Respectfully submitted: Brad French, President
Happy May everyone! COACH U was a huge success. We had over 62 people registered and the feedback we have received has been great. If you did not get a chance to attend, we will be sending out videos of the sessions. The keynote speaker was excellent and delivered great content as well as a few laughs. With the call volumes we all have had through this pandemic, laughter was welcomed by the COACH U attendees.
Our next webinars will be hosted by our technology committee. Tim Carwell and Steve Newall are putting together a three-part webinar series on technology and how it can affect the bottom line. I look forward to attending these sessions.
Our virtual convention committee has been hard at work as well. They already have a number of great speakers lined up and I have no doubt it will be a great virtual convention. As vaccine deployment continues, I am counting down the days to our next in person convention in 2022.
As I write this Canada has vaccinated just over 29% of our population and our friends in the US are almost at 42%. While this is not moving as fast as we would all like we are making progress.
Stay safe everyone!
This month we do not have a Member Spotlight. I have decided to do a recap of COACH U and the benefits it has provided to each organization.
If you have received an email from me for a Member Spotlight, please acknowledge it. I have reached out for a reason. Check your junk mail maybe it has slipped in there. The spotlight is for everyone. Gary Blair has stated a few times how great it is to read about those within our industry. I 100% agree with him. I don’t know all of you but would like to get to know you better. So please take a moment and respond.
Wow COACH U!!! Great content, relevant to all staff from the top down and relatable. A recap and some reviews to let you know, you don’t want to miss the next one!! 😊
COACH U opened with tears rolling down our faces and pains in our sides.
The presenter was Zandra Bell. If you missed this session, I’m sorry you did. She brought humour while letting everyone know you are a GREAT Operator. You do it all. You provide empathy, encouragement, joy, sometimes anger on behalf of the caller and their situation. Sometimes size does matter, and one size does not fit all.
“It was a fantastic start to this conference, really helped to set the tone as this was not just being about learning, but also having fun.”
“Her energy and humour had me in stitches. It was a great way to start the day”
“It was very funny, much needed in these stressful times.”
“Reminds us that we have to take a minute and enjoy ourselves”
After a great start the next 3 days exploded with information. The knowledge which was shared from the panels that were put together and the individual stories or experiences made each session feel like agents had the strength to keep going forward. It started the hearts beating again and gave purpose to the tasks at hand.
Gloria and her panel dealt with coping skills and how to use those skills. We all cope with change differently and to be able to see other ideas gave room to breath or gave confirmation that we aren’t too far off.
“The communication and interaction of participants on this timely topic was great. I'm taking away new ideas and have confirmation that as a leader we're on the right track”.
“I really liked to hear the variety of ideas in the coping skills session. I took some great ideas from it and will be trying them out”
Day 2 stepped away from our mental state and dove into logistics and financial health. Right now people are struggling with the day to day finances of food, clothing, keeping up with bills such as utilities and rent. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us where and how to spend or put our money. Ray Wilson assisted with just that. He made you think about where you are spending your money and to consider if it is a need or want. Amazing how quickly Tim Hortons or Starbucks becomes a need.
“We could relate to Ray and where he started in life. A simple bag of carrots might make all the difference.”
“I enjoyed that Mr. Wilson was so transparent about his own life and that the goals he suggested were actually attainable”
“I enjoyed the relatability and how Ray approached it so it would make sense to everyone and be easy to follow. He gave simple but impactful tips and tricks.”
Teams VS Zoom!!!! What are you using, and can you make both work for your organization?
Both have great strengths depending on what tasks you want to accomplish. Zoom might be more useful for training where Teams can be more useful for communication among your staff. Jesse Pudles and Cindy King showed us ways that both can work successfully together.
“Great learning session, so much I did not know was already at our fingertips to improve our overall operations.”
So much change in 2020. If you were able to attend this session, you now have a bit of a road map and ways to determine if change is needed and the impact it may have on you, the staff and the organization.
“This session highlighted areas that I could have had a better process on to make the change more successful. I got some great tips.”
Day 3, started with Leisa McDonald. She gave attendees a chance to open up and speak about issues they are facing. This session focused on understanding yourself and then others. Knowing what motivates you or the simple things in life like feeding the birds. It was interesting to find out how many of us step back into nature to regroup.
“The openness was great”
“This was a great session, thank you for sharing a wealth of information in a short period of time.”
We saw some excellent videos. Tony Robbins - The Art of Fulfillment and Brene Brown - The Power Of Vulnerability.
If these didn’t make you think….Go back and watch them again. If you were not able to attend day 3. Pull up Youtube and watch them. No excuse now that you have read this. 😉
Connection is why we are here! This past year our connections have changed. How are we holding up and keeping things together? We have found ways to make new connections and have adapted to what the world has thrown at us. We have found ways to be kind to ourselves first so that we can be kind to others and some of us are in the process of being kind to ourselves first. The steps we use to get there are all different as long as we get there.
Emotion creates action, be resourceful and get the emotion!
COACH U April 2021 was a game changer. It opened the doors to so many areas of life that will help us to be better supervisors, agents, and people. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. COACH U and all that it has offered is that village.
“There were a lot of great ideas that I plan to implement in the future.”
“The entire Education Committee and team of speakers and panelists all have strong knowledge of the different ways to handle the everyday stresses of work and just day to day living in this world of uncertainty.”
Thank you to the owners for allowing your staff to attend. Thank you to the attendees for taking time out of your busy schedules to learn new things or get refreshers on old ideas. Thank you to all of the presenters and those behind the scenes putting on a great event, and a huge THANK YOU to Linda and Erika for everything you do for CAM-X.
New Member: OnviSource
Respectfully submitted by Linda Osip, Executive Director
*Recordings of all webinars are available email
Webinar AOE – Linda Osip (Recording available)
Webinar AOE Plus – Gary Blair & Deborah Anders (Recording available)
Mental Health “Let’s Talk” With Larry Martichenko
Best Practices – Hiring & Training in a Remote World
Agent Series Part 1: Conflict resolution - dealing with difficult callers and situations
Agent Series Part 2: Customer Service, Organization, Communication
Agent Series Part 3: Professionalism, Socializing in the Office, Self-motivation
Adapting Learning in a Virtual World
ALL COACH U Sessions - 3 Day program
Technology Webinar Series: May 12, 19, 26 * Watch for details
CAM-X Certification Program
The Agent Certification Program is for the TAS / Call Center industry to certify and accredit their agents. The goal of the Agent Certification Program is for your TAS / Call Center to offer your agents a professionally prepared program where they can be tested and accredited in TAS and Customer Service skill sets using the features of the accredited TAS Platform.
Successful candidates will have demonstrated excellence in these areas:
Successfully passing a comprehensive written examination of Call Handling skill sets.
An oral interview which tests customer service issues and problem calls with a certified examiner.
Candidates are selected to participate in the Supervisor Certification program because their manager believes they have the potential to lead, coach, and support their agents. As part of the examination they will be given problems and Case Studies to work through. Candidates will also answer questions in essay form about system operations and procedures. It is as much a test of character as a test of knowledge.
Supervisor Continued Accreditation
Continuing Accreditation in the CAM-X Supervisor Program requires the supervisor to complete a minimum of 12 credits per year to keep the certification current. These points are divided into two components, training and contribution. Credits are needed in both categories, with a minimum of 4 credits in either category with the balance in the other category. For example, 8 credits in training and 4 credits in contribution equals 12 credits. Points are for the current year only and cannot be carried over.
Tracking year is May 1st – April 30.
Virtual Convention & Trade Show
September 28, 29, 30
Mark you Calendars - More details to follow
Pre Employment Software Update:
We are actively working to add Personality Profiling as an option
Show your staff they are worthy:
CSR and Supervisor Certification
Pre Employment Testing Demo Available
Contact for instructions
Two Grey Suits
I’M QUITTING IF THEY FORCE ME BACK TO WORK IN THE OFFICE…I’M QUITTING IF THEY DON’T HAVE A SPOT FOR ME TO RETURN TO THE OFFICE
This (and everything in between) is the dilemma many newly-minted work from home employees will be potentially deciding upon return to work post Covid-19.
In previous BLOGS I wrote about getting the office physically ready from a safety point of view for a return to work. Another, most recent BLOG dealt with the employee-employer relationship in figuring out exactly what a return to work looks like by person or position post Covid-19. In other words figuring out in advance what arrangements are agreed on in regard to work from home/work in office post Covid-19.
This leads us now to this BLOG which deals more with the requirement to set policy in this area and also to integrate this into the strategic plans of the business in terms of employee engagement, mentoring, performance management, recruitment, retention, career advancement, commuting, training, etc.
With this much time now elapsed since work from home started, employers are much more educated on work from home practices and pros/cons than ever previously imagined, largely because this was ‘forced’ upon them.
The good news is – TwoGreySuits is now populating the website with relevant information for companies to develop/define their own return to work plans. There will be educational documents, policy development considerations and also quite a few sample policies to draw from. There will not be a universal policy in this regard as it would be too vague in applying to all companies to be meaningful and would not serve any valid purpose for what is required here – an individualized company specific return to work plan including a new work from home/remote work policy. Each TwoGreySuits’ client Association’s members will have free access to a TwoGreySuits webinar in either April/May/June which deals with developing return to work/work from home/remote work policy. See your Association (CAM-X) for more details. Public members of TwoGreySuits will have their own webinar(s). (more info to follow)
The surveys and studies out there now for consumption (just google it) strongly indicate employees will be taking a much stronger stand on employer work from home policies in the future, to the extent that it will be a stay or leave decision for approximately a third to half of employees who were forced into work from home as a result of the pandemic. About half of these new ‘work form home’ employees will require the discussion about a new hybrid model splitting their time between work and home. These arrangements may be the single most significant change in our workforce since the advent of computers on desks. Reading between the lines here means broad brush (all encompassing) work from home policies without consideration of employee input and individualized case consideration could spell disaster from a retention, company culture and ultimately productivity/profitability point of view.
So, what IS the right answer here??? The right answer is having a work from home policy that will be customized to suit the needs of each individual business and the employees working in those businesses.
Believe it or not I am STILL hearing people say “well my VP is anti work from home, so, we will not be entertaining anything new in that regard post Covid-19” or “my manager has stated many times they value in office presence to the point where work from home is only for emergency cases”. Other employees have heard “ my manager has already told our department we will not ever have a physical office to return to.” These views will now be severely tested and the test may be in employees taking matters into their own hands…and even deciding to leave.
Certainly there are elements of team spirit, companionship and camaraderie that are affected by in office physical presence. This cannot be overlooked at all; it helps to define company culture; the thing that attracts people and also which can also serve to drive them away.
Having a return to work plan that prioritizes employee health and well being goes a long way in supporting a strong company culture, which in return should help retention and also serve to improve recruitment. There are many things to consider when deciding exactly how employees will return to work. Some things on the table for sure include greater employee flexibility on choosing office hours, employer paid commuting costs, even more relaxed dress codes and employer provided day care to name a few. Many companies will become more flexible with work schedules, some will even look at how work is allocated and some will focus on improving manager-employee work relationships in a remote work environment. Other companies will become hyper focused on performance management in a remote work environment, even to a fault in my own view.
All this to say – we are at a precipitous or defining moment in the employee/employer work relationship as it relates to where and how work is done and ultimately work from home/remote work policy. Employers need to prepare for a return to work that is responsive to all that has changed including the brand new expectations of employees. Doing nothing here is not an option.
By: Ron Guest, Senior Partner www.twogreysuits.com
The TGS System is a one-of-a-kind product that includes:
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Our website is built on the premise that if you truly see the value and want to manage people professionally, using our tools and information, you will see increased employee engagement levels over time, a win for everyone!
TwoGreySuits is a leading-edge provider of on-line human resource management information, processes, tools and forms servicing the North American market. They have integrated the HR practices associated with the key drivers of Employee Engagement within the well-organized information on the website.
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The TGS System is a one-of-a-kind product that includes:
The HR Power Centre for dealing with the day-to-day people management issues that inevitably arise
24/7 HR Hot Line
Topical regular Blogs suitable for reprinting by the Association members