In our second post on Customer Service Week 2020, Sitel Group’s Olivier Camino and Sweetwater’s Jeff Ostermann provide insights into their companies’ employee experience cultures and highlight CSW activities to engage and support their teams.
Global COO & Co-Founder, Sitel Group
This year, Customer Service Week falls around the same time as the first anniversary of MAX Day for Sitel Group®. Our group’s My Associate Experience (MAX) is our concrete commitment to our vision that the associate experience is the customer experience. Last year, we welcomed more than 3,000 associates (from a pool of 8,000 interested associates) to a community for crowdsourcing innovative and digital ideas to help us shape and build the future of Sitel Group, and improve the employee experience. This year, we’re acknowledging MAX with the inaugural MAX Week and Customer Service Week in conjunction to recognize and celebrate our employees and all we have achieved through the program.
From October 1-9, Sitel Group will host a seven-day celebration for our associates aiming to maximize their experience and create community around the world, including:
- A live global event deep-diving into MAX initiatives over the past year; for example, we recently released a new brand message stemming from 500 hours of employee ideation sessions across 16 countries, with 11,000 votes from associates, to determine our final message.
- Storytelling webinars to help associates gain confidence and fine-tune their communication skills.
- Open forums in the form of virtual boards for associates to share specific feedback and ideas on how to improve Sitel Group’s intranet, MAXConnect, our main tool of communication with the frontline.
- User-tests for Sitel Group’s proprietary performance management platform, iCoach, giving frontline associates the opportunity to try a tool they’ll use daily and provide feedback for improvement.
We’ll end the week with a day of (virtual) celebrations with couch concerts, SitelFit workouts and a special surprise guest for our live closing event. This year, more than ever, it’s important to show our commitment and our gratitude to our employees, celebrating the wins from the past year and honoring the MAX community, which is creating a better employee experience for all.
Chief People Officer, Sweetwater
2020 has undoubtedly been a challenging year for all. At Sweetwater, it wouldn’t have been possible to overcome those challenges without the passion and commitment from each and every one of our employees. We believe whole-heartedly in doing the right thing, so throughout this unique time, we know how important it is for morale and motivation to remain high, and for our employees to know how much they are deeply valued.
First and foremost, we have been taking extra time to listen to our staff. Now, more than ever, people are looking for support and want to be able to share at work. It’s remained a priority for us to make sure our employees feel that way and are reminded that we’re always available to help and provide support. Our senior leaders have taken one-on-one time to talk to employees and check-in with their teams daily to ensure that they have someone to speak to and share their feelings with. This is not about work; this is about how people are feeling in general, with everything going on around us.
We have also brought in Janell and Aaron Lane, local Fort Wayne entrepreneurs and mental health advocates (Courageous Healing), to speak to our team about mental health. In addition to listening and having 1:1 conversations, we have increased our frequency of internal communications with teams. Employees want to be kept in the loop as to how things are doing, so we continuously share updates regarding our campus and the business to keep us all connected and focused.
During the height of the pandemic, our sales were reaching record-breaking numbers. Our leadership team stepped up and volunteered to work inside the warehouse in an effort to reduce workloads and alleviate bandwidth. Afterward, we held a socially distanced cookout as a thank-you for working extremely hard during a busy and challenging period. As a continued token of our appreciation, we did everything in our power to still hold our annual zoo picnic for employees and their families, all while being extremely safe.
We recently increased wages for our hourly team members and increased the number of paid days off for all team members. We also instituted a loan program for employees to receive up to $250 for emergency needs that can be paid back via payroll. We wanted to recognize that, as much as we try to keep up our normal routine, what is normal has changed in a lot of ways for our employees in the last six months. By providing them with the additional resources and tools they need, we hope to help them remain positive and optimistic about the future.
Stay tuned for more activities and celebrations from CSW 2020!