Currently, we already have a several of them. As well as “normal” responsibilities, they undertake an important, additional function – they are Sii Ambassadors on-site at the client for whom they are currently working. This role requires, among other things, looking after team-members, who may not have everyday, direct contact with Sii. Therefore, an Ambassador is first and foremost a representative of the firm. That’s an influential position! What can you do, Mr Ambassador?
The meaning of being an Ambassador
In Sii, a substantial number of engineers still work at clients’ offices. This number gets smaller every year in comparison with engineers working in Sii offices, but the numbers are still high. However, the care Sii takes of people delegated to work at clients has very much increased. For years, our advantage over competitors has been that we value workers. That’s why Sii invests in the development of tools which encourage the involvement of teams, with whom building relationships is difficult because of the physical distance. Hence the need for Sii Ambassadors, as they promote the value of communication between engineers and with the client. That’s why the importance of this role is very much likely to grow, which is worth noting for those actively seeking career progression.
The Ambassador in the workplace
This role in Sii has been functioning, in fact, for a few years (earlier known as the Site Manager), and the role has evolved together with the growth in business and work sites, where an ever increasing number of Ambassadors are being appointed. Regarding clients, where our workers are located, there must be at least five of our people before one is selected for the role. This is the critical number, from which the team may, on the one hand, extensively expand, and therefore require monitoring, and on the other – evidence of potential growth in cooperation with the client.
Most frequently, the Business Manager reports the need for an Ambassador, who will become his right-hand man or woman within the team. It is the manager who shows the Director of the department a suitable potential candidate, who they have chosen – who is then introduced to the CEO. At the meeting, the future Ambassador will outline his or her vision for growth in the client’s business, as well as their ideas for improving the Sii Spirit. An Ambassador plays such a crucial role that they are only appointed following a successful meeting with both the President and their Line Manager.
Acting on the front line
Thanks to Sii Ambassadors, its possible to have a greater opportunity to develop our business with the client, and, at the same time, be in closer contact with our own people. It’s great if the Ambassador is interested in the IT market, and has the ability to see trends developing. Also of importance is the ability to strike up good relations with decision-makers, while, at the same time taking care of Sii’s image and promoting the company.
No less important is acting as a guide for engineers at the client’s premises – an Ambassador is responsible for the ‘on-boarding’ of new Sii Workers. They are the voice of the team, they canvass opinions, expectations and suggestions. They are the first people to be consulted regarding questions or problems. Ambassadors also look after the Sii Spirit and ‘fun’ activities – and are responsible for social activities.
An Ambassador also has responsibility regarding administration in Sii, as the person responsible for providing support for engineers at this location. On the one hand, the Ambassador communicates important information and changes, of which,in turn, he is informed about by the Administration Department; on the other, he has to support the Administration Department by obtaining necessary documentation from the engineers.
The role of Sii Ambassador provides a splendid opportunity to develop as an engineer, not only by paying attention to responsibilities, but also by gaining perks. Above all, the Ambassador takes part in all important meetings concerning the client, for example, when assessing the business and selecting strategies for growth. The Ambassador plays an important role here and has real influence on the shape of the cooperation with the client. Every idea and rationalisation by the Ambassador will be analysed.
A further, additional responsibility is that of fulfilling the function of Worker Key User, which means affiliation to the group which has responsibility for testing new solutions and the functionality of applications and other tools, which have been installed by Sii. This also gains financial reward and is treated as a priority, for example, at the moment when changes to a project are announced.
Meetings at the highest level
Sii Ambassadors find themselves in a disjointed environment. They are all existing in slightly different worlds, while, at the same time, regarding the importance of the position, all possess important information, knowledge and experience. That’s why, in May, 2017, ambassadors took part in Siinspiration for the first time. This was an opportunity to get to know the highest level of management and to exchange knowledge regarding the firm. During this event, Ambassadors had their own panel – this was the first occasion when the whole group had met face-to-face, in order to share observations on fulfilling their roles successfully and to discuss challenges and difficulties.
Since that time, Ambassadors have met online every three months to keep up-to-date with questions of interest for them and to support and inspire each other. Day-to-day, those with such a role also have a site in the internal portal designated specifically for them.
Influence on the firm
Robert Piskorz, Sii Ambassador, Scalepoint
I have officially had the role of Sii Ambassador since April, 2017, but I have undertaken such tasks almost right from the start. I have directly supported eight people in three locations – the number varies according to the needs of the project.
The Ambassador’s role appears, as a rule, where the team has grown beyond a few people, but there is no technical ability to establish the position of Team Leader. This is a person who really can support workers, and won’t be their direct supervisor in the Sii system. The Ambassador is the direct link between Sii Workers and the client and a single point of contact for workers.
What is most important for me is the possibility of having great influence on the activity of the whole firm. An Ambassador does not only inspire workers from the side of the client, but he or she also fulfil the role of Worker Key User throughout Sii. This means I have influence over many activities I come across every day – for example, work time questionnaires, forms for annual appraisals – we help during modification procedures, giving our suggestions and testing the draft version.
Relations in the team
Malwina Bartkow, Sii Ambassador, Bombadier Transportation
I started work for Sii Katowice in July, 2016, and I’ve been a Sii Ambassador in Bombadier Transportation since April, 2017. One of my priorities at work is to support over forty Sii engineers, working for the client in Poland, and also in Germany and Sweden.
The most important thing in my role is to be close to people, and act in their interests, by skilfully interpreting their needs and problems. I have to ease communication between engineers, clients and Sii, which forms the basis for a successfully functioning team. The finest situations are those in which I am able to help someone, to advise or simplify and make life easier. The best things are being able to socialise with open-minded people, who are motivated and able to work with others, something that can be found in a Sii Ambassador.
The general awareness of engineers is also something that can be counted on. An Ambassador needs to be someone informed and willing to help at a client or there and then, and is always available. I believe that the perception of the role of Ambassador is positive. Can women do more? Sex has nothing to do with anything, it’s character and personal disposition that counts. You should try to be communicative, entrepreneurial and energetic. At the same time, determination, patience and openness to people are all also of importance.
Being for others
Piotr Predys, Sii Ambassador, Client in the financial sector
I’ve been working with my client since May, 2016, and I’ve been a Sii Ambassador since January, 2017. The team in which I work has grown dynamically. Friends ask me what benefits an Ambassador brings to a team – I reply that this is the time he is willing to sacrifice for others. I am the first contact a person has in case he has any doubts concerning administrative matters or questions concerning Sii systems.
It’s important that an Ambassador shares the same ideas and values that their firm stands for. This guarantees engagement, something very important for the role. To fulfil this function, I have the possibility to take initiatives connected with developing the firm, both with regards to business and to marketing – and I have taken advantage of this with enthusiasm. The ability to act with a cool head and common sense is also important. And communication skills: these help to build good relations with engineers and with teams, as well as with clients. I’d add openness, patience and objectivity, loyalty and trust – and then we have the ideal ambassador.
Article written by: Katarzyna Domańska