With the support of my leader, I found time in my busy schedule for development

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Customer Care supervisor Malerie Serley’s development journey began shortly after joining the company in 2019. “I joined the organization without any knowledge about health insurance,” Malerie explains.  She started as a Customer Care advocate. “The reason I pushed my development was because I knew Excellus BCBS was a great company to work for and I really wanted to begin a career there.”

Desk time made it possible

She was committed to taking on as many learning opportunities as she could while balancing the challenges of a tight schedule helping members on the phone. “I would utilize my desk time as often as I could and any courses that were interactive or offered only at a certain time, I would work directly with my leader to get the time I needed,” shares Malerie.  Excellus BCBS Customer care advocates have one or two hours each week referred to as “desk time” where they are off the phones for training and other development opportunities, but more time can be requested. “We have a workforce management team that does scheduling and forecasting so we know ahead of time what the day is going to look like.  With that information, we know if there is desk time available,” she adds.

She found her way through mentoring

One development opportunity that had a great impact on Malerie was mentoring. “I did a mentoring pilot program. I had a mentor that was a supervisor in the Claims department, and she helped me figure out that I wanted to be a leader.” Mentoring is now available to all employees. “I have an advocate on my team who is currently participating in mentoring. She coordinates with her mentor and then lets me know what time she needs. She then puts in a request through our workforce scheduling tool,” shares Malerie.

The value of connecting with colleagues

Throughout her career, Malerie has requested time for a variety of development opportunities including LinkedIn Learning, classes on the company’s internal platform, and interactive sessions.  She encourages others to take advantage of the interactive courses where you can connect with fellow employees virtually.  “I think these courses are good personally and professionally,” says Malerie. “These sessions are a great opportunity to break up your day-to-day routine and push out of your comfort zone, get in front of people and network.”

Some good advice and a little encouragement

Malerie offers this advice to anyone looking to take advantage of development opportunities – “Use your time wisely to see what development resources are available. Check in with your leader to let them know what you are working on with your development. Make sure development is a part of the 1:1 conversation.”

She has always felt encouraged and supported by her leaders, even as she has taken on more robust development opportunities such as the organization’s Enterprise Succession Program (now Enterprise Mobility Program), where individuals are invited to participate in a 7-month long intensive leadership program. “I worked with my supervisor to figure out how much time I would need off the phones to focus on the course and follow up work,” she notes. “Most leaders are willing to make any adaptation to schedules when it comes to those types of development opportunities.”

Finding your career path can sometimes be difficult, especially with so many options available. Malerie recommends taking advantage of shadowing opportunities to explore the many paths available and figure out which direction is right for you. Whether an employee’s goal is to become a leader, move laterally into another area of the company, or build new skills, there are so many development opportunities offered at Excellus BCBS that can help them grown both personally and professionally.

Job opportunities

Are you looking to take the next step in your career and make a difference in others’ lives?

We have the right fit for you. Positions are available in many departments including Customer Care, Operational Excellence, Marketing and Sales, Information Technology, and more. Check us out at careers.excellusbcbs.com. Get to know our people and our values, and grow your relationship with us.  For more information, reach out to Director of Talent Acquisition Jason Helsdon at Jason.Helsdon@excellus.com.

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