Dream Bigger. That’s what it says on a large, illuminated sign on the wall in Voxpro HQ. It’s there because Voxpro – powered by TELUS International wants its teammates to do just that: to ‘dream bigger’. Why, exactly? Because great things happen when they do.
It takes support, though. It’s nice to want your teams to create and innovate, but without the right space and support, it’s probably not going to happen, at least not on any significant scale. That’s why the Voxpro Innovation Programme was created. This annual initiative encourages all Voxpronians to be bold, to be entrepreneurial, and to dream up new ideas that deeply benefit not only the Voxpro culture but also the partners we work with. Those who take part are provided with the support, resources, and rewards they need to be truly innovative.
Behind every idea entered into the Innovation Programme is a person with a story – a story of spotting an opportunity to improve workflow, to make life better for those around them, or simply to fulfil a personal dream. In the years since the programme’s inception, there have been many such stories. Here are three:
Carlos Rohrer – Creator of the ‘Lighthouse’ project & overall winner of the 2017 Voxpro Innovation Awards
My mind is continuously looking for improvement opportunities, and from experience, I have learned that it’s almost impossible to improve what you don’t measure. While working as an agent for one of Voxpro’s major partners, I realised that many interactions between agents and the support staff were ‘in the air’. There was very little record of what was happening and therefore managers had no metrics of all those interactions.
How many questions are being asked? What type of questions? And about which components of the product? Who is asking more questions? How much time is the support staff spending on the agent’s questions? We were not documenting all of that information – information with great potential value. And so I started thinking about how we could fill that gap, and with time, Lighthouse was born.
Lighthouse is a tool/process that provides managers with clear visibility on the interactions between agents and the support teams, allowing them to take action and understand what’s happening with agents, their cases and the support they need to solve them. Lighthouse improves resolution time and productivity, thereby creating better business for our partners and for Voxpro.
By having the metrics and by understanding all the interactions between agents and the support staff, we can then take action. We can’t improve what we don’t measure, so by the simple fact of having those metrics we can improve through an understanding of what’s happening and detecting patterns.
To this day we have tracked over 15,000 interactions between agents and support staff. We know who is asking the questions, what type of questions they are, and which components are the busiest. Managers now have a dashboard with their main metrics that they follow week by week, providing them with clear visibility and allowing them to take the necessary actions.
I’m very proud of what we have built. Continuous improvement is key. We need to keep improving the tool and the processes around it. My vision is to keep developing Lighthouse to the point where it can be fully incorporated into the platforms we use for our partner operations. Therefore every single metric, both between agents and customers, and agents and support staff, will be inside one platform, allowing us to learn even more about our operation and how we can improve it.
Fiona Deacon – Creator of the ‘Campus Swap’ project & 2017 finalist.
I had been in Voxpro for approximately 6 months before I had my first ‘Town Hall’ meeting. These are quarterly meetings where members of the leadership team update teammates on Voxpro’s vision and strategy. In the Town Hall, it was revealed that we would soon launch a new Voxpro Centre of Excellence in Bucharest, Romania and one in Manilla, Philippines. This gave me an idea.
I love travelling, and during my BSc of Zoology, I had the opportunity to travel extensively. I thought that as Voxpro was becoming a truly global company, this could lead to opportunities for Voxpronians to travel and to experience Voxpro’s core value of ‘Learn, share, grow’ first-hand. My idea was for the company to give Voxpronians of all levels the opportunity to travel between our many Centres of Excellence, working in the same role but in a different place. And so Campus Swap was born.
I could see so many benefits in Campus Swap – greater development, satisfaction and motivation among teammates; the embracing and spreading of Voxpro’s core values, and deeper collaboration and relationships between teammates based in different parts of the globe. Sharing new information in new places would also lead to greater product and case-handling knowledge, thereby greatly benefiting our partners.
I was chosen to present my idea to the Senior Leadership Team. One of my main selling points was that while the project could be piloted on a small basis, as Voxpro grows, Campus Swap could very easily grow alongside it. And after outlining all of the other benefits I knew the project would bring, Campus Swap was approved unanimously by the Senior Leadership Team.
Having thought carefully about which teammates should be offered the first opportunity to take part in the project, we chose two people who we believed fully embraced the core values of the company, and who would thus be the best brand ambassadors for the company. One of those was Adriana Di Candia, who travelled from Ireland to Romania where she spent a number of weeks in our new Bucharest Centre of Excellence. On return, Adriana said:
“Having the chance of working with new colleagues and visiting a new city at the same time. Campus Swap should be implemented into Voxpro because it’s just a great experience that everybody should do in their life! If you live in another Country, even for a while, you “get linked” with the new culture, you are part of it, and you experience something that will always be part of your life!”
There have been many such testimonials since from those who have taken part in Campus Swap. I think this project has huge potential, the experience so far has been invaluable to me, and I am delighted that an idea I had has been seen, heard and recognised by Voxpro as a positive addition to the lives of Voxpronians.
Masoom Rahman – Creator of the ‘Break Room’ project & 2017 finalist.
When I was younger, most of my childhood was spent at the arcade around the corner from my house, or the one at the mall. Although I played many games at the arcade, the ones I kept going back for were fighting games like Street Fighter, King of Fighters and Mortal Kombat, racing games like Initial D or active games like Dance Dance Revolution. I still remember the rush and excitement of getting to go to the arcade and the agony of running out of tokens, this feeling of nostalgia is fully embodied in season two of the Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’ where they first learn about Mad Max. As I grew, and home systems were released, the arcades slowly went out of business and closed down.
There are still one or two arcade business chains open around the US, but that nostalgia I long for and the games I grew up with won’t be found there. I’ve always wanted to open an 80’s/90’s style arcade just so I can reclaim that feeling. The motivation is not to fill my pockets but to fill my dreams. Running an arcade for charity isn’t feasible if you don’t have the currency to pay the bills so I had to put the idea on the back burner until I was financially stable enough to make that dream come true.
Once I heard about Voxpro’s Innovation Programme, a glimmer of hope awoke in me. I felt I was one step closer to achieving my dream. After completing training, I immediately entered my idea for the ‘Break Room’ – a retro arcade based in Voxpro’s Centre of Excellence in Folsom, California, with all funds raised going to charity. I didn’t expect for my idea to get approved but it was worth a try. Once I found out that it was, I was so happy I couldn’t contain myself.
I didn’t just want to buy arcade machines, I wanted to build them from the bottom up. I had all the links for all of the parts bookmarked from years of research, and it was finally time to put them to use. With help and funding from the Innovation Committee I ordered all of the parts, programmed the games, and the ‘Break Room’ was finally a reality.
When I won third place it was a complete surprise to me. I will continue to build arcade games for the Break Room and continue to make it a great place for my colleagues to spend their free time while also raising funds for great charities. The journey hasn’t ended yet.
The support, resources and financial rewards involved in a project like the Voxpro Innovation Programme are a drop in the ocean compared with the benefits that are reaped. To date, this project has led to more engaged and empowered teammates, more efficient processes that allow us deliver a more beautiful customer experience on behalf of our partners, and a company culture that ignites entrepreneurial spirit.
Just look at Voxgro – what started as an idea for a simple garden allotment for Voxpronians, has now become a major project that includes a custom-made bio-dome, gardens, disco ball pizza oven, outdoor bar, a family of chickens, all overseen by a full-time horticulturalist and volunteers. This has been one of our most successful innovation projects to date, and you can read all about it here.
Most importantly, the Innovation Project says one thing clearly: we deeply believe in our company values; they are not just words on a wall. And ultimately, this why deeply talented people like Carlos, Fiona and Masoom, and the other 3000 Voxpronians around the globe, choose to work with Voxpro, and continue to help us to ‘Dream Bigger.’