1/ Can you introduce yourself?
- My name is Marie-José, I am 53 years old and have been working for Service Innovation Group since 1989, i.e. 26 years. I am married, have two sons and live in Rennes, the capital of Brittany.
- I am therefore Field Manager and cover the region known as Grand-Ouest, which extends from Basse-Normandie through Brittany to the Vendée and a small part of the Centre region. In total I cover 14 departments.
2/ Before that, what did you study during your school career?
- I did a literary baccalaureate, which was called a baccalaureate A at the time, and then I went on to do a trilingual secretarial BTS (French, Spanish and Portuguese).
- Then I started my professional life by replacing an employee who went on maternity leave. This was as a commercial secretary in a research company in the field of fish farming. The company was temporarily based in France and was due to move back to Sweden, its home country. I was given the opportunity to work there but I preferred to stay in France for personal reasons (I had just met my husband!).
3/ How did you get to Service Innovation Group?
- I applied for a position as executive secretary in an operational marketing agency in Rennes which had a regional scope. I was hired and after a few years I applied again to become an agency manager in the same agency.
- As branch manager, I managed a team of two people: one who was in charge of merchandising and one who was in charge of sales promotion. My job included monitoring the actions carried out by our staff in the shop, customer meetings and sales approaches.
- The head office of this agency was in the Paris region, but at the time new information and communication technologies did not yet exist, which explains the presence of an agency in each region, and we had regional clients.
- Our profession, with the evolution of mass distribution and the arrival of new technologies, has had to adapt over the years.
- SIG has always wanted to keep staff in the regions in order to remain close to its temporary staff and our customers' field teams. So I became a field manager.
4/ What does the job of Field Manager involve?
- We are the company's ambassadors in our region, our stakeholders only know SIG through us. We have a brand image to convey, we represent the company in our area.
- I work from home, mainly with my computer, which is linked to the head office in Vélizy. The field manager has several roles. Firstly, staff recruitment. We are constantly on the lookout for new staff via our website, job advertisements or unsolicited applications by e-mail or post thanks to word of mouth... We also have to check the returns from operations carried out in the shop, particularly for new staff who do not yet have the right automatisms. We also have to monitor the sales that our staff have generated as a result of their actions. But our main task remains the assignment: to assign the right sales assistant or merchandiser to the right place at the right time according to our schedule and our customer.
- The field manager is reactive; he or she must always be alert and operational to be able to respond to a customer request that seeks a specific profile. Hence the importance of recruitment.
- The most important quality for the field manager is empathy with the staff. Good communication makes it possible to do a good job, especially in this kind of remote work.
- You have responsibility, autonomy, and you must respect the commitments made with the clients. As said before, you are the ambassador and messenger of the company. When someone does a good job, you have to say so, and when they don't, you have to know how to say so and explain it!
5/ What do you like about this job?
- It's a rich job: we accompany our participants throughout their progress within the company, we are, in our own way, small bosses. Giving work to someone is rewarding, I always feel like I'm doing a good deed. A large part of our work is based on training, passing on knowledge and teaching others is a very gratifying experience.
- It's a diversified job: in terms of our customer portfolio, we go from a high-tech customer to a DHP customer to a household appliance customer. We are always up to date with the latest developments, because everything that is new passes through our hands. You are constantly learning, everything is new in every operation. You can't rest on your laurels and rest on what you've learned - this job will never be monotonous.
In conclusion .....
- The field manager is a key position in the Service Innovation Group. This proximity is a strength, it allows for communication and constructive exchange. It's a value that humanises relationships in our business sector, which is very focused on new technologies and where everything moves very quickly.
Find out more about the job of a field manager, read the following article