My career at Novacroft – our #SuperNovaStories

I love the people I work with, I feel comfortable here, I feel like I’m valued and like I belong


Jo Toes, our Senior Contact Centre Team Manager, is the second person we’re talking to in our 2018 #SuperNovaStories series of interviews to celebrate Novacroft’s twentieth anniversary.

As Jo embarks on a four month sabbatical, we grabbed a few minutes with her before she set off…

Jo thrives in her role at the heart of Novacroft’s contact centre, relishes that no two days are the same, and has a love of travel.  

What’s your role at Novacroft?

I support the team managers in our contact centre, ensuring everything runs smoothly, helping with issues, being a sounding board. I also work closely with our Contact Centre Manager.

My role touches a lot of different departments. I’ll often be working alongside the resource planning team and HR, to recruit and look after our superheroes.

When did you start your Novacroft journey?

In 2016 – 4th July to be precise!

What do you remember about your first day at Novacroft?

I remember thinking how lovely everyone was. I got such a warm welcome. I got an amazing folder personalised with my name, letting me know exactly what I’d be doing. All my equipment was ready for me. I went home that day feeling like I’d made the right choice.

What does a typical day look like for you?

No two days are the same. I’d liken a typical day to an episode of The Generation Game! There’s fun, there’s a lot of laughs, there’s an element of plate spinning! You’ve got to expect at least a couple of curve balls a day, and you’ve got to take them all in your stride. I love knowing that what we do at Novacroft supports customers in their day to day lives, making travel that much easier for public transport passengers, making membership simple for charity supporters. I never get bored. I relish the challenge of solving issues. At the end of each day, I want to go home knowing I’ve nailed it.

Can you name three things that are essential to doing your job?

A sense of humour. Patience. Fairness.

What do you love about your job?

The people I work with, I feel comfortable here, I feel like I’m valued and like I belong. That’s what I love.

Now, I’m leaving Novacroft on a four month sabbatical, taking my motorhome on a trip through Spain and Portugal. I’m being welcomed back to Novacroft in August, and that means a lot to me. I’ve always had to leave a business to do the travelling I love, so to be granted time off to do that while I’m still a part of Novacroft is special.    

What’s been your biggest challenge here?

I’ve always worked in outbound sales, so adapting to Novacroft’s inbound contact centre was like flipping everything I knew about contact centre operations on its head! It took me a while to get to grips with how outsourcing works, but it’s been really good getting to know our clients. Darren, our Contact Centre Manager, has been great. The way he explained everything made my learning curve much easier.

What’s your most memorable Novacroft moment?

It must be the awards. I won the ‘Unsung Hero’ award at the Novacroft Superhero Awards 2016. I didn’t expect anything, I was incredibly touched. It’s great for the work the contact centre does to be rewarded like this – it’s not just me, there’s so many people in our team that are unsung heroes.

If you could switch jobs for a day with anyone else at Novacroft, who would it be?

I wouldn’t. I know this is where my strength lies. I need to be on my feet at the centre of the action.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I’d be telekinetic, to get people to do things at the right time, to influence and change minds. If there’s a call queue, I could make it disappear!  

What is your biggest achievement – personal or professional?

Leaving the UK to work in Spain, and making a great success of it. I wanted a change. I wanted to throw myself out of my comfort zone and do something different. I went with no job, nothing, but within thirty minutes of job hunting I was employed! I lived in Spain for four years, working for Staysure in outbound sales. It was commission only and, coming from a catering background, I’d never done a sales or phone role in my life! I realised I had a natural ability to connect with people. I was soon earning great commission and I worked my way up from an advisor to a manager.

What do you do when you’re not at Novacroft?

I absolutely love painting Warhammer figures. I’m working on an Age of Sigmar Nurgle army. My partner has one army and I have another. One of the cupboards in our motorhome is stocked up with figures, which we’re going to paint, then fight, while we’re sitting outside in the sun on our travels.

I also adore spending time with my grandson and my three dogs. The dogs have got their passports, they’re coming with us!

What advice would you give to new Novacrofters?

Enjoy the environment. We expect a lot, but we always reward it. Join in, be yourself, appreciate an amazing place to work.