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Supportive supervisors help Deanne stretch her wings as a manager

People Stories 07 Sep 2023

After a 35-year career as a bookkeeper and administration manager, Deanne Davis was seeking a role that allowed her to use her skills to meet some fresh challenges, without the stress. KINNECT’s people-focused business not only met her needs but inspired her to pursue a previously unconsidered role – managing people and nurturing the talent in her own team.

As happens for many people, a forced break to improve her health gave Deanne – now KINNECT’s Medical Support Team Leader – pause for thought about where she wanted her career to go. She decided to swap bookkeeping, which came with running payroll for multiple companies, working after-hours and being contactable 24/7, for an in-house role that would give her a greater work/life balance while using the decades of experience she’d acquired.

Deanne joined KINNECT in February 2022, but her first week was something of a false start. A close contact with a COVID case in the family meant phoning her understanding supervisors on her first day to request an extension. A week later she officially started as a Medical Support Officer and Receptionist in the Rockhampton office.

The culture was an immediate and pleasant surprise: “The positivity is contagious! I don’t think in 30 odd years I’ve worked in a place like this. “We try to find a positive angle on everything. We also don’t have mistakes, we have learning opportunities. And that that’s followed from the top right down. It’s not just a saying it, it’s how we operate. The praise that you get for doing a good job is quite remarkable and I think it’s something about our culture at KINNECT that we should be proud of,” she enthused.

It wasn’t long before Deanne’s talents were identified and put to good use, enabling her take on senior responsibilities: “My supervisor Chloe asked me to start training the new trainees in the bookings team. I then was made a Senior Medical Support Officer,” she recalled. It was in this position, and working in a supportive culture, that she began to consider that it could be possible for her to deliver greater value as a leader, without compromising her stress levels.

“When I initially interviewed with Kaitlin Barnham (Medical Support Manager), I didn’t think I wanted a people management role. But 12 months down the track, my perspective had changed, and I flagged a role that I’d like. They [my supervisors] were just incredibly supportive.

We were moving down the track of getting me up-skilled and a position popped up a little sooner than I thought it would be available, but it just gave me a bigger opportunity. I couldn’t have gone for the role with the support from Chloe or Kaitlin,” she said.Deanne Davis, Medical Support Team Leader

Deanne received the training she needed and was promoted to Medical Support Team Leader for the Results Team at the start of August 2023. She loves the new challenges of her role, including reporting and being part of a bigger leadership team with more access to information that’s helping her learn how concepts within the business interact. However, it’s the people management aspect that energises her the most: “It’s getting to know the people better, getting to know their strengths and where their skillsets lie. That’s a huge learning curve for me,” she admitted.

Her aspirations for her new role are to upskill her team, build team cohesion and see more open collaboration happening between onshore and offshore teams.

While her job at KINNECT has expanded quickly beyond the original description, Deanne is thrilled that KINNECT’s work culture and focus on happy people has ensured that it hasn’t negatively impacted her health or family: “On a recent holiday my kids joked that no-one was calling me about work or chasing me for something. They have never seen me not working out of hours. This has greatly improved the quality of my family time,” she said. Furthermore, KINNECT has supported her to stay in her role with performance-based wage reviews to make working sustainable and competitive compared to other workplaces.

To others who are considering a change of direction and want to use their administration or bookkeeping background for a new purpose, Deanne says it’s important to work hard and show your skills. However, being a great communicator with your supervisor is how to make real progression happen: “If you want progression and training, you have to put your hand up for it. They [your supervisors] won’t understand that you want progression without you voicing it,” she recommends.

For now, it’s clear that Deanne is happy with the challenges and connection to her colleagues that her role is delivering and said: “I love working here – I never want to leave.

If you’re interested in a role in a supportive organisation who equally value work/life balance and career progression, why not join us? For information about current vacancies, visit our Careers Centre.