"From Coordinator to EMEA Payroll Delivery Manager"
We took time recently to have a chat with Gemma Scott our EMEA Payroll Delivery Manager. Gemma started with us in 2020 during lockdown as an EMEA Coordinator and has the claim to fame of being the first member of the Edinburgh team.
A real success story Gemma progressed up through the ranks from Coordinator to Team Leader before becoming our Interim Delivery Manager - a move which has now been made permanent!
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day for a chat. Let’s start at the beginning by telling us how you found joining us during lockdown?
It was a bit weird starting a new job when we were all in lockdown but then so was everything during that time. And maybe even stranger is the fact that I really enjoyed it, mostly because I realised how much I love working from home.
At the time my manager was Gillian Markey and thanks to her support it didn’t feel like I was working by myself. She was always on the end of the phone to help and encourage me in the early days, which was really helpful as I didn’t come from a payroll background and there was lots to learn!
You said your background wasn’t in payroll where did you work before joining us here at activpayroll?
I came from a hospitality background where I had worked in a managerial role however when lockdown came into effect, I was sadly made redundant. Although I say sadly in a way it was a great opportunity for me as I was able to find a whole new career here with activpayroll.
And as I tell my team, we are all ultimately working in customer services, and with my background in hospitality I was able to bring plenty of experience to my new role.
So how did you apply your knowledge and experience to gain promotion?
Basically, I worked away learning as much as I could in my coordinator role and let my manager know that I was keen to take on more responsibility. I had previously worked in a managerial role within the hospitality industry so was keen to draw on that experience by managing a team here at activpayroll.
In October 2021 I became team lead, then made the move to became interim manager in May 2022 when Gillian went on maternity leave.
It was really a case of being in the right place, working hard and taking every opportunity that came my way. I love my new role, working with my team and helping them to do the best job they can!
What skills you’ve learnt from working as a Delivery Manager
The main area where I feel that I’ve developed has been the ability to refine my customer experience skills. Our team has to be able to deal with customer questions and respond quickly. Luckily, I’ve been able to draw on my experience from hospitality as I was used to defusing potentially difficult situations quickly and diplomatically. And of course, it’s easier to deal with difficult questions and frustrated customers over the phone or email than it is face to face!
The ability to manage and prioritise my workload has also come on leaps and bounds and as Delivery Manager I also have to support my team with planning and prioritisation.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing is that every day is different, there's always something new to help develop me professionally and keep me on my toes. However, I also love the fact that we work within a clear structure and have the calendars to provide us with our monthly timetable.
And of course, the best thing is my team! I work with such truly nice people which makes all the difference. It’s great to feel like I can really help people in this role, particularly as a manager – you’re there to support your team as well as your customers.
Outside of work how do you unwind?
When I’m not at work I love holidaying and going on adventures basically I just hate sitting around. Wherever I can I am out and about, heading out for meals and socialising with friends.
This August I’m heading to South Africa where we’ll base ourselves in Cape Town and do a bit of travelling around. I’m really looking forward to going on safari.
Have a great holiday when it comes and be sure to send us some photos!
Thanks for your time. It’s good to hear how you have been able to draw on previous work experience outside of the payroll industry to help progress in your career with us. The focus on customer excellence from your previous roles, combined with your hard work and enthusiasm certainly seems to have been the key to your success.