In this Issue : A message from President Dana Lloyd A message from your membershift Development Committee Chair Time Management Read more →
CAM-X Newsletter – January 2017 – Volume 1 Issue 13
In this Issue :
- A message from President Dana Lloyd
- Why Be Concerned About Employee Engagement ? by TwoGreySuits
- A message from the Education Committee Chairs
- Want To Stand Out ? Six Tips on Being Unique by Paul Roy
- Vendor Spotlight – AMTELCO/TELESCAN
A message from President Dana Lloyd
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday season surrounded by friends and family.
I love the New Year because, to me, it signifies a time when we can start fresh, re-group and possibly change course. I think it’s a time to reflect on the past and put together a plan for the future. And I think we, as an industry, are collectively moving forward in the right direction, working stronger, with better tools, than we ever have before. I think we are all well positioned to truly prosper in 2017. I’m excited to see how it unfolds.
We have a lot planned for January.
– Registration for the AOE program will open shortly. Linda will be sending out an email in the coming weeks, so please stay tuned.
– A webinar on the AOE program is tentatively scheduled for January 25th. This webinar is free to all members.
– A CPET webinar is scheduled for February 1st. Again, this webinar will be free to all members.
– Our info-poll will be coming out on January 15th. The results from the past month’s poll are included in each info-poll. Thank you again to everyone who has participated.
Wishing everyone a wonderful 2017. I hope your year is filled with great ideas, new initiatives, personal accomplishments and huge successes.
Why Be Concerned About Employee Engagement ?
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.
Although there seems to be fairly widespread recognition that employee engagement matters, the challenge is often in convincing business leaders this is the case, particularly in today’s tough economic climate and especially in an atmosphere of widespread cost cutting.
We are going to form our own rationale that employee engagement is a real concern based on the responses we have had from several hundred participants in our Best Management Practices training course we instruct. At first we were shocked at the answers but then began to realize over the course of time that these numbers were very consistent from company to company. We asked what, in % terms, is the level of your engagement in your job; meaning how much of your effort, wisdom, knowledge, ideas and initiative is the company getting from you? Participants said they were on average only 40-60% engaged in their jobs. We went on to illustrate and explain how a more focused people management style would greatly improve employee engagement, but there are many other contributing factors too. In fact, the conscious use of the HR Power Centre would serve as a platform for developing higher employee engagement in any organization.
According to Gallup, one of the leading research firms in this area, when comparing top and bottom quartiles of engagement scores, highly engaged organizations have 2.6 times the earnings per share growth rate of their lower performing peers in the same industry. (Gallup, 2010)
Some other interesting metrics from Gallup include the following:
In average organizations, the ratio of engaged employees to disengaged employees is around 1.5 to 1; in high performing organizations, the ratio is more like 8 to 1. Gallup estimates the cost
How to improve Employee Engagement
- Provide employees with an understanding of how their jobs fit in with the overall organization and how their work contributes to organizational goals.
- Ensure that employees have opportunities for promotion and career advancement, and that those opportunities are communicated to them.
- Provide training to managers and supervisors on how they can gain the trust of their employees.
- Ensure that health, safety and ergonomic concerns are taken seriously in the workplace.
- Ensure that the workplace is physically pleasant and that temperature, air quality and noise levels are optimal.
- Ensure that the total rewards package (including cash compensation, benefits, pensions and other rewards) is competitive and fair, both externally and internally.
- Provide opportunities for employees to socialize and get to know one another.
- Provide employees with a reasonable degree of job security wherever possible.
- Clearly communicate the organization’s vision, mission and values to employees.
- Ensure that employees have adequate vacation time, and that they take the time off that is owed to them.
- Provide a safe and secure work environment.
- Provide employees with opportunities to innovate and excel in their jobs.
- Ensure that managers and supervisors take the time to get to know their direct reports and that they demonstrate genuine concern for their well-being.
- Provide opportunities for employee empowerment, job rotation, enrichment and enlargement.
- Wherever possible, provide stimulating work which is not boring or repetitive.
- Ensure that employees have the equipment and materials required to be successful.
- Implement a pay-for-performance culture that recognizes superior performance.
- Ensure that senior management builds trust with employees by being honest and forthright in their communications, and by being available and approachable.
- Provide opportunities for employees to work cooperatively and collaboratively.
- Ensure the right employees are placed in the right roles at the right levels.
- Foster effective communications throughout the organization; where possible, ensure that employees are kept in the loop with regard to organizational changes and developments which would likely affect them.
- Provide proper context for performance management; let employees know what is expected of them.
- Ensure that employees have reasonable demands placed on them.
- Involve employees in the decision-making process wherever possible.
- Cascade clearly defined organizational goals to all employees; allow them to participate in the setting of their own goals and objectives.
- Ensure proper work-life balance.
- Develop policies dealing with a respective workplace and ensure those policies are enforced; do not tolerate bullying and harassment of any kind.
- Provide constructive feedback to employees regarding their performance.
- Provide employees with as much freedom as possible to determine how they complete their work.
- Provide learning and development opportunities wherever possible.
- Demonstrate compassion and provide emotional support during difficult times.
- Conduct regular employee engagement surveys and report on their results in a transparent manner; develop meaningful action items in relation to areas of concern and take concrete steps towards implementing the required changes.
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
A message from your Education Committee Chairs
Barbara Bradbury & Sabrina Perron
We have a full slate of Webinars lined up that are guaranteed to ignite your team by offering practical and specific ideas that you’ll want to implement right away. Topics include a 3 part series on the challenges of scheduling (who couldn’t use a little help with that!), recruiting and onboarding, training tips, and how taking care of yourself benefits your business. We still have a few spots open, so if you would like to present a webinar, or if there is a topic you would like us to visit, we’d love to hear from you.
We are also pleased to announce that the Coach U Workshop is returning to Toronto, Tuesday May 9 and Wednesday May 10, 2017. We are researching some new and exciting potential venues and will provide you with session highlights and venue details shortly, so you can start making plans for this awesome learning opportunity. The call for topics and speakers will be open until the end of February, so if you would like to be a presenter, or have an idea for something you would like to see in a session, just let me know at Barbara@pasword.com.
Want To Stand Out ? Six Tips on Being Unique
By Paul Roy
No matter what you do in your professional life it’s difficult to stand out in the crowd. If you’re looking to attract business you can’t walk, talk and smell like the rest. If you do then it becomes a lottery. Success can be found by taking your own path. Lasting success is earned over a longer period of time. People will come to you through referrals because of the solid work you do, or the service that you provide. You become trusted. That in itself is unique.
The flood of people posting to social media sites to increase rankings which leads to more hits on their web sites is important. In my opinion the world of reposting to gain clicks or suggest that you’re knowledgeable and want to share your knowledge is just fluff, unless the repost is thought provoking or has relative information. Is it important to your personal brand to be in social media? You bet. Is it important that you drive more traffic to your web site? Of course it is. Once they come to you, what’s your value proposition? You better know why you are different and that should be transparent to your potential customers.
I believe that success comes with finding a niche. Niche means a smaller or a narrow market. It’s easier to stand out where there is less competition. Less competition then leaves room to own a larger market share and bigger profit margins. Profit is not a dirty word. I support this in my belief of providing more in value than the customer paid you for it. The last time I looked you pay your bills from gross profit. Not from gross sales. Going to were the masses go is not unique.
Here are my six tips to finding success by being unique.
- Find a niche market that defines who you are.
- Post original material to social media.
- Provide more in value than you charged for the product or service.
- Say “Thank You, We appreciate your business” as often as possible. Say it. Just don’t post it. I include this in almost every email I write and most certainly at the end of every phone call.
- Create your own conversation questions you use every time you meet someone new. Show that you really care. Make sure you listen. Opportunities come as a result of asking a question.
- Make decisions based on the long term. The juicy stuff comes from decisions made after careful consideration.
- Bonus Tip. Only promote others who are exceptional and unique. This helps elevate you to their level.
Success is rarely easy. You need to be deliberate in your approach. People are naturally attracted to successful and unique people. Unique people do not have to promote themselves as much as all those folks running with the herd. Those running with the herd are frying up more energy and capital for smaller profits. Likes and shares don’t pay the bills. It’s a form of advertising if you manage it properly. Just remember, at the end of the day a good business product or service needs to stand on its own. Live by this standard and success will find its way to you.
Vendor Spotlight – AMTELCO/TELESCAN
by Bob Vornberg
In this edition of the BOOST, we examine how telephone answering services (TAS) combine people and technology in support of the business processes of their clients, helping companies (you and your customer) prosper.
Today’s mobile work force means supporting your clients’ message workflow in ways that were until recently not feasible. In the past, reception of a message meant an interruption to an agent’s workflow and consisted of several discrete steps of notification, message delivery, and follow up. Many TAS’s established “dispatchers” to maintain continuity. But now, thanks to the pervasiveness of wireless and smartphone technology, these steps are seamlessly combined and serve to enhance the workflow rather than interrupt it. This also implies that the TAS now can participate more fully in the message workflow itself.
Timely, reliable and secure communications has always been a characteristic requirement of the medical community and they have been the first to benefit from your ability to use these new communication tools. But the technology used to support it also can be effectively applied in other business settings. When working with your clients, analyze their business processes and be attentive to how the new technology can be applied.
For example, when dispatching to on-call personnel, a secure message delivered via a native app can keep the TAS informed automatically throughout the lifecycle of the message, from ‘Viewed’ to ‘In Process’ to ‘Completed.’ The on-call personnel can exchange notes with each other through the app or optionally can notify the TAS through the app to enlist backup support. Your customer’s supervisory personnel can log in to the desktop or tablet version of the app as an ‘Admin’ to obtain access to the status of all outstanding and completed calls. As an ‘Admin,’ your customer’s supervisors as well as your agents can create messages and notes, thus joining and supporting the workflow in a simultaneous “interactive” manner when appropriate.
Another recent development allows you to automate the entire dispatch protocol, from the initial relay, to the subsequent retries, and the entire escalation through the use of integrated “middleware” that allows faster and more accurate dispatching without using your most precious resource …. Live agent time! Middleware software has the ability to handle a myriad of unsolicited “inbound traffic” such as SMS, eMail, alarm notification, secure message, and robot calls automatically. Thus allowing the “Economies of Scale” to further enhance operational efficiency.
These are just a few examples of how you can apply new tools to make your service and your clients more productive.
Bob Vornberg is general manager and director of product development for the Telescan division of Amtelco, a manufacturer and supplier of call center solutions located in St. Louis, Missouri. Contact Bob by e-mail at email@example.com.