The Boost – CAM-X Newsletter  June 2017 – Volume 1 Issue 18

In this Issue : 

  1. A message from President Dana Lloyd
  2. Body Odor in the Workplace by Two Grey Suits
  3. Add Gratitude to Your Positive Attitude
  4. Vendor Spotlight – S A Hosted and managed solutions

A message from President Dana Lloyd

We are just returning from a site visit, looking at the space and venue for our upcoming Convention and Tradeshow in Vancouver.  I didn’t realize how much there is to see and do in Vancouver and how beautiful the city is.  Our hotel is right off the water and is surrounded by amazing restaurants and tourist attractions.  We also tested out an offsite event that will have people talking for months.   Just a reminder that this year’s conference is from October 17 – 20 so please save the date.

I want to extend a huge thank you to all who attended CoachU in early May and to all those who presented.  We had a record turnout with members from all across Canada and the United States.   This forum is so unique and necessary to our members as it provides our Managers and Supervisors with an opportunity to learn from peers within the industry.  In our organization I have found that the networking and ideas shared, because of this event, have paid for the conference tenfold.

Also, huge congratulations to Gary Blair (Image24) and Earl Pinchuck for receiving the very prestigious “inspiration” award from La Chambre de Commerce LGBT du Quebec.   We hear so much about incorporating social practices and passion into your business and Gary and Earl have done just that. Please read the full story below for more details.

Finally, our PEG group recently met to discuss our insurance rates and the fact that all of our rates are have been significantly increasing over the last few years.  We had an expert come in to discuss with us trends and options.  He mentioned that medical costs are expected to grow at a rate four times faster than salaries over the next 5-10 years.  He also mentioned that the cause of these increases are due to new biological drugs and the measured increase in mental illness.  We are looking at having more discussions as an association to ensure we are prepared and have a plan moving forward.  Such costs can have such a negative impact on each and every one of our businesses that we, as an association, need to put our heads together to come up with better solutions.  We will be continue this discussion so please stay tuned for more on this topic.

Wishing everyone a very successful June ,

Dana Lloyd

Body Odor in the Workplace

By: Ron Guest, Senior Partner, TwoGreySuits

Body odor can be a very serious matter in the workplace.  We have had several calls to our TwoGreySuits HR Hotline in past years asking for help in how to deal with offensive body odor in the workplace. I have experienced this first hand (not as the offender!) and believe me when I say it is no laughing matter, in fact it can make employees outright furious.  Perhaps the worst thing managers can do (which many do) is to make a joke about it, in an attempt to try and lighten things up to be able to have a conversation about it.

On a somewhat related matter, I was recently on vacation in Melbourne, Australia and upon checking into a hotel room we called maintenance to come and fix something and the person who came had such offensive body odor, we could not stay in our room afterwards, so we opened all the windows and left for the day, stopping by to speak with the hotel manager about it, who apologized and reassured me the matter would be taken very seriously, including offering us a new room.

Body odor situations can get serious real fast, with employees refusing to work or go to meetings or converse with the offender. Essentially, people’s livelihoods become involved. Employees with body odor, those who regularly doesn’t wash their hands after using the restroom, and workers who don’t wear deodorant or who don’t properly launder their clothes present scenarios that can trigger significant morale and productivity issues.   Employee odor issues generally come to management’s attention because someone complains that their colleague smells. The person emitting or causing the odor often isn’t aware of the problem, but research suggests that most want to know about it.

What Is a Polite Way to Talk With an Employee About Body Odor?

Let’s face it – nobody likes to be told that they smell.
It is your responsibility as a manager to have the uncomfortable conversations with employees about delicate matters, such as offensive body odor. The key is to politely alert the employee about the problem and initiate a solution while minimizing the embarrassment to the employee. To avoid possible further employee conflicts with other employees, ‘good’ managers should own the responsibility of telling the person that they notice an odor vs. naming employees who might be raising the concern.

Before the Talk

Gather as much information about the problem as possible. Familiarize yourself with the circumstances surrounding any complaints made and the employee’s file for clues about the cause of the odor. Schedule a closed-door meeting or sit down with the employee in question in a private space to avoid embarrassing them. Depending on your company’s human resource policies, you may also need a member of the HR department to sit in on the meeting.

What to Say

When it’s time to talk to the employee about their odor issue, be direct yet tactful. Explain that they may not have realized but you have noticed their body odor. Do not list the names of people who have complained about it because that will likely embarrass the person. Assure them that you understand that it may be the result of a medical issue. However, be firm about the fact that it’s important to the company that they attend to the source of the odor. Close the meeting by asking them if you can do anything to make it easier for them to rectify the situation.

After the Talk

Always follow up with the situation the very next workday and a week or two later. Determine whether the body odor situation has been solved. If it’s a medical issue, consider that the employee can only do so much to fix it. Consider moving their work area or transferring them to another position if they must deal with employees. Research suggests that employees with body odor issues are often repeat offenders, so it is important to closely monitor the situation going forward. If the problem persists, as a manager you may need to venture into such questions as to frequency of deodorant application, bathing and cleaning of clothing. If the problem gets resolved, it is appropriate to offer the person positive feedback and appreciation for addressing the situation. If the problem persists you may get into disciplinary action or if proven to be medically related you should seek legal counsel on your duty to accommodate in such circumstances or the possibility of human rights claims or claims based on possible discrimination claims of some sort.

Add Gratitude to Your Positive Attitude
By Paul Roy

Many of us live in a world of abundance and don’t know it. There is a tendency by most to focus on what we don’t have adverse to what we do have. When one really considers it, they would say that on general, their life is pretty good. I am amazed why so many people focus on what they don’t have when there is so much they should be thankful for.

This is where the positive attitude bashers just don’t get it. The life is great crowd are outpacing them all the way to success. I believe that success is directly tied to our wants, desires and the belief you will achieve your goals.

Gratitude is the missing link to achieving more in your life. You are not an ocean unto yourself. You need others to help you get there. In most instances hundreds of people touched your life and helped you obtain what you now have. Personal heights are achieved through collaboration, leveraging partnerships, motivated employees and relationships. You are likely the king spoke in the wheel of your success. I recommend you be grateful of those people who help complete the circle of the wheel.

There is a great read called. “The Magic” by Ronda Byrne. You’ll likely remember her as the Author of best-selling book “The Secret”. The Secret was all about the power of attraction. In short, put out your desires to the universe and you will receive what you ask for. I feel The Secret came up very short on the fact that it missed telling you that you also have to take action. I am certain that many readers came away feeling disappointed not having found results. The Magic on the other hand is a step by step 28 day work book on understanding and practicing gratitude and how it relates to the power of attraction. I hope that you see the connection to 28 days as it is commonly know that it takes 28 days to create a new habit.

The Magic opened my eyes to the fact that I was only scratching the surface regarding gratitude. This is where it gets personal for me. I’ve been writing a gratitude journal now for several years. It’s my little daily ritual I do at the beginning of every day. Each morning I write all the things I am grateful for including people who have enriched my life, the material things I have and the blessing of being able to help others. This exercise helps me focus on the 95% of my life that is great and diminishes the 5% of life that can be a drain on my emotions.

By adding gratitude to your positive attitude that you will excel at all you do and live a happier and healthy life. Add gratitude to your power of attraction and good things will come to you at warp speed. Successful people are attracted to people who have a positive can do attitude. That speeds up the process. In my world, a positive attitude enriched with gratitude is a hard asset. Start your journal today. Watch and feel your worries vanish. Take special notice of all the great new things that come to you and remember to express your gratitude.

Vendor Spotlight 

As a consumer, you will likely call, text, or chat customer service; email a client some files; text a video or photo to a business to let them see the problem you are trying to solve; fax a document to your doctor’s office; or write a review on a brand’s social media page. In fact, you might even complete every task mentioned above. As communication channels continue to grow, businesses are being asked to connect with their customers on a multitude of communication paths. With such an array of options, providing true omnichannel telephone answering services is just the first step to the future of our industry.

Omnichannel TAS systems allow your organization to receive a communication in one channel, and deliver it to your client the way the client wants.  This is key to providing a seamless and personalized experience. Today your agent can have a real-time text communication with a client’s customer and then dispatch that entire conversation to the client’s on call person using voice, email, SMS, etc.

At minimum, TAS providers should look for flexible platform solutions with built-in, omnichannel queues for:
•    Voice
•    SMS
•    Chat
•    Email
•    Fax
•    Social Media
•    Video

They should also consider platform solutions with open database structures that can easily integrate with client programs through Application Program Interfaces, or APIs. This will allow the answering service to connect to any of the customer’s business process systems such as a scheduling app, CRM, or help desk application. Having built-in integrations to well-regarded applications such as Salesforce, FreshDesk, SugarCRM is even a bigger bonus.

While omnichannel is the ideal customer experience from the consumer perspective, we as an industry will need to learn how to manage the omnichannel traffic as it goes to agents.  Utilizing a unified queue that lets you decide how to distribute voice and nonvoice channels to agents based on skill set and experience is a must.

A survey completed in 2015 by Dimension Data stated that 42% of contact centers forecast a reduction in voice contacts, while 87% expect an increase in non-voice interactions going forward. That clearly seems to be the trend. While voice channels are not going away, integrating multiple contact methods will be required by customers seeking that seamless experience. A telephone answering service will be expected to provide a consistent and responsive message on behalf of their clients, regardless of the communication channels.