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How Adelle leads with her whole heart

A go-getter with heart, Bupa digital sales team leader Adelle has created a career where she can do what she loves most: care.

Craving real conversations

Adelle joined Bupa in 2015. Living in a small town on the Sunshine Coast, she had worked in contact centres for a few years when she realised something was missing.

“I’m a real people person, so I enjoyed contact centre work, but I didn’t want a typical sales or service role. I wanted to be able to build a rapport with people and have real conversations.”

Her then-friend had a job at Bupa which he raved about, so when she saw the role of Customer Value Consultant advertised for the Brisbane office, she went for it.

It was far from a typical contact centre role – Adelle would call existing members to check in, make sure they were happy being a Bupa member and they had the cover that's best suited to their lifestyle and circumstances.”

“The really great thing about working in ‘sales’ in a health insurance environment is it’s not your typical hard-sell environment.

“Instead, addressing customer needs is at the core of every conversation. Our role is about understanding what the customer needs, educating and helping them make informed decisions about what's best for them. This means building a rapport and relationship with them, which I love.

 “If you come out of the conversation meeting your targets, that’s fantastic, but it's just one of the goals. Our biggest focus is on the positive customer experience.”

Opening doors

A natural go-getter, Adelle quickly made her mark as the go-to girl, putting her hand up for trials of different services and technologies.

“My big opportunity came when I put myself forward for the trial of messaging, which was very new in contact centres back then. There were only three of us in the team and it was a brilliant learning environment.”

The pilot gave Adelle the foot in the door she wanted, and after the trial she quickly transitioned to a messaging role within the sales team.

After another short secondment, Adelle returned to the messaging team with a clear ambition: she wanted to become a team leader. With her manager on board, she took on more responsibility in the team and became a coach.

Then, after participating in Bupa’s Future Leaders Program, Adelle moved into the role as team leader in August 2021.

She said it’s opportunities like these that have made it easy to stay at Bupa for seven years.

“That’s what I was looking for back in 2015. I wanted a company I could grow with, where I could build a career. Bupa really fosters internal growth and that’s made all the difference for me.”

Dialling into care

As a team leader, Adelle has leaned into her strengths and clearly embodies Bupa’s culture of caring. She knows from experience that if her people feel cared for, they will ensure customers feel cared for.

“Our culture comes from the top. My leader, the contact centre manager, is a massive advocate for being accepting, caring and open, and treating everyone with respect. The way she lives those values trickles down and impacts the way we interact with our people and customers.”

For Adelle, Bupa’s caring culture has been tangible since day one.

“I remember walking through the door of the contact centre on my first day and there was such good energy. I immediately felt welcomed and supported. 

“I could also see there was a lot of diversity in the contact centre, which made me feel really comfortable. I knew I was working for a company with good values.

“Now as a team leader, it’s important to me that my team feels the same way. One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is having an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, supporting my team and helping them grow, in the same way my managers helped me.”

Her desire to help people has spurred Adelle to join the Mental Health Network at Bupa. She recently completed the Mental Health First Aid course, which has given her practical tools to use as a manager to help people if they’re going through a period of high stress.

“I know it’s not my job to be a counsellor, but I want to be able to make people feel comfortable to come to me for help. If they’re having a tough time, we’re lucky to have many processes in place to address whatever they are dealing with: from accessing personal leave or adjusting their shifts, to supporting them through our Employee Assistance Program, we can always find a way to help them look after themselves better.”

“I want to make sure they don’t have to worry about work; they know I’ve got them so they can focus on getting better.”

Being her authentic self

Bupa has several employee networks which offer a safe place for people with lived experience and their allies to come together and influence change for a more inclusive workplace.

Over the past 12 months, Adelle has become involved with the Pride Network, and, more recently, the Women at Bupa Network.

“Being in the Pride Network has shown me the success of other LGBTQIA+ individuals and how they’ve been celebrated. When I connect with people who have had similar experiences and have overcome obstacles, it’s so aspirational and encouraging.”

“You can’t be what you can’t see, so seeing people who are part of my community thriving and living authentically makes me feel more at home to be my authentic self in the workplace.”

Adelle applauds how inclusive the networks are, which is a testament to the open and caring culture of Bupa.

“Employees don’t have to have lived experience to join these networks. They can join as allies, which helps with education and shows who your allies are across the business.

“As a team leader, I recognise how valuable this is because it means we can better understand different lived experiences and learn how to support our people better.

“And at the end of the day, I know that’s what I’m here to do.”

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