“Work is nothing but fun – but you get your work done fast – a lot of different people to meet and learn new things – amazing incentives and bonus structure.”
“Great, fun filled environment to work, good balance of work-life and always excited to speak to people on a day to day basis.”
“Coworkers awesome; management not always trustworthy.”
“Great support & work environment; erratic schedule.”
“Good company to work for – they will look after you during your employment.”
These are comments made by Rogers’ employees in the past 6 or so months at www.indeed.com – a job search/placement site. Usually it is disgruntled employees and ex-employees with an axe to grind who leave comments on these kinds of sites. How does this mesh with Rogers’s own performance measures for their call centres?
- Double digit increase in revenue across comparable periods year over year.
- 7% increase in employee engagement scores over a 24 month period (covering 4000 call centre employees).
- Increased customer satisfaction; decreased escalations of complaints.
- 72% increase in improvements in call centre employee retention over 24 months.
Sometime in the past few years Rogers’s senior management agreed to a big investment: To pay for more than 100,000 coaching hours for employees in their call centres. Not executive coaching or High Potentials coaching, but coaching for front line team leads and their staff, as the ‘main pillar’ of their culture change initiative.
The ‘ask’ from senior management had been that the business should work on improvements in
(a) The customer experience;
(b) The employee experience; and
(c) Call centre’s impact on revenue.
It is common in the service sector to emphasise the ‘customer experience’ as an area for focus, and there is always pressure to improve on revenue generation to improve shareholder value. What is less common is sharp focus on the ‘employee experience.’ The call centre sector is notorious for employee attrition and Rogers had its own problems with constantly training and losing staff. The Rogers decision to focus on the employees in their call centres – to shift the culture, reflected a critical understanding of where the leverage would be greatest: improve the employee experience and employees won’t leave at such great rates, and, with attitude and behaviour changes from more engaged employees the other two will follow.
Coaching is clearly differentiated at Rogers from other workplace conversations such as training and counselling on poor performance. It is respectful, positive, supportive, and available upon request. You don’t get sent to coaching because you did something wrong. Coaching comes to you because you want to work on some aspect of your life or your work. Rogers’ belief that the end result of that would be that people would start interacting differently with co-workers, but especially with customers calling in paid off, as can be seen by the results shown above. This coaching strategy set Rogers apart as a new standard-setting organisation in the talent management and employee engagement world. Earlier in November, at the Human Capital Institute (HCI) conference on Global Talent Management, Rogers received the ICF Prism Award – an annual award for which there is strong global competition, which recognises a company’s use of excellence in coaching. This is how Fadel Chbihna, Senior VP, Customer Care & Billing Management explains their decision to focus on the front line:
“Each interaction impacts the way you see the brand, the way you spend money with the organisation, and whether you stay or leave, as a client.”
To get the full story, go to https://youtu.be/Ptwht1cvIuA to hear both the Rogers story and the description of the 10 year experience with coaching at SAP, a multi-national company employing over 70,000 employees, and recipient of an honourable mention in the Prism contest. If you ever had any doubts about coaching being a serious game-changing process, this should clear it up for you.
©Delphine du Toit (23 Nov 2015)