Neil has been at Optical Express for 8 years, working his way up from optical advisor to manager at the company’s large clinic in Meadowhall, Sheffield. There’s a team of 20 at the clinic, and we spoke to Neil about his management style and how he helps shape performance in his location.
“I believe that the start of the day is incredibly important,” Neil says. “We have a team briefing first thing where we all prepare for the day ahead. Everyone needs to understand how their performance helps the team succeed, so we’ll discuss how we’re doing for the week, month and year. It’s a great opportunity to motivate everyone to give their best.
“A team briefing is a good way of gathering feedback and ideas from everyone. If we don’t let everyone have a chance to speak, then we’d miss out on some fantastic ideas on how to improve! This time of the day is also used for coaching. All in all, I think the team briefing lays the foundations for success.”
Motivating every colleague during the day is also a focus for Neil and his management team. “We love what we do and that seems to rub off on everyone else. The fact is, that we can give our patients the opportunity to have life changing treatment, as well as offering a wide range of eyecare solutions, this sets us apart from other providers in the UK and Ireland.”
Colleague development takes centre stage at Meadowhall. Neil explains, “I have a very experienced team, so playing to each of their strengths means that we are able to develop each colleague to an extremely high standard. I spend most of my days out on the clinic floor, so I will give in-the-moment coaching to help improve performance. Observing and staying close by to help guide your team is the most important way to aid development. Our aim is to give excellent service, so that every patient leaves happy.”
That commitment to patient care extends to proactively asking patients for feedback on their experience at Meadowhall. “Without feedback, we can’t improve. We do all we can for anyone who visits us but there is always a way to make their experience better.”
What does Neil believe makes a successful manager? “Trust is vital,” he says. “There’s no need to micro manage people – let them have the freedom to develop in their own way. Of course, be there to guide them and help them do well.
“Show everyone that they’re important because they all contribute to the team’s success. Being a good listener means that your people will know that they’re valued. Respect them and help them to progress by supporting their development.”
“If you work hard and set a great example to the people you work with, you earn your team’s respect. Lead from the front, be ambitious and aim high!
We’re always keen to speak to motivated individuals for the wide range of roles we offer at Optical Express. Search our current vacancies at Optical Express, or you can get in touch with our friendly recruitment team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01236 795146.