The Boost – CAM-X Newsletter – March 2017 – Volume 1 Issue 15

In this Issue : 

  1. A message from President Dana Lloyd

  2. A message from your membershift Development Committee Chair

  3. Time Management Tips by TwoGreySuits

  4. A message from the Education Committee Chairs

  5. Achieve Success Through Giving by Paul Roy

  6. Vendor Spotlight – Loxysoft / ProScheduler


A message from President Dana Lloyd

I want to thank the board (Mike Leibowitz, Lorna Holinaty, Paul Roy, Garrett Bidewell, Gary Blair, Gary Kerner, Kerry Paul and Linda Osip) for your participation and commitment this year and specifically at last week’s board meeting in Toronto.   The discussions revolved around members’ needs and wants and how CAM-X can deliver.  We dove deep into the financials, the upcoming convention in Vancouver, the AOE Plus, the AOD program and COACH U.  A lot was accomplished and the team is working hard on all upcoming programs, projects and sessions.

One event coming up is COACH U, which is right around the corner.  The Education Committee has done an excellent job at securing incredible speakers on a variety of relevant and current topics.   If you haven’t registered your staff, please take a look at the agenda at http://www.camx.ca/calendar/coach-u-session-highlights/.  We always have such positive comments from staff who attend, as this is a rare opportunity to learn from both the speakers and their colleagues.  This year COACH U will be held in Toronto from May 9th – 10th. 

We hope to see you there.

Warmest Regards,

Dana Lloyd


A message from your Membership Development Committee Chair
Gary Blair

Hi everyone!

It’s a new year and time to make things happen!  As Membership Development Chair I am seeking your assistance in growing our association.

Under the direction of our President, Dana Lloyd, your board of directors is committed to expanding CAM-X in a multitude of directions and this includes expanding our membership, both north and south of our respective borders. 

In the old days I remember asking folks to tear out the telephone answering section of their local Yellow Pages and forward it to the association office where we’d use it as a prospect list.  Today, I’m going to ask you to simply think about those companies, in your back yard or otherwise, that you feel would benefit from what you know you already do and to provide us with their contact information.  Of course if you have any other pertinent specifics that would assist us in securing their membership, well, that’d be great too.

Every new member brings something new and interesting to the table that we can all learn from … so as Ty Pennington from Extreme Home Makeover used to say  LET’S DO IT!!
You can either respond on list, or email / call me directly at 514-736-6767 – gary.blair@image-24.com.

Thanks and all the very best for 2017!

Gary


Time Management Tips
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. 

With the advent years ago of email and voice mail, and now mobile computing, social media and blackberry powered evenings, more and more Managers are finding it difficult to get things done in a given work day or week. With the recent economic downturn, many Managers are being asked to take on even more with less staff to do the work.  In fact, in our view, time management represents perhaps one of the most significant problems/productivity issues in business today – getting things done that need to get done. Even otherwise good time Managers are falling into the traditional traps – simply working more hours and not being able to say no to things.  Here is a generalized statement we hear quite often from people at all levels:
 
“I am finding it more and more difficult to manage my time at work. It seems I am constantly putting out fires or getting distracted by colleagues, e-mail and other interruptions. By the end of the day, my to-do list remains undone, and I leave work feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. This impacts my productivity, as well as my ability to manage and lead my team. How can I take control of my time at work?”
 
How can this be resolved?
 
Many people find it difficult to take control of their schedules. This is a significant challenge for sure. Being a decent time manager is a beautiful thing – but you have to work at this and be very disciplined in your approach to personal time management. The most effective and successful people we have ever met are co-incidentally good managers of their time.
Even the most focused individuals can get derailed by poorly planned meetings, ad hoc requests and other activities that steal minutes from the day. A lack of focus and personal disorganization can also cause people to lose track of their time. Some senior managers we know say that they get so deep into thought and intellectually invested or deeply focused on things or projects they are working on that they miss very important things pre-scheduled into their work day. 
 
On a personal note, I have been frustrated many times over the years by people that do not have any concept of managing their time. When it affects me, sorry, but I often take it personally, that the person cannot place any value on my own time that they are wasting. Of course we don’t live in a perfect world either and s_ _ _ does happen. But when this is a repeated behavior, it’s a problem.
 
A few years ago, at an HR Consulting assignment I undertook, I saw perhaps the very worst time manager in my life. This was a senior manager, who didn’t have a set schedule and who had a pile of paper on his desk, approx. 12 inches high. He came to work each day and simply responded to emails and phone calls (but not in a timely way) and when he had time he would simply pick off the top thing on his pile and start to work on it. People were constantly lined up at his door; he was always behind on his commitments and was always working on urgent things. So many fires were burning you could almost feel the heat just walking by his office. This guy was a CA and MBA, so there were no intelligence issues, but he just could not get himself organized. I understand he is no longer with that organization.
 
The good news is that the situation can be remedied by making some simple adjustments to the way you work. Following are some suggestions for better management of your workday:
 
• Analyze your schedule. (This is key if you are serious about truly managing your time) Keep a running tab of how much time you spend on each activity over the course of a typical week. Include everything you do during the day, including writing and responding to e-mails, handling requests from co-workers, attending to personal business, going to lunch, putting out fires, and participating in meetings. Be brief in your descriptions, though — after all, you don’t need this task to throw you off schedule even more. Then, analyze how you spent your time and make adjustments accordingly. For instance, was the majority of your time devoted to your top priorities?  If not, retool your schedule and minimize the attention you give to less-pressing responsibilities. Did you find that your week was consumed by last-minute emergencies?  While you can’t always avoid a crisis, you may find a pattern in the so-called fires and be able to address the root cause. For example, if the same project required your constant intervention, it could be that the wrong employee was assigned the task, and it needs to be given to someone else.
 
• Schedule priority items when you’re at your peak. Are you sharpest before lunchtime, or does your mind focus best in mid-afternoon?  A simple way to make the most of your time is to schedule more difficult tasks for when you’re at your best.
 
• Block out time for specific tasks. Set aside specific times throughout the day when you will tackle low-priority items, such as making and returning non-urgent phone calls. Group similar tasks together during these periods. By focusing on a single type of task, you’ll avoid wasting time and effort switching between one activity and another. Just make sure to keep an eye on the clock, and don’t allow tasks allotted for one time frame to extend into the next, unless a high-priority situation arises that requires your immediate attention. 
 
• Delegate. Many managers spend hours on mundane tasks they should delegate to others. If your days are filled with tasks that could be accomplished by someone else on your team, such as creating a report outlining last month’s expenditures or organizing a client meeting for the following week, it may be time to let them go. Delegating not only saves you time but also makes you a better manager: You empower your employees and enable them to learn new skills. Letting others take on more responsibility also allows you to focus on strategy and other responsibilities that only you can handle. 
 
• Designate uninterrupted time. If chatty co-workers are common distractions, or if you just need to focus on a pressing project, close your door to gain uninterrupted work time. Just be open about your need for some quiet time, so that your employees don’t misinterpret your actions. Above all, be flexible and realistic: Some days you will be more productive than others. Don’t worry if you temporarily get off track, and make sure you create balance by allowing yourself a daily coffee or walking break. 
 
Making more effective use of your time while on the job requires commitment, as well as good communication with your employees. By creating a plan for prioritizing and achieving key objectives, you’ll be able to keep your to-do list from constant expansion. You’ll also know exactly how your workday was spent and, most importantly, you’ll have something to show for it.
 
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

March is coming in like a lion for many of us, and your education committee is no exception! Presenters for this year’s Coach U in Toronto, May 9-10, is sure to send delegates home with 150 Amazing Ideas to Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Sessions & speakers include:

Opening Keynote: John Whitehead “Before You Lead…”
Kerry Paul “What your CSRs aren’t telling you”
John Whitehead “The Real Purpose Of Listening”
Barbara Bradbury: Challenging Conversations with Clients and Employees (Trust & Conflict Resolution)
Mark Di Francisco: The Art of Being Vulnerable
Panel: Remote Agents – Engaging, Motivating, Training, Team Building and Communicating
Jen Ferby: Making Your Leadership Team function as One
Leisa McDonald: Attraction and Retention of Good Employees: Making Others Happy
Nadine Sans-Cartier: Quality Assurance, Coaching and Mentoring

We will also visit Effective Huddles, Tips for Productive Meetings, and of course the ever popular Round Tables.  
 
Be sure to mark these dates in your calendar, I look forward to seeing you there!  

Our Webinar series dedicated to the challenges of scheduling will continue this month with:

  • 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.
Special thanks to everyone who submitted ideas for round table topics… It’s never too late, so keep those ideas coming!     

Achieve Success Through Giving
By Paul Roy

We all We hear time and time again. Just give. It always comes back. I believe this to be so. The part about giving that many people don’t understand, is that you cannot just give once or twice and wait for it to come back to you. You must continually give. When you give your time and your expertise as the gift it will come back to you in a different forms that you expected. Let’s call it giving in kind as you rarely have to pay for it.

During a recent telephone-conference interview hosted by success coach to authors and speakers Steve Harrison, he asked the world’s number one success coach Jack Canfield what he did to help get his book Chicken Soup for the Soul published. Jack told us he and his co-author Mark Victor Hansen were out public speaking at no charge and they joined business clubs and public service clubs for the purpose of giving. Mr. Canfield added that by doing this it was about the audience and not about himself. It was however in the power of the message that opportunities came following his presentations. Offers to do seminars and corporate trainings with good financial rewards often followed these presentations.

If you’re not convinced, the challenge for you will be taking the leap of faith that this will work. It’s about human understanding and core values. This method is about giving a benefit to the listeners, attendees and the readers.

Here are some additional ideas and benefits to giving that will bring you rewards for years to come. It’s not just for authors and speakers. It can be in support of your business or your way of life.

  • Be the guest speaker at free to attend speaking engagements. This will help you hone your skills in presenting and public speaking to an audience.

  • Join a service club. It is a wonderful way to get in touch with the community and to meet new and interesting people. Give first and the opportunities will appear in ways that you least expect them. I have been a Rotarian for 20 years and I can’t begin to tell you what a huge impact this organization has had on my life. Relationships, travel, new business customers and the joy of helping and watching others grow. Wow, is all I can say.

  • Get involved in a mentorship program. Help an immigrant get started. Help a small business owner gain the confidence to grow. The joy of helping others grow will be payment enough. The benefits to you will receive will be nothing short of astonishing.

Multiple gifts will often bring return gifts of two or three times more than you gave. When you as one person give to a group more than one person in the group will give the return gift. The key to giving is to expect nothing in return. If you looked at it in any other way it would be doing someone a favor to which you expect to collect later. The best and only way is to give is without obligation. Give from your heart and be genuine. Others will then want to give to you. It has happened to me so many times over my life I can sum it up in three words. “I am blessed”. Success comes in many ways and it is different for all. When your passion produces the gift the return gift fuels your passion. True success is when others want to send you their business because you gave and give value. By giving, good things will come to you. I am living proof.


Vendor Spotlight – LoxySoft/Proscheduler
By Emma Skygerbjerg

Customer experience is a key criteria in attracting, engaging and retaining brand-loyal customers. Customer experience is truly important for call centers and tele answering services (TAS) who take an essential role, usually managing the majority of the dialogue with the customer. Customer experience is many times equal to customer service. The service you receive when calling your vendor is the experience you have with that company, and the reason you stay or go.
 
A great workforce management process will contribute in delivering that amazing customer experience. The more you understand about your business, your traffic volumes, your specific events, and your specific channels, the better you can fulfil the customer expectations, and retain that brand-loyalty. This is where a workforce management system can truly assist in securing that delivery, and on top of it, saving you time in that process. You want to make sure that you schedule enough employees with the right skill to cover the calls on your different channels. You would want to optimize the workload so that you have sufficient staff available to secure that competitive customer experience.
 
What is becoming equally important today is to focus on employee experience. How do we make the employee experience easier and more rewarding, and keep skilled employees in the company? In particular, how do we build employee motivation and long term employee relations, and yet at the same time focus on cutting cost on our payroll? Lastly, how do we focus on employee experience and motivation with an increasing number of employees working in remote locations? When compensation is competitive, employees are focusing more on other benefits like PTO and flexibility in their work hours. The importance is to really know your employees and their preferences. With a workforce management system, you will be able to embed specific preferences in the workforce management process and produce work schedules that are optimized to fit the lifestyle and the preferences of your employees, often without affecting the quality of your schedule. The statement that “the way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel” is today more true than ever. Happy employees = Happy customers. Whatever you can contribute in making your employees happy, healthy and motivated, will have a direct impact on your ability to provide exceptional customer service.
 
Improving customer experience is also knowing your performance. Data and analysis is everything. It is essential to follow up on performance and provide good coaching in order to improve service and inevitably both customer and employee experience.
 
Knowing is the first step to getting it. Take the time to dive into those analysis and make it your goal to learn your call traffic data and your employee preferences by heart. Undoubtedly, it will be worth every minute!
 
Emma Skygebjerg is President and Global Sales Officer of Loxysoft, a manufacturer and supplier of workforce management solutions located in New York City, with headquarters in Sweden. Contact Emma by e-mail at emma.skygebjerg@loxysoft.com