The Boost – CAM-X Newsletter – February 2017 – Volume 1 Issue 14

In this Issue : 

  1. A message from President Dana Lloyd
  2. Developing High-Performance Organizations by TwoGreySuits
  3. A message from the Education Committee Chairs
  4. Is It Too Late To Change Your Mind by Paul Roy
  5. Vendor Spotlight – Startel

A message from President Dana Lloyd

Welcome to February – the month of Love, Valentines, Hearts and Affection.  After waking up on Monday to hear of the senseless killings and terrorist attack at a mosque in Quebec city (our 2016 convention site,) I feel that the need for more love, more valentines, more hearts and more affection couldn’t be more timely.

Speaking about love, and on a lighter note, we are loving the response to the 20 call option for the CAM-X AOE program.  The feedback has been positive and a lot of centres are looking forward to the opportunity of having more agents receive test calls this year.

Our Convention Committee is well underway with this year’s conference in Vancouver, British Colombia.   Known as the “Best Place on Earth”,  Vancouver truly does live up to its nickname.  If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for October 17 – 20th, 2017.

On behalf of CAM-X, and with much love, we want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day, a Happy Family Day, and a Happy Presidents’ Day.

Warmest Regards,

Dana Lloyd


Developing High-Performance Organizations
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. 

The Culture of Engagement
Every business owner or manager aspires to lead an organization that produces consistent and sustainable high performance. It is people who deliver performance, but just telling or worse, just hoping your employees will perform will not yield the results that are achievable. Creating a high-performance organization is a deliberate and purposeful act of leadership. Only by instilling a certain set of conditions and behaviors can your employees’ potential be unleashed. What would a High-Performance organization look like and how do you develop this?The High-Performance OrganizationIt is important to understand the behaviors of employees in a high-performance organization. Not only are these employees fully competent in performing their jobs, they also are comfortable with team collaboration in creating innovative solutions. They are committed to the organization’s strategic priorities and understand fully how their performance contributes to its success. They are energized and highly motivated. They know the organizational goal, they know their role in achieving the goal and they consistently deliver on commitments.In High-Performance organizations, employees continually strive to assist one another. They are eager to initiate and participate as a team member responsible for analyzing and solving problems, and in successfully implementing agreed solutions. Innovation and challenging the status quo is encouraged and rewarded. This type thinking is integrated into their jobs everyday.

The employees have been trained and coached extensively in the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to make these kinds of contributions. They come to work expecting and seeking opportunities for engagement, creativity, personal fulfillment and recognition.

An organization that has employees who think and behave in this way enjoys a rich Culture of Engagement. Managers are not struggling with the belief that they alone are responsible for possessing all the right answers. Instead, managers are consistently unleashing the incredible potential of their employees. By encouraging and sharing discretionary power, managers have created the environment and conditions for employees to participate more fully in the organization’s decision making and ultimately their success. Employees respond to this with enthusiasm, commitment and quality efforts. Talent at all levels is nurtured, valued, and recognized.

In this environment, speaking up is the norm, employees are confident and not at all concerned about thinking and saying things that may be contentious because it is potentially in the interest of the organization. This is management of the brave and confident and requires a different approach than traditional management. In this scenario, managers cannot be controlling. Managers need to understand their role to be one of directing, coaching, supporting, and inspiring the development of their employees. The single most important role of a manager in this environment is to develop employees to become more competent.

Managers and employees are working together to achieve shared goals, objectives and outcomes. There is a certain synergy that propels everyone to higher levels of performance and achievement. There is excitement, creativity, measured risk-taking, out of the box thinking, and collaborative harmony. Everyone feels responsible for the organization’s success.
What does it take to create this kind of culture?

Conversations/Dialogue

Having ongoing, healthy conversations with employees is the foundation for developing a Culture of Engagement. Employees need to comprehend the context in which the organization operates and what contributes to its success. It is only by having them participate in formulating their own goals and objectives, linked to the organization’s strategy, that they will become truly committed to their jobs and to the organization’s goals.

In this description, conversations mean something very different from telling. Unlike a one-off statement, a conversation is a continuing discussion that creatively explores a wide range of ideas and options. It requires a respectful, safe environment for active listening, measured consideration, mutual learning, and a willingness to be adaptable and not jump to conclusions. It is the role of the organization’s Leader to model this approach and to exemplify this type of behavior consistently. A conversational dialogue with employees does not always mean there has to be a conclusion to a conversation or idea; rather, ideas are explored in a way which encourages employees to keep communications open, ongoing and free flowing.

Alignment

Translating the organization’s strategic priorities into business operations is a process of development and alignment. This is how competitive opportunities are converted into products or services. Again, actively engaging employees in shaping what this means and how it will be implemented will yield better solutions and will result in embedded ownership at all levels. Employee involvement is closely related to commitment vs. compliance where employees are not as involved. There is a big difference. Committed employees do things because they were involved from the beginning and bought in early on in deciding what has to be done. Compliant employees do just what they are told because they realize that their involvement at a higher level is not valued by the organization.

Tight alignment throughout the organization eliminates inconsistencies and confusion.
It creates a unified and harmonious work environment. This alignment cascades through the organization’s core: from strategy to operations to departmental objectives to each individual employee’s performance. These relationships are transparent and understood. Existing business processes and operating methodologies need to be reviewed, so that improvement opportunities can be harnessed. Finally, where there are internal inconsistencies, they must be identified and resolved. If there are instances where those inconsistencies cannot be resolved, then they must be openly acknowledged as such and thoroughly discussed with the employees.

Tight alignment would mean that employees would be able to cite the overall mission and goals of the company and how this relates to their department and their own individual performance objectives.

Training and Coaching

Extensive training and coaching of employees is essential in order to develop the competencies, knowledge and behaviors that are critical to their participating and contributing fully in a high-performance organization. Managers need to be properly trained in managing employees in this new environment and will need to invest significant effort over an extended period of time in the development of their employees.
In high-performance organizations, employees have superior technical expertise in performing their jobs and are cross-trained for other roles. Additionally, they will be competent in working effectively in teams; communicating with integrity; analyzing and solving challenging problems; crafting innovative solutions; instilling enthusiasm and participation; explaining and championing strategic priorities; and consistently modeling appropriate, professional behaviors consistent with the values of the organization.

Delegation and Accountability

For employees in a high-performance organization, being accountable by delivering on commitments is a fundamental principle. These employees are committed to their performance. They want to make significant contributions and they believe that it is essential that they receive feedback and be subject to evaluation. They know that these are the vital components of their personal growth strategy. Highly achievement oriented employees will actively seek out performance feedback on their own.

Because the employees have been properly and thoroughly trained and, therefore, are competent and motivated to perform their jobs, managers are eager to delegate to them. As standard operating procedure, managers assign responsibility and authority to the employees, thereby broadening the scope and richness of work throughout the organization. Conversely, managers hold the employees to deliver on their commitments, accounting for their performance.

Innovation

A bias of continuous improvement and innovation will result from engaging employees in collaborative problem-solving. Only when an organization has established a foundation that aggressively challenges its basic assumptions, core processes and operational methodologies, can new thinking have an opportunity to emerge and flourish. A Culture of Engagement is the necessary pre-requisite for fully harnessing the organization’s ultimate capability allowing for realizing their full potential.

Leadership

As stated earlier, creating a high-performance organization is a deliberate and purposeful act of leadership. The Leader needs to have a clear sense of the directional culture and must communicate this relentlessly and consistently. The Leader’s enthusiasm for the future and its undiscovered opportunities will become virus-like, infecting and infiltrating every aspect of the organization. To support this, the Leader must ensure that all managers also fundamentally believe in the direction and that their behaviors publicly reflect and support this. A high-performance organization is an exciting and vibrant place to work. It becomes the preferred destination, wherein workers experience the opportunity to make meaningful contributions, grow as human beings and explore their full potential. In such an environment, truly incredible things can be accomplished.

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

Ah February … the month of love. Show your staff how much you appreciate all they do by investing in their future (and you’ll reap the rewards tenfold.) Send them to Coach U in Toronto, May 9-10, and/or register them for our educational webinars throughout the year.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce John Whitehead as Keynote speaker for Coach U 2017!

John opened Kentaero Learning Systems in 1991, an affiliate of The Canadian Training and Development Group, where he worked with over 100 organizations in Northern Ontario.

John Whitehead and Mike Shantz were the first recipients of the Tom Ryan Award for Ethics, Integrity and Quality above all, in 2001.

A dedicated husband and family man, John is also spokesperson and advocate for “Our Children-Our Future”, an organization devoted to helping parents raise healthy, nurtured children, whose vision is that “healthy children=healthy families=healthy communities”.

Anyone who has heard John speak will attest to his unique ability to inspire his audience to dig deeper, reach higher, and be the best they can be in all that they do. You won’t want to miss this exceptional opportunity to learn from one of the best our industry has to offer!

February will also kick off our trio of  Webinars dedicated to the challenges of scheduling.

  • February 22, join Cindy King of Telelink and Tricia Rimmer of AnswerPlus, as they explore the unique challenges of scheduling to accommodate accounts with longer calls.
  • March 8, join Sabrina Perron of Image 24 and Nora El-Ramli of AnswerPlus, in a discussion about the pros and cons of fixed vs rotating shifts.
  • March 22, join Jennifer Ferby, Hazel Topp, and Charlene Burgess, all of AnswerPlus, as they walk you through a report they use hour-by-hour to help supervisors make informed decisions about adjusting schedules to meet call volumes.

Register for any one of these webinars for $49 or take advantage of the special price of just $109 to attend all three.

The call for topics and speakers for Coach U or Webinars 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.


Is It Too Late To Change Your Mind?
By Paul Roy

Have you ever started down the street only to figure out your going the wrong way? Of course. We all have. I expect you have done so with a recent project or you started a new business venture only to come to the realization this was not such a good idea. What and the heck do I do now? A multitude of things now start to run through your mind.  How do I contain the damage and make it go away. Did anyone really notice?  God I hope not! We know that is likely not the case so it’s time to reassess.

The rational thing to do is validate if this was a good idea.  If the answer to that is yes than what can be done to get your project back on track becomes your focus. If the answer to your question is no it was not such a good idea, the next thought becomes how do you make it go away? Without going through all the rights and wrongs we must come to the conclusion that changing our mind is a good thing.  It’s critical we know the difference between persistent and stubborn.  Persistence provides you the opportunity to save face once you get the ship righted. Stubborn rarely if ever has a happy ending.

We are faced with the dilemma of changing our mind every day as new information comes at us with what seems warp speed.  At the core of good decision making is research and understanding of the issues. If you are a person who adopts the position of the last person who spoke to you you’re in trouble. Twitter gives us information in 144 characters or less. I suggest you take the time to click the link where we hope there will be more substantive information. Sound bites and two sentence blog posts are just plain shallow and dangerous to your decision making process. The first question that should come to mind is” Why”. It’s in the why where the answer lies.

I believe we show strength when we are able change our mind based on new or more detailed information. How you phrase it is important. “My research shows” denotes my new position. One will not be scorned for changing one’s position after careful consideration. It takes guts to change your mind. What the masses think really doesn’t matter.  It’s what the people who matter think that counts.