People | Telstra Careers |

The 4 qualities that make a good growth manager

By Aaliah Eggins-Bryson June 4, 2018

I feel like the role a growth manager plays in a tech product team has become more important than ever.

Why? Because as an organisation we are constantly looking to grow our customer base and profitability by introducing new products whilst adapting our existing ones to ensure that we are winning in the market.

So what exactly does a growth manager do here at Telstra and what skills are we are looking for?

The role of our growth managers

A ‘growth manager’ fits the profile of our Offer Development and Base Management teams within the Product team. They are accountable for the development of our core propositions and offers, and every day, they live and breathe acquiring new customers whilst also retaining our existing ones.

The teams help build and sell the Telstra Bundles and Mobile offers you see all throughout Australia. The decisions that these teams make will ultimately impact our success within these markets. To do this, the team conduct competitor analysis, market research, develop compelling plans and offers and work hand in hand with the sales team to drive profitable customer growth.

Some of the responsibilities of these teams include:

  • Monitoring and responding to market changes e.g. a competitor launches a new plan and we need respond by launching an offer to address their target market so we do not lose share
  • Development of new plans and pricing ensuring that these are both ‘market leading’ and ‘competitive’. This involves business case development to ensure that these are profitable and the launch of these to market. Often, these are the biggest launches the product team will do in any given 12 month period
  • Ongoing lifecycle management of our existing customer to retain them e.g. contacting them with a new plan or offer
  • Development and interlock of sales targets with our sales & retention channels. It’s critical that the Product team maintains a close relationship with the sales channels to ensure that the product or offer we have in market is relevant and will either build or continue momentum within these channels.

Why growth managers are important

The most effective lever to drive growth is to increase revenue by increasing the number of customers we have, and growth managers live and breathe this every day.

Growth managers at Telstra are responsible for pulling together multiple teams including; sales, marketing, insights and product development with a goal to increase sales, whilst ensuring that those sales are profitable and retaining our existing customers.

They work with key stakeholders and lead the conversations to define the message and value proposition for Telstra’s products, bringing the product to market and driving adoption of it; including arming sales with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful as well as helping to create marketing campaigns to generate demand.

How we measure our growth manager’s success

The primary success measure is net customer growth. This is measured by the number of customers we acquire (connections) minus the number of customers that disconnect their service (churn), giving us our net customer position.

However, to operationally track this, we need to track a number of metrics ensuring a healthy balance between customer profitability and number of customers. Often, deliberate trade-offs are made e.g. lowering the price to improve market competitiveness and increase the number of sales.

Some of the metrics we track are:

  • Sales: number of new customers we sell to
  • Disconnections: number of existing customers who choose to leave us
  • ARPU: the average plan amount each customer pays us for their service each month. For example, a customer paying $80 a month for their broadband bundle would have a plan ARPU of $80.
  • Revenue
  • Costs
  • Gross margin

What it takes to be a good growth manager

  • Commercial: Whilst this is not a finance role, a growth manager needs to understand the financial fundamentals and commercial success criteria for running a profitable business and make financially sound and responsible decisions. For example, lowering the price of broadband by $20 a month may drive increased sales and (very) happy sales channels, however, this will drive the product to a position where it is unprofitable. These commercially driven decisions need to be made every single day by a growth manager
  • Generalist: Good knowledge of just about everything that relates to the product from; the core product, marketing channels, how/when/why it is sold, and the commercials. Quite often, a growth manager will just need to roll up their sleeves and fill a gap, particularly when they are time bound and executing a change to market
  • Leadership: This is primarily in the form of indirect leadership of virtual cross-functional teams. The vast majority of a growth manager’s role is trying to influence teams and people to do/accept something e.g. a new offer, when it was not in the teams’ priority or roadmap. This requires strong people skills with a requirement to influence and initiate change
  • Effective communication: They craft, reframe and deliver compelling messages based on a comprehensive understanding of the target market – in the form of customers, internal stakeholders and sales channels. Often, they will need to sell the ‘hard story’, that requires significant investment, risk or innovation, to all stakeholders. Holds the creative, strategic and commercial vision and communicates this convincingly internally within Telstra and in the market to our customers.
Advice | People | Telstra Careers |

What makes Telstra a great place to work?

By Julian Clarke March 26, 2018

Being recognised as a great place to work is the combination of many factors, including continually seeking ways to help our people thrive.

It is critically important all our people at Telstra – no matter role or location – feel empowered to help us deliver in a competitive and continually evolving market. A big part of that is about being able to connect to a future created by you.

Being recognised by LinkedIn as one of the top companies to work for in Australia for 2018 shows we are on the right track, but there is always more that we can do to become an even greater place to work. We need to continue find new ways to attract and retain the best talent to help us reach our vision of becoming a world class technology company that empowers people to connect.

As our company evolves, the size and nature of our workforce is also changing, with some positions transitioning and new roles being created. We are responding to these changes through highly responsive learning and development programs, more flexible and remote-working opportunities, and leadership development programs. We have also identified what is needed to accelerate our cultural transformation, change the way we work and differentiate us from our competitors.

So why do I believe Telstra is a great place to work? For me, it’s the combination of many elements, from what is expected of our people day-to-day, to how and where we work, and the support we provide to develop interesting and satisfying careers.

Here are some of the things we are doing to create a workplace that encourages our people to enjoy coming to work and to challenge themselves at Telstra.

Helping our people to thrive

We are focused on offering our people more than what they have come to expect a ‘job’ could be.

That means being supported by leaders and colleagues to transform their careers in a way that suits them best. This can be through new opportunities across or up our business or by learning from leaders in their field.

Our people are given accountability over their roles and encouraged to develop their skills both on the job and through a broad range of learning opportunities. When there is a gap identified in someone’s knowledge, they are given the tools and resources to grow. It’s about being trusted to deliver and encouraged to say ‘there is a better way’.

This approach has helped us find and retain some of the best people, who love what they do and work on incredible projects they might not have found elsewhere.

A diverse and inclusive workplace

‘Bring your whole self to work’ is a mantra we also work to, and we actively embrace diversity and inclusion across our business.

For us, diversity means difference, in all its forms, both visible and not visible, and includes differences that relate to gender, age, cultural background, disability, religion and sexual orientation, as well as differences in background and life experience, and interpersonal and problem solving skills.

There is no single way to embrace diversity and encourage greater participation of under-represented groups, particularly for a business of our size and scope. Instead, real change is the cumulative effect of both developing a deep understanding of the entrenched practices that prevent participation and finding different ways to address barriers.

Alongside this approach we find ways to celebrate diversity and build strong internal connections across the business. We have many employee networks where our people can build relationships and influence, learn and support each other. These include our Brilliant Connected Women network for women and men to champion gender equality; our Enable network for employees with a disability and carers, our Spectrum network for LGBTI+ employees, and our network for Telstra Indigenous employees.

Flexible working for all roles

We’re busier now than ever before and we know that the traditional 9 to 5 workday doesn’t work for everyone. Through our ‘All Roles Flex’ initiative, we have made flexibility a key aspect of our working lives. Being able to work from home or alter start and finish times, for example, is par for the course at Telstra.

Building a workforce of the future

The industry around us is changing – quickly. Success can only be achieved by having the right people doing extraordinary things together.

We are building solutions that give our business even greater visibility of the skills needed to deliver on our strategy, and our people greater clarity on the skills they need to grow and thrive at Telstra.

In particular, we will be looking to increase our capability in a range of talent segments, including Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Infrastructure Design & Engineering, Information & Cyber Security, Data Analytics and Management, Product & Service Design and Solution Architecture.

While we are focused on our future we will never lose sight of what makes us a great place to work for all of our people.

People | Regional | Telstra Careers |

Tech Life: Working as a Regional Rigger

By Ryan Duncis November 21, 2017

I’m Ryan Duncis, a Telecommunications Rigger based in regional Queensland.

As a Rigger, I’m normally up a tower or mast working upwards of 100 metres above the ground. I work as part of a team to add new steel work so that our equipment can be safely secured to our infrastructure. Running cabling, attaching dishes – basically anything at height, I’m your man! We also work on the ground to check every lift is setup correctly to ensure safety and that the work occurs as streamlined as possible.

The work I do certainly isn’t for those with a fear of heights. I remember the first climb of 30m above the ground seemed really high at the time, but since then, I’ve been as high as 154m.

When you get past the fear factor, the view from atop of a mobile base station is truly spectacular. With the photos I share with my friends at the summit, my friends are pretty jealous – all taken in a safe way of course. If I ever find myself in an office job in the future, the view will be one of the things I’ll miss the most.

I’m often out in the middle of nowhere with the sun blazing on me, so my days, especially in summer, can get quite hot. But as soon as I start the climb, I usually get a bit of a breeze, and when you’re as high as I get, it’s almost like a fan cooling you down.

The job takes me to some of the most remote locations in the country, where the nearest neighbour is often a cloud. Preparing for a trip is one of the most important parts of the job. The last thing you want is to be half way through a lift with mates on a tower and not have everything you need. The drive back can often be days away.

When you’re working out in regional Australia and people see Telstra vehicles drive in, all they want to know is when the network goes live. Living in our cities, we often take a great network connection for granted. I don’t know how I would live without being so connected. The Mobile Black Spot Program is a game changer for people living in regional Australia. I’m really proud to be able to say that I’m part of a team that builds Infrastructure in some of the country’s most remote communities.

Employees at Telstra taking part in a meeting
Advice | People | Telstra Careers |

I’m a recruiter at Telstra and these are the leadership qualities we look for

By Tom Archer November 20, 2017

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Telstra people leaders play an integral role in the development and performance of their teams. As the Recruitment Delivery Manager for Retail, Marketing & Media, I keep this in mind when finding the next generation of leaders. Here are my top three leadership qualities I seek in candidates:

  1. Ability to articulate ideas clearly

Communication skills say a lot about a candidate’s leadership style, particularly how they conduct themselves and interact with individuals at all levels of the organisation. For example when I’m hiring for sales roles, I take note if they follow up their application with a call and if they’re engaging and responsive – this may be a great sign they’ll do well in the job!

For customer-facing roles, I try to put myself in the shoes of our customers – does the candidate check if it’s a convenient time or do they pick up on social cues if I’m busy? If they do, this is a fair indicator that they have good people skills. Written and verbal cues may strongly indicate how a candidate will lead and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders.

  1. Passionate about their field

One of the most foundational traits of a good leader is a genuine interest in the field in which they’re applying. To gauge interest, I may ask the candidate to elaborate on industry trends that are having the greatest impact on their role, team, business or industry. Succinct, thoughtful answers indicate a depth of industry knowledge –an invaluable trait for employees in leadership positions.

Great leaders are also passionate about their team development so as a recruiter, I seek to understand their preferred management style and perception of staff development. I may ask a candidate to elaborate on the best team they’ve ever led or a challenging team member they’ve managed and how they managed it. Successful leaders show a passion for winning as a team and not just as an individual.

  1. Fit within workplace culture

In order to gauge a candidate’s cultural fit, I ask questions about their ideal role. I may ask what their best day at work was and why, or ask them to describe characteristics of their ideal company. Their responses help draw a picture of the workplace culture they’re likely to thrive in.

It’s also important that a candidate find out for themselves if a workplace is a good cultural fit for them. During the interview, a candidate could ask the recruiter what the culture of the company is like as well as what they enjoy most about working there. A candidate whose leadership style fits with workplace culture is likely to succeed in a high pressure role and build good working relationships.

If you’re applying for a leadership role with us, I hope you’ve found these tips and insights helpful.

How I'm helping to drive diversity and inclusion in Telstra
Inspiration | Students | Telstra Careers |

How I’m helping to drive diversity and inclusion in Telstra

By Winkie Su November 13, 2017

Explore where a career at Telstra can take you. If you’re curious to learn more about graduate and student opportunities at Telstra, you’re already in the right place.

Despite having joined our Graduate Program in Asia less than a year ago, Winkie Su earned a Telstra Country Managing Director Team Award in recognition of her efforts in driving Diversity & Inclusion.

Today, she is part of the International HR team based in Hong Kong and we sat down with her to learn from her experience and for her to share her Telstra journey so far:

Question Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your role at Telstra so far?

A: I was born and bred in Hong Kong but moved to Australia eight years ago to study. Towards the end of my degree, I sought a career that would enable me to build on my multicultural background while enhancing my skills and capabilities. Having spent years in Australia, I was no stranger to Telstra, but what really attracted me to the company was its international aspirations.

By that time Telstra rolled out its first ever International Graduate Program and I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I think it was the ideal way to start my career and I was excited to be part of this international organisation.

Question: Diversity and inclusion is important in how Telstra grows as a business. Why do you think this is important?

A: One initiative that I appreciate is “all-role-flex which means we can alter our working hours or even in some instances work from home! For example, I‘m doing a course every Monday after work, so I work in another office on those days as it’s much closer to my education institute.

Also, since joining Telstra, I‘ve seen so many meaningful initiatives across the international business, such as International Women’s day, White Ribbon Day, Brilliant Connected Women events and PinkDot Day.

PinkDot is an annual event that celebrates diversity with good food and music. Our booth caught people’s attention because we asked the crowd to write love messages on a small balloon, which we then tied onto our stands.

At the end of the day our booth became very colorful. I enjoyed the day a lot as it was very meaningful and fun, and I look forward to volunteering again during the next PinkDot Day with Telstra!

Question: How does Diversity and Inclusion benefit you and support your growth at Telstra?

A: Traditionally in the telecommunications and technology industry, there are more male workers than females. However, Telstra is a company that welcomes and encourages talented females to join the industry. I‘m so proud that 62% of the 2016 international graduates are female and I’m one of them!

We’re also looking to change the perception that technology jobs are only for men by supporting initiatives like the “Girls Go Tech” program through the Telstra Foundation Hong Kong. I participated at the first workshop which was about building an auto-plant pot through programming.

In the workshop, I saw some girls who weren’t as enthusiastic as others, some even found it too hard and stopped trying. However this changed when we asked them to form groups and broke the challenge down into simpler tasks. At the end, all the girls worked together to complete the tasks and presented their final design with glowing positive feedback! It’s amazing that I have the chance to encourage more young ladies to step into the world of technology.

Question: What role are you playing in contributing to Diversity and Inclusion at Telstra?

A: As part of my first rotation in the Employment Relations global function, my involvement with the Global Parental Leave project has been particularly exciting because it not only reflects Telstra’s diversity and inclusion focus, but also makes a difference to new families – which I find very meaningful. My manager is also very supportive of my involvement with other volunteering opportunities.

In 2016, I received a Country Managing Director Quarterly Award as part of the team representing Telstra in the PinkDot event in Hong Kong. I asked myself what more I could do and it has driven me to volunteer for an internal video campaign which aims to promote and raise awareness of gender diversity by interviewing business leaders and other employees about their experiences.

Question: So what are you going to be working on next?

A: In the next few months, I’ll move on to my next rotation in Country HR where I‘ll have more exposure to Telstra’s diverse culture. I’m looking forward to supporting Telstra’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives directly, and supporting the development of local talent in the business.

Personally, I’m interested in how businesses leverage diversity in their strategy, and I am hoping that through my new role, I can gain more exposure and knowledge around nurturing local talent and gender equality.