Rachel Newton proudly picked up her long-service award recently after clocking up five years as a valued Polygon employee. Here she talks about making progress in Major and Complex Claims, and what it means to be part of the Polygon family.
The nine years before I joined Polygon I had spent working for competitors in the industry. I was frustrated in those roles and was seeking a new challenge when the opportunity at Polygon came up. I had no real concept of the scale and depth of the company.
I have no idea where those last five years have gone! Nothing stands still here – things are always changing, evolving and developing. Just look at how we’re pushing ahead in areas such as sustainability and the Internet of Things (IoT). Our focus is so much broader than domestic fire and water damage or commercial claims, although they’re still a core part of the business.
For me, I enjoy the sense of always being challenged. I find it really motivating. At Polygon, the customer base is continually growing and changing, and you don’t have time to sit still and be bored.
It means something when you’re recognised for your service. It shows that all that experience is valued, and it reflects the fact that at Polygon you’re made to feel part of a family.
Personal development is important here. It’s something the company definitely believes in and invests in. I’ve been able to go on management courses, and you can really push for as much as you want to take on. There’s the Polygon Learning Zone (PLZ) online, toolbox talks, health and safety training - it all helps ensure there are no barriers between people because we all have a level of knowledge. We can talk about things and see why people might have issues and frustrations from the challenges they might experience on a day-to-day visit. From a business development point of view, having an understanding of that side of the business really helps at the beginning of the sales process and ensures our techs don’t feel things are dropped on them.
I’ve always worked in commercial and major loss. Polygon was developing its offering in this area when I joined, and I could see real potential – there was an opportunity to put Polygon on the map in terms of commercial work and on the radar with the Loss Adjusters. Over time, we’ve built up those relationships and the customer base and achieved recognition as a player in the commercial space.
There have been milestones on this journey. I remember a large major loss in Derby four months after starting that perhaps we wouldn’t have been considered for previously - it was a six-week project at real depth and scale, so it showed the confidence the client had in us to deliver. It gave us evidence of what we can achieve at that level.
A particular highlight for me was in 2018. We commandeered a truck from Germany that was used as a workshop and mobile hub in major loss, and we took it on a roadshow to Manchester and London so that people could really see for themselves the depth of our capabilities in TCS and LD.
Reputation is everything. When jobs can be over half a million pounds, you’ve got to have the capability to deliver in terms of costings and timings and everything else but it’s a service-oriented business and we need to continually deliver the highest level of service.
I think one thing that marks out a Polygon employee is approachability. If people see the opportunity or understand the reason, they’ll rarely say no. It’s part of the team ethos and that’s quite motivating. The leadership team is also on your level - you’re not micro-managed. Everyone has the potential to manage themselves, and that might mean making mistakes, but it also means learning and being given the chance to flourish. As I have been told, ask for forgiveness, and don’t seek permission!
Polygon is all about momentum. We want to develop as a company and as individuals. There’s always something new that allows you to push on. It’s a really good platform to keep building people and the business. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what happens in the future. I’m sure it will be ten years before you know it!
Direct Reaction Team
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