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Alexandra Anderson is an Empathy Specialist at Barclays, based at Ringwood, Hampshire. She lives in Southampton with her partner and two cats, Lula and Mia. She tells us about driving change in a large organisation, being a “people person” – and how empathy can grow a business.

My alarm goes off… at half past seven every morning. I’m trying to be healthy so I’ll usually have a Greek yoghurt, before making the half hour drive to my office, which is based at a branch in Ringwood.

My job involves… driving cultural change across Barclays, through empathy. I’m part of Omni Channel Client and Customer Experience. People like doing business with companies that care about them – and they want to know that their voice matters. Through putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes, we can understand their experiences and emotions and what it is that they really want, rather than what we think they want.

On a day-to-day basis, I talk to people across the business. This might involve surveying colleagues, creating engaging content or supporting stakeholders to review processes with an empathic lens. I use my expertise to make strategic and tactical recommendations to the business, and then help drive the implementation of these changes.

My working day… always starts with a cup of tea – I can’t get going without one! I’ll then plan my workload and have a team meeting to see if anyone needs support. As I’m working remotely, my colleagues are based all over the UK, so our meetings take place online. A typical day can include anything from leading empathy sessions to designing communication strategies. Every day really is different, and that’s why I enjoy it so much.

The thing I love most about my job is… the fact that I spend most of my time communicating with different individuals. I’m very much a people person, so it’s great to talk to so many of my Barclays colleagues, and share their experiences. There is a lot of interest in our projects and I enjoy linking different parts of the business together.

I also love the fact that my role gives me so many different opportunities. I didn’t go to university at 18, but am now studying via the Barclays Apprenticeship programme. It’s great – I’m currently enrolled in a leadership and management course at Anglia Ruskin University. Barclays covers the tuition fees so there’s no cost to me.

I started working for Barclays… when I was 18. I was really interested in finance, so after leaving school I joined Barclays as a Cashier. I’m an ambitious person and worked hard so I’d be given more opportunities.

After 18 months I became a personal banker, and was lucky enough to work with an amazing manager who recognised my ambition. I developed into an Assistant Branch Manager and then became an Advocacy Coordinator. It was through that role that I joined my current team.

The most difficult part of my job… is driving consistency across such a large organisation. As you would expect, each business area has its own priorities. I need to understand what those objectives are, and demonstrate the impact an empathic culture could have.

My best day at work… was a special event with some of my branch colleagues to recognise the achievements of our team. We invited all the people who had helped us to come and celebrate our successes. I really enjoyed seeing the difference we’d made. It was a truly awesome day, and made of all our hard work worthwhile.

After work… I like to keep fit, so you can find me in the gym most nights. I also enjoy socialising with friends, and chilling at home with my partner and our cats.

My Working Day: Winifred BullockMy Working Day: Winifred Bullock My Working Day: Chelsea ReidMy Working Day: Chelsea Reid
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