Inspirational colleague

2017 Chairman’s Awards winner, Neil Burnikell, offers some tips to this year’s outstanding colleagues

Neil Burnikell, winner of the 2017 Customer Experience: Inspirational Colleague award, has definitely been doing something right.

A seasoned attendee of the Chairman’s Awards for Excellence, Neil said: ‘I’ve been nominated five times now and been to the awards ceremony three times.’

The ceremony, now in its ninth year, has changed over time, said Neil: ‘I don’t think a lot of people get a chance to take part in something like this so often. There is a celebrity presenter and an inspirational speaker at the awards and the CEO is there.

‘Last year, CEO Moya Greene and chairman Peter Long walked in and spoke to as many people in the room as they could get round, which was amazing.’

Neil is very matter-of-fact about his success. ‘I was good enough to get nominated for making a difference,’ he said. ‘That’s just what I try to do every day that I’m at work. I will have worked for Royal Mail for 20 years on 8 June.

‘I started off at the age of 18 in my first full-time job as a postcode advisor, before moving to Post Office counters and then to other areas. In that time, I have gone from being a temporary promoted team leader looking after some of our business customers at Doxford contact centre in Sunderland, to travelling to Dearne contact centre, Sheffield, which is the main centre for handling business, or account customers.

Neil puts his achievements down to intuitive team work between colleagues who really know their jobs inside out and share a common sense of purpose at the Sunderland hub.

‘The great thing about Doxford is that there are a lot of people who have been here as long as I have,’ said Neil. ‘They are going through all the changes with the business and continue to go through those changes. It is a real testament to their dedication that they provide an excellent service over so many years, day in day out.’

When it comes to making nominations, Neil is as enthusiastic about making them as he is about receiving them. He says he nominates someone every year. His top tips on making nominations include putting in the effort to sit down and write an honest account of the nominee, using supporting testimonials where possible, no matter how small their contribution to the business or their colleagues may seem.

‘People feel that there has to be a massive difference to the business - but if you feel that one person has made a difference, nominate them, because it matters,’ he said. ‘Doxford is predominantly a telephony centre. People don’t tend to sell themselves there – people tend to think that they have to do something really important for the business to be nominated for a Chairman’s Award, but it could just be something that is really important to the person sitting next to you.

‘I do think there’s no prouder moment than getting that letter on your doormat to say that you have been nominated. I am pretty confident anyway, but the nominations did really boost that confidence. If you can do that for someone who deserves it so that they know they are doing a good job then definitely do.’

6 Jun 2018