Looking Through the Lens of Your Employees

Employee LensI recently had the privilege recently to take a tour of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility in the world. The discoveries made there have changed how the world treats children with cancer and catastrophic diseases. It is a place where cutting-edge research happens every day. And what is even more amazing is that all patients are accepted without regard to the family’s ability to pay. The tour was amazing and reminded me of how blessed I am as a parent.

It was also my honor to have more than the standard tour – a former patient conducted my tour. As we walked though the halls of the hospital she shared a perspective that was different. When she described what it was like to pull-up to the front door with her mom and to get out of the car and check herself in for the daily treatment, the perspective and the details were very real. I will never look at St. Jude or the kids of St. Jude the same. She gave me a whole new perspective on life.

This past week my son started his first “real” job and stepped into the path of his father to work for a call center. I am very proud. Since the first call telling me he landed the interview, it has been interesting to hear his perspective of the process. We talked about the interview and the follow-up (he told me how he slipped in the part about his dad being a “call center guru” and going to the call center when he was six-years old. I loved hearing the story!). Earlier this week he began his six weeks of classroom training. It has been interesting to hear him talk about the training process through the eyes of a millennial. We have talked about the training agenda – the positives and the negatives. We have also talked about the pace of the training and the delivery. After the call yesterday it occurred to me that listening to his stories was similar to taking the tour of St. Jude. I was hearing things that I KNOW his company would love to hear – that any company should want to hear – the view through the lens of the employee. Just like the hospital came to life through the lens of the patient, it was amazing to hear the little ideas of change and improvement that by the new employee.

So, let me ask this question – what are you learning from your employees? What questions are you asking to new trainees? Not the typical “satisfaction survey” but real question about how things can be made better. Deep focus group questions about how they learn and what might improve the experience? Questions that provide insight into how the trainer relates to the participants – Boomers, Gen-Xs and Millennials.

There are several ways to gather this information. Online or written surveys are good if the questions are written to ask the tough questions. Focus groups or one-on-one discussions soon after training are also great tools. Touchpoint Associates consultants all have more than 15 years of hands-on call center experience. We have also worked with some of the top companies in the company to help the write effective employee and customer surveys. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Just like the story of the patient made me see the hospital different, the stories of your employees can provide deep insight into what needs to change in your company.


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  • Bob Furniss

    bobfurniss_head_small For more than 30 years Bob Furniss’ career has focused on helping companies improve customer experiences. As the Director of Bluewolf’s Service Cloud practice (Bluewolf.com), Bob leads a team of consultants focused on improving customer service and engagement. The Bluewolf team works with clients in three key areas: Salesforce Service Cloud strategy/implementation; Social Media strategy and implementation in the contact center; and creating vision blueprints to help companies set a new course for their contact centers in the areas of people and technology. Bob's career includes leadership positions in the areas of Contact Centers, Customer Experience, and Marketing with Touchpoint Associates, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and several other leading companies. Click here to email Bob direct