Sharelle Lincoln, General Manager of Rentals New Zealand, says she loves how working for Invacare provides her with the opportunity to ‘give back’. “We truly make a difference to others, and this is important to me. I have also found that Invacare is a business that encourages staff to be empowered and progress, another important perk of my workplace.“
One of her challenges in her role is around the fact that Sharelle feels there are not enough health professionals to provide every patient with the time they really need. “People who require Invacare products and services are already compromised or challenged in some way. So are many of the clinicians who face time restraints, funding restraints and time pressure to ‘resolve’ a caseload or discharge a patient from a much-needed hospital bed.” If Sharelle had it her way she says this is one issue she’d love to resolve - an increase in health professionals to improve outcomes for all.
Sharelle’s role at Invacare involves working with a team of 28 dedicated rental professionals. “My role in the team is to make our customers feel there is no other company that they would rather partner with. I spend a lot of time talking to business leaders within the sector about what Invacare offers and how Invacare can help make their roles easier. I’m never afraid to suggest a competitor when I know it’s the right solution for them because time has shown that they’ll always come back to us first.”
Sharelle added, “there is no one else that could be better at running the Rentals business than us! Having been in the industry for a ‘wee while’ I also get to have lovely long chats with our clients about families, holidays, past shenanigans and usually leave with a hug.
Most of her working career has been in the healthcare industry, training and then working in a hospital pharmacy lab before moving into sales roles. But what makes Sharelle feel more ‘connected’ to the people she deals with is understanding what it’s like to live with a disability. “I have Stereo Blindness, which means I don’t see in 3D. I can’t see steps, or when a glass is full, or when a ball is coming towards me. This impacts my life in ways that might be hard to understand for those who haven’t experienced it.” Sharelle says she knows from first-hand experience that even one person can make a big difference to the wellbeing of another.
Growing up in Whakatane, a small community in the Bay of Plenty, Sharelle lived opposite a farm and spent countless hours sliding down the hills on homemade sleds, often arriving home “covered in a mix of mud and cow poo,” she says with a laugh. “We always had a sport on the go and with my vision disability I found swimming and athletics were the ones that caused fewer injuries.”
When asked about her driving values, Sharelle responded saying, “Integrity is the value that I try to live by. Treating others as equals and helping people is ingrained. I came home from my first week at school hungry because I had been giving my lunch a kid who didn’t have any. We remained friends always and years later she told me that she had lunch - mine was just better!”
When not at work Sharelle says she always has a book on the go but it’s usually just mindless distraction. “Bryce Courtney, John Grisham, Jodie Picoult.” She belongs to a fitness group called Zest so does a mixture of HITT and boxing classes three times a week. “I have been an area coordinator for the Pink Ribbon Street Appeal for the last 14 years which keeps me occupied for a couple of months. I also volunteer at the Waihi Beach Info Centre where we spend most weekends.”