My wonderful Optical Express Journey by Stuart

Stuart, Surgery Operations Manager

Stuart started with the business 16 years ago as a call centre operator and has progressed to Surgery Operations Manager

Tell us about your experience of working at Optical Express

I began my Optical Express career as a Call Centre Operator in October 2003. The business had only recently got involved in the LVC market, so this was a huge focus for us. As I had experience in working with Excel in my previous role, I was able to analyse data, something that was important to Optical Express – to be able to understand how patients came to book consultations and surgery with us. Being able to help the business in this way at an important time for Optical Express meant that I then progressed to work solely with the clinic teams, helping them to report on the outcomes of their appointments.

From there, I got involved with the Surgery Teams, ensuring that there was the right amount of resources in the right clinic on surgery days. Over the years, I’ve been involved in so many different aspects of Optical Express’s journey. 16 years down the line, I help to look after our Surgeon Team and Surgery Teams, as well as ensuring that our patients are properly prepared for their treatment in terms of documentation. I make sure that the team’s days are efficient and well utilised.

Talk us through a typical day at work

There isn’t really a typical day – each one can be very different. There’s always something to focus on. I spend a lot of time working with the teams here in our office in Glasgow, as well as speaking to the Surgery Managers in our clinics and the surgeons who treat our patients. I’m supported by many really clever and committed people and I work closely with them, determining the needs of the business and our patients, and implementing strategies to meet those needs.

I have responsibility for making sure that our surgery lists are able to go ahead at each of our locations, so that our patients can have their treatment as scheduled. There are so many elements involved in making this happen, because there are a number of factors involved, from technology to staffing. It certainly keeps us on our toes!

What’s your favourite thing about your role?

It may sound strange, but it’s when something unexpected happens – when we have to find solutions to challenges which crop up. Every situation occurs in different circumstances and, even after all the years I’ve been at Optical Express, it gives me real satisfaction to find a way around an issue. I also enjoy coaching members of my team to overcome challenges which would otherwise impact on our patients – it helps them to develop in their roles.

What motivates and inspires you in your role?

When you work with our Surgery Teams and surgeons every day, you appreciate the work that everyone puts in to make sure that each patient’s journey is the best it can be. They really are dedicated. Being in an environment which has such a positive impact on people’s lives is enough to inspire anyone.

How have you developed professionally in your role with Optical Express over the last 16 years?

I initially started in the Contact Centre. Since those early days, I’ve had a variety of different roles and responsibilities. The coaching and support I have received from my colleagues and especially my managers throughout the years, has been the key to my own development. Without their patience and guidance, I wouldn’t have been able to take those steps up the Optical Express career ladder.

Has Optical Express supported you in any additional ways during your career?

Yes, frequently! For example, after my eldest child was born and my wife returned to work, I was able to condense my working week to 4 long days so that I could stay at home one day a week. I did this for 6 years, and only reverted back to a 5 day week in 2018, when my youngest children went to school. I really appreciated the flexibility at the time, and I still do. It allowed me to spend quality time with my kids, and that’s something you just can’t buy.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining Optical Express?

Do it! We change people’s lives here, and that is pretty unusual in any job.

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 careers@opticalexpress.com or call 01236 795146.

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