Telenex's call center in Tacoma, WA is taking over all of the business customer service for the company due to the closure of the Phoenix, AZ office and realigning of other call centers into business or consumer-based customer service units. The anticipated increase in calls will require an additional team to cover the west coast customers from 8 am to 5 pm PST. This proposal will address the need to create 5 new positions, 4 customer service representatives and a 1 team supervisor position. It is anticipated that the team supervisor will be an internal hire and the other 4 positions will be outside hires.
Job Description for Customer Service Representatives (Four Positions)
The Customer Service Representative will talk on the telephone to customers while simultaneously entering and retrieving information from customers regarding their wireless service with Telenex. Representatives will answer customer questions, perform basic troubleshooting of wireless devices, make adjustments and provide exceptional customer service.
Candidates for this position must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Previous customer service experience in a call center is desirable. An associate's degree may be substituted for experience. The candidate must have the ability to communicate effectively, use critical thinking skills and be proficient with Microsoft Word and Excel. This position requires the ability to work in a fast paced environment with frequent interruptions and sitting at a desk for up to 8 hours per day. Availability to work nights, weekends and overtime is required.
The base pay is $11.00 per hour with the ability to earn Spiffs.
The customer service representative will become eligible for benefits 90 days from date of hire. Benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, 401(K) with matching contributions, employee discounts on products and services, discounts with local fitness clubs and employee stock options plan.
Job Description for Call Center Supervisor/Team Lead (1 Position)
The supervisor/team lead is responsible for supporting and managing a customer service team to meet the needs of Telenex's business customers and for meeting team and department goals for quality. Candidates must be proficient with PeopleSoft CSM, MS Office including Word, Excel and Outlook and have the ability to handle a multi-line phone system. Supervisors will be responsible for training, coaching, employee development, scheduling and handling supervisor calls from customers. Monthly departmental meetings and weekly team meetings will be required where metrics and other goals will be discussed. This position requires the ability to work in a fast paced environment with frequent interruptions and sitting at a desk for up to 8 hours per day. Availability to work nights, weekends and overtime is required.
Qualifications for Team Lead
The candidate should have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and 3 years of customer service experience, 1 year at the supervisory level. Candidates must have the ability to organize, perform statistical calculations, use problem solving skills, communicate effectively and provide feedback to team members on performance.
The base pay is negotiable depending on experience but at least a pay band 3 with annual bonus potential.
Company benefits apply with additional opportunities for employee stock options.
Telenex wants to continue to attract and retain top talent in the Tacoma area by implementing best practices in its training programs. In addition to the new employee orientation training and eight-week customer service training it is important to provide ongoing employee development as an excellent tool for retention, succession planning and workforce planning. Internal career development programs may consist of any of the following: individual career counseling where the employee explores his or her values, skills and interests; the creation of an individual development plan; ongoing training in a variety of areas such as communication, computer software, management and supervision and technical skills; cross-training programs that inform employees about all aspects of the organization; annual performance appraisals; a career information library; coaching and/or mentoring programs; and succession planning programs (Prochaska, 2002). Managers and supervisors will receive training on creating a career development plan in their department and/or team to implement effective strategies to build and maintain a high performing workforce for Telenex.
The employee development program is essential for the organization and will have a measurable impact on the performance of the workforce. Supervisors will receive training and ongoing support to implement training programs and it is expected that once the value of the training programs are demonstrated to management the company will have widespread implementation and adoption of these programs.
Performance Appraisal System for Individuals and the Team
Performance management is the process of setting clear and specific performance expectations for each employee and team and providing periodic informal and formal feedback about the employee's and teams performance relative to those stated goals (Daniels, 2009). The current appraisal system at Telenex is a rating-based system where managers are asked to rate all of their team members on a scale of 1 to 5 on several key performance indicators. While many of these factors are objective because they are taken from statistical data, such as call time and customer feedback surveys, there are several areas of subjective measurement.
Team performance is based entirely on meeting the departmental goals and teams are ranked by how well they meet or exceed performance metrics. Supervisors and representatives have expressed their concerns and general feelings that the current appraisal system is not fair because not all teams work the same shift and varying call demand can affect the level of performance. Employee surveys indicate a more objective appraisal system is desired. Surveys also indicate that a multi-rater system, such as the 360 degree feedback system, is highly favored.
Performance management can be improved not only by implementing better appraisal systems but also in following up with better training and development focused on specific improvement goals. Telenex should focus on creating an employee development mentality that will become ingrained in the company culture. Research studies consistently conclude that companies with performance-enhancing cultures significantly outperform those organizations that do not focus on setting performance goals and holding employees accountable for meeting objectives (Daniels, 2009). It is difficult for employee's who are performance driven to change their behavior without the appropriate guidance and development. It is important to have the commitment of management in implementing broad scale changes to ensure success.
Training supervisors on how to use appraisal systems and getting their input on the design of the appraisal system is the best way to ensure compliance and understanding with the use of performance appraisal systems. Overly complex forms are generally not perceived well by supervisors and will likely lead to inaccurate appraisals done merely for the sake of having to do it. It is much better to have supervisors participating in the process and understanding the impact the appraisal system has on the employee and the organization.
A solid performance management program should include supervisor responsibility, performance criteria, communication, continuous feedback, developmental coaching, and provide a career path (Daniels, 2009). Accordingly, the system needs to be continuously evaluated to determine if it is effective and to identify opportunities for improving it because perception is reality when it comes to employee and managerial acceptance of a performance management process (Daniels, 2009).
Another area of performance management that needs to be addressed by the appraisal system is team performance. Team dynamics and cooperation are important to the success of the company and should be evaluated along with individual measures. The appraisal system that works best for evaluating both individual and team dynamics is the 360 degree feedback system. This program should be included in the new team's appraisal system. This will provide the center with a focus group that can evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed new appraisal system and give the human resources department good information on the best method for implementing the appraisal system in the other business units. It will be important to monitor the team's performance closely before and after the appraisals are given to determine the impact of the system on individual and team performance.
A 360 feedback system creates a process for collecting information from the employee's supervisor, colleagues and subordinates about an individual's work-related behavior and its impact on the team (Daniels, 2009). This form of appraisal is widely favored for employee development purposes and measuring team dynamics and effectiveness (Daniels, 2009). The behaviors that contribute to an individual's effectiveness as a member of a team are very different from those required for individual work. Effective teambuilding can be used to improve profitability through enhanced efficiency, responsiveness and quality. The same functions of the individual process, having defined criteria in which to appraise the team, are also useful in determining if the team is meeting expectations. Teambuilding exercises and rewards can also improve team success.
Once these systems are in place a good way to determine whether or not the systems are being used consistently and administered fairly is to conduct an independent audit of how the appraisal system…