Awards International celebrates and rewards best practise and innovation through gala events in London, Dubai, Amsterdam, and in 2019, Wiesbaden in Germany, making it an organisation for winners with a truly global outlook.
One of those winners is Nicci Moss, who has enjoyed a successful career in the UK and is now putting leadership skills honed over the years at Capita to use at the outsourcing firm’s Dubai headquarters.
Swapping sunny Swindon for the competitive desert metropolis is quite the change, but challenges are not something Nicci has ever shied away from.
Beginning her career with Allied Dunbar as a 16-year-old school leaver, her first role involved carrying out basic administration duties on life insurance policies.
Upon Allied Dunbar becoming part of the Zurich Group, Nicci progressed to a team leader role before her promotion to Customer Service Manager in Swindon.
In 2006, Zurich partnered with Capita to deliver its customer service operations. Since then, Nicci has used the opportunities involved with being part of such a large and diverse organisation to broaden her skills and business knowledge.
From 2011 onwards, she was based in Cheltenham, looking after a number of different teams, from Executive Pensions to Financial Controls, and at the beginning of 2018 a new chapter in her life began when an opportunity arose to take her career to exotic new heights – a senior role with Capita in Dubai.
“It was such an exciting opportunity and one I grasped with both hands,” Nicci explains.
“I took on the Ops Director role, and my responsibilities are overseeing the entire Dubai team on a variety of investment and insurance products.”
In the UK, Capita recognises the benefits of direct involvement with awards programmes, and has entered events including the UK Customer Experience, Employee Experience, Complaint Handling, and Business Awards, along with being represented on the judging panels of all of the above (Nicci herself has also performed this vital role).
That drive to be recognised at unique events at which best practice is both recognised and shared is now firmly in the DNA of Capita’s Dubai team, under the inspiring leadership of Nicci.
The Capita team were finalists at the recent Gulf Customer Experience Awards in Dubai in January, and hugely successful presentations earned them Runner-Up titles in the Contact Centre and Employee Engagement and Happiness categories.
In her own words
“Very quickly after arriving in Dubai, I knew that having a clear awards plan was something that I wanted to do for the greater benefit of the team,” Nicci continues.
“I believe in the importance of celebrating the work of staff through both internal and external awards, and I got the financial support to help create Capita success stories through presentations that would ultimately lead to honours.
“Of course, I was familiar with Awards International and their respected format in the UK. They offer a wide range of categories, so you know that they are driven to reward success in every corner of an industry. It was fantastic to be able to enter their UAE awards, knowing that the same rigorous standards would apply.
“Credibility is important for an organisation seeking awards recognition, and Awards International events are highly rated in the UK, which is evident through achieving a Gold Standard Awards Trust Mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council.
“I have researched a lot of different awards events, and many of them are not very appealing. With Awards International events, our team knew that they were putting hard work into presentations that would be taken seriously and judged by actual experts in their fields. They had actually heard of the awards and that was a big incentive.
“As a team, we wrote the entries the same way we would in the UK, and we were thrilled to be shortlisted for three categories – for which we were runners-up in two.”
Speaking of the recent Dubai finals, Nicci adds: “None of the guys we brought to the Awards had done anything like that before. Some were understandably nervous about putting themselves before a judging panel, but when practising with them I made sure to be positive and focus first on the things I loved about the presentation.”
“That pays off, and there is no feeling quite like the joy we experience when coming out of a successful presentation and sharing high fives!”
Leading the way
When speaking with leaders such as Nicci, it becomes crystal clear what separates her as a hugely successful role model from others who lead teams of people but fail to truly connect with them.
“I love my staff, and I love to show them that love,” she says.
“I strive every day to show them that I value their positions in our team and I do what I can to make them feel special. When we work together I like to remove any feelings of hierarchy that might drive a wedge between them and myself. We are one big team, albeit with different strengths and areas of skill, of course. Mine happens to be as a senior leader.
“I ensure that I use the word ‘we’ in every team communication; ‘I’ is reserved for when it comes to me taking my responsibility in fixing things, for example.”
“Great leadership and knowing you’ve made a difference is its own reward, but of course, having a trophy proudly displayed can be a monument the whole team can rally around and be inspired further by.
“We look internally and pat ourselves on the back when appropriate, as any organisation does, but I love the power of external endorsements,” Nicci adds.
“These trophies reinforce the message to staff that they are in the right place, and for customers to know that they are being looked after by the right team, with their best interests at heart.”