CAM-X Newsletter – December  2016 – Volume 1 Issue 12

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In this Issue : 

  1. A message from President Dana Lloyd
  2. Your Company’s Culture & What This Means When Recruiting by TwoGreySuits
  3. A message from the Education Committee Chairs
  4. Who Owns your Time ? by Paul Roy
  5. Vendor Spotlight – SIP Trunking for Contact Centres, done right. by Star Telecom

A message from President Dana Lloyd

Over the last month we have brought back our acclaimed Info-Polls and received an amazing response.  This is a monthly initiative in which we will ask a question over the list serve and share the results the following month.  If anyone has any topic ideas, or questions they want asked, please connect with me at dlloyd@answerplus.ca.  Thank you to everyone who participated, again, the response was outstanding.

We would also like to welcome Garrett Bidewell, of Select Communications to the CAM-X board.   After this year’s conference, we were short one position, and Garrett has agreed to fill that spot.  Garrett is bringing great experience, new ideas and fresh perspective to the seat.  Welcome Garrett!

With the holiday season right around the corner, CAM-X would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday this season and for joy and prosperity throughout the coming year.


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Your Company’s Culture & What This Means When Recruiting
This article is part of the TwoGreySuits Managing Employee Performance Series and is offered by our partner, TwoGreySuits as a service to CAM-X members. 

Important Aspects of CulturePeople are more likely to remain in company cultures that support their personal values and professional success.

In terms of candidate sourcing and attraction, the most important aspect of culture is the degree to which common practices and beliefs in your company are perceived as unique and similar to the beliefs and preferences of candidates. For example, some organizations believe financial rewards are more important than other forms of recognition, such as praise from supervisors. One candidate may like this money-based culture, while another may find it impersonal or threatening.

In terms of candidate selection, the most critical aspects of culture are philosophies that employees must support, adapt to or overcome to be effective. Culture can have a major impact on the success of newly hired employees, even those with very similar skills and experiences. For example, certain skills are more critical in consensus-oriented cultures than in cultures where employees are expected to act autonomously. A highly independent employee might succeed in a company that places little emphasis on consensus, but fail miserably in the same job in a company that encourages group decision-making.

Identify Your Company’s Culture

Using culture for recruitment requires identifying aspects of your company’s culture that make it different from other companies. In essence, you need to identify the unique beliefs, behaviors, and practices of your company.

• Review mission and vision statements, shareholder reports or marketing materials that convey the company’s self-identity. But these materials often convey what the company wants to be, and may not reflect what the company’s work environment actually is.

• Conduct a survey. However, surveys are fairly labor intensive and often fail to capture the work environment’s truly unique aspects.

• Interview a cross-section of employees and leaders about the work environment. Ask for short phrases that describe the company’s atmosphere, reasons why they like the company and things they find frustrating.

The ideal approach is to use a combination of these methods, although interviews tend to be the most efficient and information rich. But people may be reluctant to speak openly about negative aspects of the company, so you may want to use a management consultant with expertise in organizational culture and employee staffing.

If done correctly, a culture audit should provide five to 10 primary cultural attributes that set your company apart. These themes will probably not be completely positive. However, culture tends to evolve based on a past or current need, and it is usually possible to find ways to word each attribute in a way that highlights its advantages. The following are good and bad aspects of some common cultural attributes:

• Clearly Structured/Bureaucratic
• Adaptive/Reactive
• Focused on Results/Evaluative or Competitive

Using Culture for Recruitment

Once you’ve identified your company’s primary cultural attributes, create a subset to incorporate into your recruiting strategy. Look for attributes that:

• You want to retain and develop as core cultural competencies.
• Employees must embrace to succeed in the organization.
• Avoid recruiting people based on culture attributes you want but do not currently have.

Such people are likely to either quit or be unsuccessful in a culture that is incompatible with their normal styles. Although it is preferable to hire people who fit the culture, there are times when this is less important. When your goal is to recruit someone to perform a specific task for a set amount of time, culture may not be critical. Culture is also less important when people will be working in an environment that is relatively isolated from the rest of the company. In these cases, focus on the local culture created by the team the person will work with. However, avoid establishing multiple, conflicting cultures within your company.

The TGS System is a one-of-a-kind product that includes:

  •  A comprehensive on-line training course on employee engagement
  • An ever expanding training library of e-learning webinars on critical HR topics
  • The HR Power Centre for dealing with the day-to-day people management issues that inevitably arise
  • 24/7 HR Hot Line

Accessing the TGS System is simple. All you have to do is log in at  http://camx.twogreysuits.com/sign-up/  using your email address as your username and CAM-X381 as your password. It’s as simple as that and it’s free. Why wait?  Don’t let important people management issues go unresolved when you can deal with them today.


A message from your Education Committee Chairs
Barbara Bradbury & Sabrina Perron

The Education Committee is proud to announce the next CoachU Workshop will be hosted in Toronto in May 2017. The exact dates with session highlights will be provided shortly so you can book this wonderful learning opportunity into your calendar. Call for session topics and speakers now open.Our Webinars have been very well received by the membership, so we are planning to deliver more of these amazing presentations in the coming year!   More than a dozen topics and sessions are being finalized as you are reading this report including:  scheduling ( a series), recruiting, communication, training and much more. (Topic suggestions are always welcome) Make sure to follow the Webinar alert on the members and supervisors list to see what our next webinars will be so that you have time to register.
To add members of your team to either list please email your requests directly to linda@camx.ca

We wish you all an amazing Holiday season. See you in 2017 !



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Who Owns your Time ?
By Paul Roy

Many of us have been through periods in our lives where we feel as if were spinning out of control. This control has been lost to outside influences that require us to meet the needs of others. Family, volunteerism and work keep us running until we collapse at the end of the day.

I believe the loss of control in our lives is the biggest cause of stress. Pressure to meet the demands of others can eat away at our ability to perform at our best. The challenge is getting some control back into your life. How can you do this without feeling the guilt associated with saying no?

I say the answer is really quite simple. Don’t say no! Wait a minute. If you say yes aren’t you still caught in the same trap? I suggest you say yes but with a twist. That’s a nice way of saying yes but with conditions. Conditions that you own. Here is where you get your control back. Remember you’re not taking control of someone else. You’re taking control of your own time.

I find the best way is to say, “Yes I would love to help you out however I’m involved in a big project that is extremely important to me. I’m not clear until Tuesday afternoon. How would that be? Keep in mind you have not said no. What you have really done is keep control of your time without the feeling of guilt associated with saying no.

If you don’t have control of your time you are not able to dedicate the time you need to work on your goals and projects. Dedicating all your time to making others happy is often a lost venture. Yes, it feels good temporarily however you end up losing control of your time. Learn how to manage the yes.

I expect the most common term you hear is, “I just don’t have the time.” I suggest they don’t have the time because their time is not their own. I hear it every day in my volunteer world. Pressure to help others and to perform at work are crippling. Our not so “smart phones” control our day as they take us to a place of reacting to the needs of others. An email or text chimes in asking us to reply. Like zombies we wait in anticipation for this to happen. How foolish is that. Turn the phone off. Focus on your time. You will be happy you did.


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Vendor Spotlight – SIP Trunking for Contact Centres, done right. by Star Telecom

Definition of SIP Trunks

A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunk is a connection that links a business, via many different ways, directly to the Public Telephone Network (PSTN) using an IP connection.

SIP Trunking is the fastest growing telephony service evolving today.

In a nutshell, SIP Trunking is a form of VoIP telephony (Voice over IP).

SIP trunks carry inbound and outbound voice calls, but also support video and data communications and much more. Many businesses are now turning to SIP to help them cut costs, streamline their telephony infrastructure, ensure flexibility and put in place business continuity plans.

Why SIP Now?

So why has SIP Trunking suddenly become such a buzzword, if it’s been around for some time? What makes now the right time to think about SIP, and whether your business should implement it?

Essentially, it’s all down to connectivity. Traditional broadband connections are being rapidly replaced with new and improved fibre broadband services, which are much more able to cope with the simultaneous demands of today’s business world. Improvements in fibre technology are such that companies are finding themselves able to take advantage of technology that they couldn’t before. Smaller companies can reach more customers in an increasingly diverse number of ways, and mid-size to larger enterprises are finding they can make the most of powerful tools and systems, and encourage more flexible working practices whilst also preparing themselves for future growth.

Upgrading a business broadband connection to a dedicated, super-fast connection often prompts companies to review their current communications infrastructure at the same time. This is the point at which a shift from ISDN to a SIP Trunking model is proposed.

SIP Trunk Myths….

It’s not secure

You may have concerns about the safety of SIP trunks, and possibly heard about instances of fraud carried out against other companies utilising SIP trunking. While these concerns are understandable, it is worth remembering that, if SIP trunks are implemented correctly, fraud should not be an issue. If anything, connectivity could be much more secure than it was previously. A properly configured SIP channel will allow you to handle your own connectivity via dedicated firewalls or a router with firewalls built in, which is in turn managed by the SIP channel maintainers or by your own IT company, depending on the set up.

My call quality will be compromised

This myth comes partly from the confusion between non-business VoIP applications like Skype (which runs openly over the internet, and as a result experiences frequently poor quality or dropped calls) and business dedicated VoIP services such as SIP Trunking.

There is also a legacy of ISDN providing excellent call quality that makes potential users dubious about SIP and whether it can deliver the same quality.

SIP Trunking uses private IP connections specifically designed to carry voice, and as such come with Quality-of-Service guarantees. SIP Trunks therefore can deliver the same or sometimes even better call quality than ISDN. Call quality is also dependent on the network that delivers the call- if the network has any packet loss or poor jitter rates then the quality of the call could be compromised. Our SIP Trunking services will also come with dedicated support teams to help maintain SLAs and Quality-of-Service guarantees.

It’ll cost me too much

Upgrading to SIP Trunks should have the exact opposite effect, in that it could save you money in quite a significant manner. You’ll save most noticeably when it comes to no longer paying ISDN rental line costs. Additionally, you’ll have access to lower call rates or in some cases, free calls to North America destinations. Some SIP providers talk of typical savings of 50% on line rentals, and 25% on calls. Calls between connected sites are also free, even those that are international calls. SIP Trunking has the added benefit of allowing you to avoid expensive call forwarding costs in the event of a disaster or relocation.

Great Solution for Back-Up

You most likely have redundancy for your switch, computers, data and internet so why not SIP? A company that employs SIP as an alternative to their PRIs or existing SIP for example, would simply have to configure their onsite connection device to reroute the inbound calls to their alternative SIP Trunk provider thereby bypassing the primary PRIs or other SIP. For inbound calls the company would need to let their carrier know to forward their numbers to another carrier or have back up DID’s in place with the back up SIP provider. There are several different ways to accomplish this depending on your business.

Conclusion

It is true that SIP is not for everyone. It is also true, despite the current market hype, that ISDN is not yet redundant. In some cases, companies choose to marry SIP Trunking with their legacy ISDN as a dual solution, proving that it is possible to test the capabilities of SIP while not yet letting go of an ISDN service that has performed traditionally well.

This flexibility is what defines SIP Trunking so well. It means that a huge opportunity exists for companies to take advantage of a means of business communications that is extremely adaptable to most business scenarios. The benefits are many, and the process of migration itself is straight forward.