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Gail Mervis

Topic: WELLNESS – the NWOW  (NEW-WORLD-OF-WORK*™) chill-pill for mental health?

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away CCMG held the Annual Contact Centre Conference inviting ‘the force to be with us’ as we became Jedi’s in our quest to find the ultimate solution for all our operational and people challenges…. Yep, that was 2018 … A long long time ago! And who would have thought that in 2020 we’d be conjuring up our inner YODA to source answers to inexplicableness.  The song almost got it right – what a difference a year (and a bit) makes!

As most of us believe AFRICA IS CALLING indeed – it’s bunker down time for our contact centre operations to get better getting right what we do so that it’s portable and transportable across the continent. And that absolutely starts with getting our people ‘right’ first.

In our VUCA world, where VUCA 2.0 was promulgated even longgggggerr ago – i.e. 2017… I’m proposing it’s time to look at: ’VUCA 3.0 – 2020 and beyond’. Where we acknowledge that volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguousness IS THE WORLD OF WORK – and not the mastery of a leadership style or a short-term business challenge.

Right now business unusual is where we are at – and we need to REIMAGINE the future (thanks Tom Peters)- or we might not have one to our liking at all. This new future of work is defined by Knowledge Resources as seeing a world driven by ‘collective purpose and well-being’. We need to look at a recovery, reform and regeneration strategy that genuinely has people at its core. Putting aside, though not in any way dismissing the economic crisis business is facing worldwide, we need to take serious cognisance of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented stress on workers’ mental health. The amount of research being published, and the statistics made available, indicates how critical mental health issues are  …not just right now … but for the future of our workforce (and the extended families they support).

As organisations we need to be stronger and self-sustaining – yet more accommodating and collaborative. We need to be resilient, flexible and wise – and we need to see that people are not an HR commodity or a ‘labour-force’ boxed comfortably in the Excel spreadsheet column of Human Capital.

COVID-19 has taught us that when humanness, volatility, vulnerableness and mental health is challenged – there is no capital to tally on the balance sheet. The sum total of our business output is directly proportionate to the sum total of our workforce wellness. This is no longer a discussion for the internal ‘wellness committee’ ; ICAS or Team Leaders to manage in isolation. It’s becoming a  corporate strategy line item – if not the number one line item – and it needs to sit on the SOP documentation right there with values, vision, mission, projects and budget bullet points.

The new normal should not the buzzword it’s come to be – it’s the actuality of THE NORMAL every single day. It’s only new because tomorrow is indeed different from today – and that’s normal too, in a VUCA context.

We’ve got this colleagues – and we’ve gotten it before. This time our employees’ mental health just needs to be elevated as a priority. This is not a silver bullet discussion with a packaged solution – and at no time can employers take on mental well-being, and motivation of the workforce for cotton wool soft landings as a corporate deliverable. That’s extrinsic to our sphere of both control and influence. But we certainly need to examine how we can take on the levels of collaboration and engagement – and provide the tools required – for our employees to be better equipped to protect and motivate themselves in the “future as it emerges”!

We can only focus as best we can on ensuring that for all our employees, and also for ourselves, that tomorrow – everyone’s wellbeing and wellness will indeed be better than it was today.

Hello Africa – we hear you calling – and were getting ready as an industry!

Join us for the CCMG conference – its intriguing stuff.

A brief overview of what will be explored:

  • Exploring VUCA with 3 levels of iteration
  • Knowing that the world of business and the world of work implies uncertainty, turbulence, rapid change, disruption, hyper- competition and flux – and letting these concepts be the promoter and not the inhibitor of business survival
  • Investigating whether it’s time for panic and uncertainty or just a wonderful opportunity to view ‘insanity’ differently
  • Acknowledging that not since WW2 has so many people in so many places been traumatised all at once – and affirming that good mental health is crucial.
  • Seeing that rapid-fire changes are putting extreme pressure on business leaders to lead in ways that have been heretofore unseen and getting that there is also a need for the workforce to adapt to an entirely new work modality.
    • Whether that’s working from home, working from a hybrid context, replacing social engagement with digital interactions, being employee – spouse – parent – educator – family supporter– income generator – housekeeper – caregiver – creative artist – tick-tock expert – AND STILL expected to be an on-target, compliant, team–performer generating high productivity scores to optimise business success.
  • Knowing with certainty that digital is here to stay and that the ‘lens of business’ needs to shift drastically to accommodate sustainability.
    • There’s going to be casualties – that’s inevitable. That’s Pandemic fallout and automation consequences! Therefore well-being and wellness, if not addressed as a priority, will make this fallout devastating.
  • Shifting leadership behaviours such as:                    
    • prioritising connectedness over connectivity;
    • checking-in versus checking-on
    • active listening versus waiting to speak
    • interpreting distress signals over putting out fires
    • practising asking  different questions and having a tolerance for receiving different answers

In May 2020, Rebecca Gibson from Gibson Learning and Performance – a company that plays in the contact centre realm – reconfigured operational intent around two key questions:

  • What do I want others to remember about this tough time?
  • How do I want others to feel about how they were treated by me and the company?

Let’s be thinking about this in advance of the conference – as it’s going to come up in a number of the speaker’s presentations – and let’s definitely be asking those questions of ourselves and our organisation,  in the meantime.

Biography

After many years in the education field, Gail moved into Operations Management, Training, Consulting and Coaching where she been working for the past 23 years across multiple corporates that include the financial, insurance, legal, telecommunication, e-commerce and consumer support industries. The work she does integrates directly into Operational activities, helping leaders navigate organisational complexity, their roles and responsibilities and the work they are accountable for.  Her professional focus is on the development and sustainability of a competent, capable and robust workforce which supports the VUCA business terrain and helps leaders navigate challenges while building resilience.  This places people enablement at the core of her work. She engages with executives, managers, team leaders and frontline staff at ‘the point at which work gets done’ – and delivers a performance partnership that has learning at its centre.  Her vison for the work she does is: businesses optimisation through people optimisation.

Dr. Tahir Khan

Topic: From Covid Crisis to the New Normal : From Favoured Destination to Winning Businesses – A journey awaits for South Africa

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Noble Systems

Noble Systems is a global leader in the customer communications industry, providing innovative solutions for Contact Centre, Workforce Engagement and Analytics technologies. Tens of thousands of agents at client installations worldwide use Noble platforms to manage millions of customer contacts each day. Noble offers a unified suite of inbound, outbound and omnichannel contact processing, strategy planning, resource management and compliance tools for companies of all sizes.

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eStudy

Visit the eSTUDY and BEE Analyst stand to learn more about the essential skills components, namely:

  • The 70:20:10 learning model
  • High-impact learning
  • Compliance training
  • B-BBEE skills development requirements

We will show you how BEE Analyst and eSTUDY can help create the ideal learner experience carefully planned to stretch your budget without compromising on learning purpose and objectives.

FurstPerson

FurstPerson designs, implements and monitors pre-hire and post-hire talent assessment solutions. FurstPerson’s products include a portfolio of talent assessments and job simulations, which are implemented in over 40 countries. FurstPerson’s tools allow organizations to holistically measure and forecast a candidate’s skill, ability and motivation to perform on the job.

  • Reduce Attrition
  • Improve Quality of Hire
  • Improve Job Performance

Ocular Technologies

Get a taste of Customer eXperience (CX): Ocular Technologies to demo SA’s     first locally developed ‘pizza bot’ at Africa’s Calling 2019

Ocular Technologies to introduce the first local ‘digital employee’, developed by South Africans for South Africans, to CCMG’s Africa’ s Calling 2019 delegates

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Headset Solutions

Headset Solutions

Come visit the Headset Solutions stand to view the latest Poly (Plantronics + Polycom) and Jabra technologies. Includes hands-on experience with the new Polycom Studio as well as the full range of Plantronics and Jabra Contact Centre headsets.  We will also demonstrate the Plantronics Manager Pro software for asset tracking and firmware updates. Visit us at Stand #7 to find out more.

Ask Afrika

The talk addresses key issues currently facing CX professionals, including:

  • In a world where data is ubiquitous, what should we be measuring for impact, both from the customer and shareholder view? 

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Primo Dialler

Primo Dialler specialises in call centre software. Our innovative solutions are designed to integrate with multiple CRMs to create an omnichannel platform.

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Principa

We will be showcasing our latest contact centre solutions at the exhibition, including our call centre virtual assistant, Agent X, and our AI chatbot for financial services, Atura.

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Q-KON SA

Q-KON SA, part of the Q-KON group, has been importing and distributing VoIP hardware for nearly 20 years. Starting with the well-known Quintum gateways, that was so popular during the PBX-to-SIP migration years, to the latest inclusion of our headset products.

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Axtel Headsets

Over the years, we’ve learned that seemingly subtle changes in the work environment can have a huge impact. A friendly ambience translates into greater engagement from your people, which is why axtel encourages you to personalize our products by playing with color. By changing the color of the o-ring, you can create a headset that visually underlines the individual character of your company.

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Sarina de Beer

Living the Promise One Moment at a time

Translating the social paradigm of CX for C-suit impact

Managing Director, Ask Afrika

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Mercure Hotel, Midrand

Single rate R 968.00 BB
R 1244.00  BB for sharing room
Rates exclude extra 1% tourism levy charged per room per night.

Please use CCMG2019 code to qualify for this special rate offered during the CCMG conference dates.

To book, email H2917-RE@accor.com or call +27 11 312 2020

Gallagher is walking distance from the hotel , or a shuttle is available on request at the hotel reception, at an extra cost.

A shuttle to & from Gautrain costs only R 70.00 per single trip and can be arranged on request when making reservation or request at Reception.

A shuttle to Gallagher costs R 50 per trip and can be arranged on request at Reception.

For more info on this hotel please see: https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-2917-mercure-johannesburg-midrand-hotel/index.shtml

Premier Hotel, Midrand

Standard Room Single rate for R 1400.00 BB and R 800.00 BB per person sharing for Executive Room R 1625.00 BB.

Please use code CCMG2019  to qualify for rate offered during the conference dates.

To book, email res.midrand@premierhotels.co.za or call +27 10 161 0000.

We do offer a Complimentary Shuttle within a 10km Radius of the Hotel, which would be available for delegates. We also offer a complimentary shuttle between the Hotel and the Gautrain Station in Midrand, which will facilitate easy transfers from the Airport to the Hotel via Gautrain.  

For more information about the hotel, please see https://www.premierhotels.co.za/hotels/gauteng/johannesburg/midrand/

Africa Calling

Sometimes we do not have to look further for inspiration and motivation than our own doorstep. Transformation and innovation – the two strongest forces that drive the Contact Centre industry are the same energies molding the African economic, political and social landscape.

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ABOUT THE CCMG

The CCMG is the Professional Body of the Contact Centre industry in South Africa and represents over 2,006 Contact Centres, 22,500 top and middle managers and 10,000 agent level individuals. The CCMG contributes to the professional growth of businesses and professionals within the Contact Centre industry, providing a forum for knowledge sharing and networking to empower and transform its members, while building on service excellence and continuous improvement within the industry.

JOHANNESBURG
Tel: 010 003 0020

CAPE TOWN
Tel: 021 856 3871

info@ccmg.org.za