Agents@Home project helped establish agents working from home model and presentedby Bridgette Dalzell who is Head of Alternative Resourcing & Learning at Telecom NZ. Effectively, they had to create a virtual workplace and learning environment for agents who would never see the office environment! Telecom NZ partnered with Inspire Group to create this program.
Challenges was culture – how do you create camaraderie for a workforce that works from home? They didn’t create any rules but the workers created their own culture using different social tools. They use their cameras and rely on social media tokeep connected.
How do you create a Virtual Learning Environment for these agents?
Learning was split into phases: Onboarding – Induction – Transition – Business As Usual (BAU).
They wanted to create a “Customer Centric View of Learning” by making learning relevant to their job using building blocks of learning towards proficiency.
The virtual solution used a Motion Graphic that set the context for Agents@Home to set the ‘why’. These are short animated videos to set the scene. This was followed up with a Pre-Start Welcome and then the learning commences with 5 components to facilitate the learning journey through:
They used Cornerstone LMS as their ‘portal’ where agents at home accessed their My Community, My Learning and My Tools through a graphical and visually appealing interface.
My Community has wikis, blogs, podcasts, forums, Q&A and Files. Any reference material needed to learn and work in their roles.
Modules were developed in Articulate Storyline (Telecom has source files) because they were quick, easy and cheap to develop.
They created various Role guides in the form of Infographics – or Development Pathways to explain what they need to do and when.
They had to train ‘Bricks and Mortar” facilitators to become online facilitators in this environment.
The agents at home prefer this environment and also have some ‘fun’ about it such as sharing “Pics of Your Kid” or “Pics of Your Home Workplace” to inspire an online community.
How did they sell it to leadership? They made it simple; they outsourced it; made it uniquely New Zealand; showed a direct link to Alternative Resourcing strategy; showed how it met customer needs.
My personal observation of this presentation was that it was a great solution and one in which I will take back for consideration for our any potential projects looking at ‘agents working from home’ or call centres. I have already promoted it to our internal Yammer L&D community to explore if this solution is something that we can also use for our contact centres.