It’s such a great thing that has been introduced to employees. Allowing us to have flexible working arrangements, means that individuals can continue to do their work using the flexibility that they need.”
Shannon and her fiancé Adam on Moreton Island.
FlexBetter is not limited to leaders but to all employees. Shannon says that it’s important to recognise that people have different lives and therefore have different needs, which is something both Medibank and ahm do well.
“When it comes to leave and personal issues, we are very accommodating and always have been. Everyone has things that they’re going through or things they have to be somewhere for, and that’s something we understand.”
19 years on and Shannon is still very much enjoying being a part of ahm. She says that the business has played a vital part in how she got to where she is now.
“I’ve had some great leaders throughout my career whom I have learnt more from than any university degree could’ve provided. ahm promotes itself as agile, nimble and forward thinking, always willing to try new things and take risks. That’s something I’m proud to be a part of.”
Click here to find out more about FlexBetter and Diversity and Inclusion at Medibank.