Sitel MAXhub – Enhancing the Employee Experience and Reinventing the Contact Center
As COVID-19 begins to change the way people work, it’s time for companies committed to enhancing the employee experience to create contact centers that are dedicated as much to their people and their communities as they are to our clients and their customers.
For any company that hasn’t yet realized, the coronavirus crisis should have finally highlighted the critical importance of having a people-centric focus. However, even for the most forward-thinking, employee-centric enterprises, the virus has presented challenges and raised new questions about traditional ways of working and traditional ways of creating, maintaining and building on enhancing the employee experience when most of your workforce have been unable to work on-site.
Because we still don’t know exactly how long the current coronavirus pandemic will be directly impacting how we live and work, so much discussion regarding COVID-19’s legacy tends to be hypothetical. As such, some organizations are waiting for the pandemic to end – and possibly hoping for everything to return to normal – before addressing these remote-working challenges.
A new reality for outsourcing
But while coronavirus-related conversations around, say, the future of international business travel or shopping malls is little more than conjecture, what is concrete within the outsourcing industry at least is that clients now need a diversified delivery structure. Unless they adopt a blend of offshore, nearshore, onshore and crucially, work-at-home solutions, they will be unable to fully mitigate risk or optimize business continuity planning.
Having a large remote workforce is going to be the new normal and we need to recognize that the best way to adapt to this new normal is to define it. This is why we are introducing a new initiative – MAXhubs – which we’re convinced will be key to the future of work and the future of enhancing the employee experience. This strategy supplements our convictions that CX strategies are evolving and changing with more diversified delivery structures while we move beyond traditional ways of working.
What is employee experience?
Every single aspect of an enterprise, from its approach to recruitment and onboarding, to management style, working conditions, career prospects, work-life balance and company culture, go towards defining its employee experience. In other words, the employee experience is how an organization’s people feel about starting work each day – whether they’re working at the office or from home.
Your employees personify your brand. They breathe life into your company culture. When your people are engaged and feel they have an active role in the business – that what they do is really making a difference and that their contribution is recognized – productivity and employee retention increase, which results in superior customer experiences for your clients’ customers.
‘The employee experience is the customer experience’ has been my professional mantra since I co-founded Sitel Group. For nearly 30 years, this belief has driven us to create amazing experiences for our people, our clients and our clients’ customers, culminating in the conception, development and launch of Sitel MAX in October 2019.
Sitel MAX – or My Associate Experience – is about delivering and enhancing the employee experience by design, not by chance. MAX is a global digital community dedicated to engaging with and listening to all of our people and in particular our frontline associates. MAX is for crowdsourcing innovative and digital ideas to help shape and build the future of Sitel Group while making certain our people are front and center.
The success of MAX as a platform for social collaboration, maintaining communication and for providing complete transparency in terms of our organization, its goals and its direction was crucial in helping us to transition 80% of our U.S. based contact center associates to remote working in a matter of weeks when the pandemic first took hold.
And now, for its next phase, MAX is providing the framework for MAXhubs, what we perceive to be the logical next step in delivering a differentiated, consistent employee experience for all of our people, whether they work on-site or at home.
MAXhub: a new kind of contact center
Each MAXhub is a physical destination that draws inspiration from co-working spaces. Every hub will operate as a development center dedicated to employees and their communities.
Along with our operational contact center floors, MAXhubs will feature much more development and training areas for our people and their community than traditional contact centers. From areas where associates are able to socialize and connect with each other to wellness spaces (gyms, subsidized healthy food options), our At Home agents are empowered by Sitel to open new frontiers for themselves, their careers and their community. The MAXhubs not only create jobs and give our people a place – a hub – to use, but they give the communities in which we work a place to access to educational materials and resources in geographies where it’s needed. These hubs enable Sitel to be fully part of the development of the communities in which we live and work. The MAXhub is the place where our people and community can come to learn, develop themselves, socialize, stay connected to their peers and Sitel, all while enjoying the benefits of working from home.
We are creating spaces our Sitel at Home agents can use on a regular basis to enjoy more of the benefits of working for Sitel and where we can host training and development sessions, providing our people with access to managers and of course a destination for social interaction and connecting with colleagues.
In short, our MAXhubs will provide the best of both working worlds for our people – the buzz, camaraderie and constant access to training and improvement that comes with working at one of our contact centers, alongside the flexibility that At Home agents enjoy in being able to structure their jobs around their personal needs such as childcare and leisure activities.
Because we know, the employee experience is the customer experience.