Contact centers are built on processes and systems that need to be managed and led. Because of the rapid pace of work and unforgiving workloads that come, they need to be effective and high-caliber, including employee engagement. At the Coca-Cola Consolidated Contact Center in Charlotte, North Carolina their employee engagement system consists of five teams that make for a special formula.
I was introduced to the system when Joachim “Joe” Rogers, the senior director of customer care for Coca-Cola Consolidated, shared it at a CCNG regional meeting. He shared the history of their contact center which opened in October of 2015 and how the business has changed since then and changes they foresee in the near future.
When Joe shared with the attendees the ingredients of their employee engagement system, I immediately recognized something unique and well-worth sharing because several of the core competencies that we focus on developing in fronltine leaders were represented. It was difficult for me to refrain from asking questions during the Q&A session because I knew I wanted to ask Joe for an interview, so I can share it with you.
At our mid-day break, I thanked Joe for what he shared about his contact center and requested an interview where he would share their employee engagement system. I was thrilled when he accepted.
Here is an edited transcript of my interview with Joe:
Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim from Call Center Coach and the Fast Leader Show and I’m here with Joe Rogers who is the senior director of customer care for Coca-Cola Consolidated in Charlotte North Carolina. Who just hosted a fantastic event with CCNG. He opened up this particular event and shared some phenomenal information that I think we need to share and that I want to share that’s why I’m having him on the show.
Joe when you started thinking about coke – at least for me and let me say for me – you’re talking about a hundred plus year old company and so they can have some legacy stuff but for the contact center it’s pretty new. So, you brought some things into context enter with your team and there’s three things that you focus in on from an employee engagement perspective that I’d love you to share. What are they?
Joachim Rogers: Sure, when we do we think about how do we keep employees engaged it’s not just about what we’re giving them. We really focus on their environment, we focus on engaging them with different teams – and I’ll talk about those five teams specifically.
And then but leadership is one of the big things that’s out there as well. Because you always hear that people leave their manager or other people and not just a company. Then of course their own and internal well-being because the employee has to own part of it as well. Because we can give them just about everything and if they don’t own it themselves then they’ll never get it.
Jim Rembach: That’s a very good point now you actually have some engagement teams and you focus on many different things and even yourself have said something about there’s something to celebrate every single day and you guys do. So, what else do you do?
Joachim Rogers: The team that you’re referring to is our fun-at-work team, which we call open happiness – it’s really everything that’s not work related that deals with birthdays and holidays and national donut day and professional teams that are competing on locally, softball league and all those different things. Those things that we’re giving to make people happy as opposed to things that have impact on the work. We have a live positively team which deals specifically with health and wellness and not just about physical health and eating the right things but also educating on the ingredients in the products that were selling and all those things that come around with working for a company like Coca-Cola.
We have a team that’s specifically focused on giving, so our stewardship team as well is called Coke Cares and anyone knows anything about Coke Consolidated knows we like to give back. We talked about the safety team, and the safety team is also somewhat around education and educating employees on being safe at home as well as being safe here and also reacting when there are emergencies. To make sure that they’re doing those things they’re supposed to do.
And then we also have a learn and lead team. The learn and lead team is specifically around that extra professional development that employees need outside of learning the task that they do on a regular basis. So, the learn and lead team is what specifically works for that.
Jim Rembach: So, I have to ask you. You hosted an event and had the opportunity to have all these different contact centers from around the area come in. And that’s no small task to actually have and host. I mean there are a lot of people are doing a site to right now. But why would you do that.
Joachim Rogers: I think that the only way that companies get better, especially with engaging employees, is by sharing. Especially when you talk about a discipline such as the contact center. It took us awhile to educate even Coca-Cola on the intricacies of the contact center because it is very different.
Because it is a discipline, there a lot of things a carry-over from one to the next. When we start talking about employee attrition, when we start talking about the metrics and the adherence hearings and all of those different things and just making sure that the environment that you put employees in is one that people would want to work in.
We know is that it’s a transition-type role for a lot of the people. I don’t go home in the evenings and say to my wife, “Hey, everyone is going to stay here forever – they love it.” but we want to make sure that while folks are here that they’re productive, they’re enjoying themselves and that we’re maximizing the work that they’re doing.
Jim Rembach: Joe we appreciate you sharing your knowledge and wisdom and we wish you the very best.
Joachim Rogers: Thank you.