Idea Factor Blog

Absenteeism and the Pandemic

Absenteeism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absenteeism… is a problem that plagues many companies, large and small. Our company was no different….until this year.

Based on a briefing done by Sunlife Financial Group called Absenteeism Trends in Canadian Organizations Missing in Action  the rate of absenteeism for a full-time employee in 2001 was 9.3 days per year costing the Canadian economy $16.6 billion dollars in 2012.  Happy to say that we have not contributed much to that 2021 equation!

For the first time in my 25+ year tenure with Idea Factor, absenteeism in the company across all departments has fallen to almost 0.  At first, we were extremely perplexed, but then we delved into the reasons why.

With employees running the gamut between remote schooling and daycare issues, managing family healthcare, spouses being laid off or having work hours reduced, and all the other stressful Covid induced events that have taken place over the last 8+ months, employee attendance and KPI’s have actually greatly improved.

Here’s why.  Like most, we struggled with how to re-open and make everyone feel safe, maintain full, un-interrupted services to our customers, and meet all provincial legislation around opening.  So, we came up with the following:

We split our staff, including management, into Alternating Teams, Team A and Team B.  Week 1 Team A works onsite, and Team B is remote, the next week Team B is onsite, and Team A is remote.  This checked all our boxes and ensured business continuity for our clients should an incident of Covid occur at our physical location or someone in either group test positive.

What we did not plan or expect, was the residual benefits.  Employees are better able to manage the everyday items that crop up during their home week, still meet the full responsibility of their position, and were much happier and emotionally fulfilled.  This resulted in better KPI scores across the board.  Things like setting up doctors or dentist appointments, getting your car serviced, communicating with your child’s teacher, prepping dinner, or just managing the anxiety from the pandemic or everyday life is easily managed when you are able to work at home two weeks out of four in a month.  Giving our employees the cadence needed to manage their familial, personal and emotional lives benefitted everyone. Who knew?

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com or look at our list of services here.

Charity in the Workplace

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Charity may begin at home…. but should extend to the workplace.  Here’s why….

We instinctively teach charity to children as they grow. This helps them acquire a sense of empathy for the less fortunate, and it hopefully becomes a lifetime habit. We help them develop an understanding that what they have and might take for granted, is not readily available for everyone.  My children had a hard time grasping the fact that a home, food and clothing are things that millions of people, including children, even in a first world country, go without.  As a parent, that was my lesson to teach…. Read More

Can Conflict be Healthy?

Conflict

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definitely!

We all avoid conflict in our personal lives as much as possible and tend to follow the same track in business.  Instead, seek out those that have a different point of view, culture or methodology.  Engage in an authentic conversation. Listen and learn from the challenges and experiences of others.  The world around us is constantly evolving, and so should the way we work and interact.  So, an honest assessment of any differences in process or culture might support what you are currently doing, or serve as a roadmap to making a few modifications.

Constantly challenging yourself on the way you work, and finding new synergies or elements for improvement is ALWAYS positive.  The evolution of your process does not make you inconsistent, it helps you to maintain relevance.  When someone with a conflicting opinion is engaged in a constructive and respectful manner, it can be a catalyst for creativity and help to alter your perception and perspective.

Conflict also helps you to hone analytical and problem solving skills that can help you navigate difficult conversations or circumstances.  When exercised correctly, it can lead to clarity and growth.  So, be a work in progress and keep striving for something better!

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

 

Customer Service Encounters are Opportunities to WIN advocates

Coco

My husband, son and I went to Montreal this weekend to visit with family and on our drive back home on Tuesday, about an hour and a half out, we received a few pictures from my daughter in addition to a panicked call.

Our 10 year old Husky/Bullmastiff, (Coco), was sick and dispensing it from both ends….  The initial deposit was made in the living room, after which she walked in it, trailed it over the tiles through the kitchen, down the hall across the front mats, threw up in the rubber shoe tray at the front and then proceeded to walk up the carpeted stairs to the upper hallway where she made her second deposit and laid down in it …. completely spent at this point!

From what I saw in the pictures my daughter had sent, we knew that a one day carpet cleaner rental would not do the trick.   I called a large retailer in our city to ask if they sold any carpet cleaners that could handle the job.

The store’s customer service agent answered, I asked if they had any heavy duty carpet cleaning machines in stock, and without a word, I was put on hold. Read More

Corporate Culture: Are You Having Any FUN?

A young, intelligent nerd explores the depths of electricity.

CORPORATE CULTURE – Why FUN is so important, especially during a pandemic

Prior to the pandemic, we encouraged a culture and atmosphere of camaraderie & fun throughout the company.  During these times, when the stress and fear for small businesses and workers are greater than ever.  Social distancing measures and rules are in place and the instinct and indirect result might be to socially as well as physically distance yourself from your colleagues.

Our advice?

Do the opposite. Read More

The Human Factor of your Business Continuity Strategy

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How many small to medium sized businesses do you think had business continuity plans for a pandemic? Probably very few!  A disruption of any kind to the on-site operation of your business can be challenging to navigate, costly to plan, and difficult to manage.  The breadth of your business continuity plan should have enough bandwidth to cover a variety of circumstances and scenarios. Read More

Business Analytics

Business analytics

 

 

 

 

Hey All,

Hope you’re holding up alright!

We are all experiencing very unique situations right now, and want to let you know that we’re thinking of you.

Like most of us, you are probably doing everything you think your customers need to support them, but how do you know for sure? While you offer programs and send emails to communicate your sympathies for those whom are struggling, have you actually picked up the phone and talked to some of your customers?  You might be surprised to find out that there are unique challenges that were unforeseen or unpredicted as well as simple solutions that you can offer to help.

BUSINESS ANALYTICS are important at the best of times to support your customer base and know with certainty what your customers’ business needs are.   When the landscape is altered on an almost daily basis, that need is exponentially greater.

What can you do? Choose 100 of your customers at random and have your marketing or customer service team call and ask them the questions that will help you determine:

  1. How well you are supporting your customer base.
  2. How they feel about your service.
  3. If their needs to be changes made to what you are offering or how you are offering it.

If you don’t have the internal resources to do that at this time, pick up the phone and  give us a call… we can help you with that!

Stay well and keep safe!

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Collaboration for Exceptional Results

Collaboration

 

 

 

 

 

Collaboration is essential to the success of any project, but even more so when there are multiple parties engaged in handling components of a project or delivery.  Here are a few guidelines to help navigate this type of collaboration. Read More

Business Etiquette Still Important in the Digital Age!

Good Manners

 

 

 

 

 

In the era of social and digital everything, the very basic tenants of manners and business etiquette in other everyday interactions are acknowledged and practiced less and less.  These are not old-fashioned principles, but simple guidelines to socially acceptable behaviors that still hold true today.

There has always been a code of conduct for social behavior in business when interacting with customers, a potential employer, work colleagues, vendors, suppliers, and people in general. Read More

Why EXCELLENCE in Customer Service Matters!

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The other day I stopped at a well known North American Donuts Shop on the way in to work.
We were celebrating the soon-to-be birth of a new baby at our IF Family.

Every now and then, we get together as a Team to thank and honor a Team Member — babies, birthdays, service awards. A great way to chat, catch up with each other as people, discuss our business goals. A mini-State of The Union, if you will.

Read More