Beyond the Headset: Listen to Your Agents to Create Culture

The first step to managing employee expectations, goals and demands
is to understand what those demands are. The only way to do so is to
ask them. Transamerica, a financial services institution, conducts annual
employee satisfaction surveys, but they don’t just complete the survey
and then put it in a box and file it away. They look at them, evaluate
them and then slice and dice them to identify the top three areas of
opportunity. Action plans are then put into place; the results of which
are later communicated to staff.

Crystal Wyland is the Vice President of Customer Experience at Transamerica.
Crystal Wyland is the Vice President of Customer Experience at Transamerica.

In this interview, Crystal Wyland, Vice President of Customer Experience, explains why Transamerica doesn’t just ask for employee’s opinions. They act upon them.

Listening. It’s all about listening. You should listen to your customers; but you should also listen to your employees. Listening is the key interlocking piece that can help you satisfy business demands while also meeting and exceeding employee goals.

Crystal Wyland is the Vice President of Customer Experience at Transamerica, a financial services organization with more than 10,000 employees across the U.S. The firm evaluates employees annually, but they also make a point to conduct a mid-year evaluation for career pathing reasons. Crystal says the regular evaluation of employee performance helps the firm better understand what they’re looking for and perhaps determine other areas of interest within the organization.

Crystal spoke on “Updating Your Recruiting, Training & Developing Practices to Keep Up with Employee and Business Demands” Crystal Wyland, Vice President of Customer Experience, Transamerica When an employee first enters a large organization such as Transamerica, they’re only really aware of the job they’re entering into. So, they created what they called foundations training, which was an idea that was born out of employee satisfaction survey feedback. Now every new employee goes through foundations training to learn the history of the company, the leadership, and the various locations, products and offerings they provide so that an employee is more enabled to see and develop a career path and understand what’s available to them within the organization.

Another example of how evaluations enabled empowerment was with time off.

With contact centers, it’s always difficult to balance how much time to allow off or how many people to allow off in order to still meet service or contractual obligations. There was a period of time where they weren’t balancing it appropriately in the staff’s view, which was hurting morale.

“We didn’t want that, so instead of operning it up on a quarterly basis, we opened [the leave schedule] up for the full year and allowed them to schedule their time throughout the entire year,” Crystal says. “It really did a lot for improving the employees’ morale and meeting their expectations.”

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