Hayley Poulton is one of our highly valued Plan Managers, and she’s known to go above and beyond every single day. We’re thrilled to have such a genuine, problem-solving superstar on the team.
Here she shares what her role entails, and how her position ticks all her boxes – from people, to purpose, to navigating unforeseen challenges!
I am a Plan Manager at our Sydney HQ. Whilst the Plan Managers’ main function is to facilitate payments on behalf of the participant, the role runs a lot deeper and broader.
Although the NDIS is an amazing initiative, at the end of the day, participants can easily be treated as an NDIS number. And that’s not true at all – I’m working with and helping real people every day!
Essentially I act like the middleperson between the participant and the NDIA, and my favourite part about my role is building rewarding relationships with the participants I work with. I help participants so much more than facilitating payments. When speaking to participants with complex circumstances, I can’t help but take on some of their troubles. Sometimes this means simply giving them a chance to express themselves and have them realise that they are not alone and I’m in their corner. I also love helping people utilise their funding for the right support and it’s resulted in some life-changing outcomes.
The Plan Manager role can entail some difficult situations with unknowns yet to be figured out and follow up conversations, but I always see this as an opportunity to problem-solve. I really feel a sense of achievement when I break through a challenging situation and come out on the other side with great solutions for my participants.
I have just had my one-year anniversary! I can’t believe how quicky the time has gone. It’s been nothing but good vibes from the very beginning.
I was drawn to T-shirt Ventures whilst I was looking for a career change - one with true purpose and intrinsic reward. I wanted to learn new things, meet new people, and most of all – put my efforts into helping others. I never knew what a Plan Manager was, but when I saw the job post it was everything I was looking for! Since my very first dealings, I’ve been continually impressed by the company’s forward thinking. More importantly, I get to call the kind, big-hearted people of T-shirt Ventures my family.
I was captivated by this role for the same reason I’ve fallen in love with it – community, people, relationships, and purpose!
It’s fantastic, I love it! It’s a profit for purpose start-up so you have a modern, dynamic vibe mixed with authenticity. Everyone is so lovely - the team is a diverse mix of like-minded people who truly care, have fun, and enjoy a good laugh. I also think every one of us loves animals!
I have learnt so much over the year. We work collaboratively across different departments, and the company is growing and changing every day. The team supports one another, and the leadership team looks after us really well. They listen to our feedback, check in on our mental health, provide us with employee perks, and overall create a flexible and transparent working environment whilst continually looking for ways of positive progression.
All the wonderful people I am engaging with daily, and the relationships I’m building with participants, colleagues, and other providers. When you are all working towards the same end goal and celebrating mini triumphs along the way, it truly feels like things are coming together for a greater cause.
It is so fulfilling to be a part of my participants’ journeys – hearing all the positive ways that they are progressing and thriving. Continuing to support and guide them whilst they build their confidence and independence is just a fabulous experience to be part of. I am just so excited for them when they make progress with their goals and the NDIS meets its purpose providing growth, freedom and opportunity.
5. You've been nominated as living our company values of "Grow, Together" and “Velocity to Value”. What do these values mean to you?
‘Grow, Together’ means together we can make a difference. It really does just take one seed for something to grow into many fruits, with their own seeds to soon thrive. Growing together means with my team and my participants.
‘Velocity to Value’ means going above and beyond – I’m very determined to get the job done and reach out to whoever I need to facilitate that. Instead of “would you like fries with that?”, my approach is “would you like some love and care with that?”. If I can make something simpler for someone who is already going through a challenging time, or make a call to have something actioned sooner, I’ll do it without question.
I love anything to do with being creative or active. I love performing with my community Big Band and can’t wait to get back into that. I’ve really missed rehearsals on a Saturday morning and the coffee catch up afterwards.
In lockdown I’ve enjoyed some home decorating projects and kept up my piano lessons. I’ve also kayaked, walked, roller-skated, roller-bladed, and cycled - but I am looking forward to travelling and going on new adventures. I can’t wait for some long lunches and party times with friends and family!