“Winning for my team” – Leaha scoops gold at the National Contact Centre Awards!

“Winning for my team” – Leaha scoops gold at the National Contact Centre Awards!

26th October 2021

By Philippa Jolliffe

There’s been serious cause for celebration here at Connect Assist. Why? Well, our very own, very talented Head of Contact Centre Services, Leaha James, has been crowned outsourced Contact Centre Manager of the Year!

(*…pops champagne bottle*)

The UK Contact Centre Awards take place every year and recognises brilliant individuals and teams in our industry. This year’s award ceremony took place in London and was hosted by none other than TV presenter Vernon Kay (and Leaha actually got to meet him – jealous!). 

Leaha’s been with us since 2021, working her way up from advisor to Head of Contact Centre Services, responsible for a team of more than 300 people. 

Commenting on the win, she says: “This award means a lot to me, but the most important part was winning it for my team.”

Work-life balance

The annual awards are run by the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA). Each nominee is put through a judging process which includes face-to-face interviews, site visits and panel assessments. 

The win was a big shock to Leaha, seeing as Connect Assist is smaller than many other companies in the running. 

She says: “Covid played a large part in my winning this award, because when we first began home working, we thought our performance was going to dip. But performance is better – people are getting their work-life balance and are feeling more mentally resilient, because we’re all in the same boat.”

Health and wellbeing

Leaha took great pains to make sure her team felt supported whilst working remotely.

“We deal with a lot of harrowing content, and one of my main concerns was for advisors sitting in their own safe space and listening to these calls. So, we developed a new mental health and wellbeing strategy.”

That encompassed one-to-one counselling sessions, a 24/7 employee assistance programme, and simple measures such as virtual coffee sessions to recreate the supportive buzz of the office.

Team spirit

While Leaha was at the London ceremony, her team was able to watch the live stream. And when she returned, Connect Assist’s leadership team treated her to champagne and flowers!

Leaha says: “One of the key reasons why I was recognised is I’ve got a lot of time for my staff. 

“I also have very strong alliances with some of the services we run at Connect Assist, including the Royal British Legion helpline as my husband is a serving soldier.

“I genuinely love my job, and it’s mostly about the people that I work with. We’re all so passionate about what we do and we’re like a big family. I know that’s cheesy, but we are.”



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