Since joining the company back in 2006, Operations Manager Frances Grant has had quite the diverse career. It's all thanks to her adventurous spirit, thirst for knowledge, and friendly, approachable attitude. She's always up for new challenges and keeps things interesting along the way! 

Frances' skills and capabilities have grown with each role she's taken on, ranging from the contact center to quality control, operations management, contract mobilisations, and system implementations. 

After 17 years steadily advancing through the ranks at Ventia, Frances has arrived at a significant milestone in her career—the Ventia Operations Centre. It all started when she joined as a call center representative back when it was called the Response Network. Along the way, Frances seized several opportunities that led her to work on various contracts and take on diverse corporate roles. Her journey has been a testament to her dedication and willingness to explore new avenues within the company. 

“I like to say I grew up in this business,” Frances says. “I started out as a temp working in the Response Network, I moved from my hometown in Lake Macquarie to Sydney when a job became available, I’ve travelled all over Australia, had many different roles and learnt so much from all the amazing people I’ve worked with.”

Being calm under pressure is a good trait to have when you manage a team working in a busy operations centre

One skill Frances has developed over time is being calm under pressure, which is a good trait to have when you manage a team working in a busy operations centre. Frances says she gets that from her dad, who is both patient and calm.  

"My dad's patience, calmness, and strong work ethic are seriously inspiring! I really look up to him and strive to be just like him,” she says. “He's always composed, even in tough situations, and he never gives up on his goals. He has always shown me the importance of staying determined and keeping a cool head.”

Continuous learning is key

Whilst Frances says she prefers to learn on the job over academic study, she enjoys taking time to learn new leadership skills from courses, including the Compass Women in Leadership course which she undertook.  

Along with a group of around 30 women from organisations like Google and Sydney Water, over several sessions across a few months Frances participated in activities that helped her learn more about her leadership style and capabilities.  

I think the most important thing I learned was that I could lean into who I was and find my own style of leadership

“I didn’t have to change to be successful in my career and be a better leader,” she says. “It was a bit like group therapy at times!” 

Other skills Frances learned on the course were patience and recognising that everyone deals with conflict differently, no-one's style is better or worse.  

"It gave me the ability to step back and be curious about why I might be having a conflict with someone, not letting their reaction control my response. I learned to invest time in understanding their perspective, what they value, and how to find a way to work together that benefits both of us."

The Ventia Operations Centre team proudly celebrates their top performers

Moving into a new role

Frances was approached about her current role in 2022 by General Manager Chris Yiannis, with whom she’d worked with on previous projects. She says she took her time considering whether or not this was the right move for her, as she’d been out of the contact center environment for nine years.  

However, taking a leap of faith and trusting in Chris’ recommendation of her, Frances applied for the role.  

“What motivates me is knowing that I’m helping people,’ Frances says. “Even if it’s one person I’ve solved a problem for, I consider that a successful day.”  

Frances and her team of 140 incredible and dedicated individuals are responsible for managing several significant contracts at Ventia. These include our Defence business, the Across Government Facilities Management Arrangement, and the Land and Housing contract. As part of her role, Frances travels across Australia to visit different teams, fostering connections and offering guidance whenever necessary.

Creating a fantastic work culture where people truly enjoy coming to work is incredibly rewarding.

"Even though it can be tough at times, I genuinely love being a people manager," Frances admits. "It's also fulfilling to witness my team's growth and their continuous learning journey." 


Top image: France Grant accepting the Client Focus award on behalf of the Ventia Operations Centre (VOC) at Ventia's Redefining Service Excellence Awards