Huffington talked to Genesys CEO Tony Bates at Xperience 2022
Arianna Huffington has revealed two tactics she uses for employee engagement: entry interviews and reset opportunities.
In this interview, managers first ask: what is important to you outside of work and how can we support you?
Discussing the power of this question at Genesys Xperience 2022, Huffington said:
It is amazing in how it changes the relationship because you can tell people to “bring your whole selves to work”, but you need to demonstrate it, and by asking that question, you can demonstrate it.
“We hear so many things. We hear: “It is important to take my daughter to school at seven in the morning,” “It is important to me to take care of my sick parent,” or, “Make my physical therapy appointment.” Whatever it is, suddenly you have a glimpse into that person’s life, and you can ask them about it in future one on ones, so they feel that they can bring their whole selves to work.”
According to Huffington, in hybrid environments, organizations lose lots of this social capital that is the norm in full-time in-office settings, thanks to random human connections and serendipity.
As a result, businesses must now be more intentional, and Huffington believes that “reset” opportunities are a crucial tool in rebuilding these connections. She said:
We start every meeting with one of the people in the meeting “playing their own reset”. So, [let’s say] Tony or Melissa played their reset, we would suddenly have a glimpse into Melissa’s kids, running, and the things that she loves.
“Suddenly, there would be a natural intimacy created, [making it] much easier to create a more empathetic interaction at any level.”
Huffington believes these intentional rituals are more essential than ever in the hybrid world, and this principle lies at the heart of the Thrive Reset for Genesys solution.
Available on the Genesys AppFoundry, the solution uses sophisticated analytics to monitor the stress and sentiment levels of contact center agents, as they engage with customers. In doing so, it triggers video calls with supervisors and breaks when agents seem frazzled, course-correcting and safeguarding employee wellbeing.
Yet, the solution is based on more than Huffington’s experiences of the workplace, as she stated:
When I founded Thrive, my biggest passion was making sure this conversation was science and data-driven, not warm and fuzzy.
“We had done a pilot with a Fortune 10 company, and what was impressive was the impact on the call center agents, their levels of wellbeing and stress, and the way that translated into productivity, customer satisfaction, and all the metrics that matter.
“Immediately, you no longer feel disposable, you feel that somebody cares for you, and they help you to remember what you love about your life, at the very moment when you might be stressed out of your mind.”
Such a feeling translates into agent resilience and empathy levels, improving how they deal with disgruntled customers and challenging contacts.
According to Tony Bates, CEO of Genesys, such heightened empathy is critical to customer experiences of the future. In conversation with Huffington, he stated:
The hybrid world is here to stay. Employee engagement and flexibility are here to stay, so lead through this with empathy, embrace this empathy, and – at a technology level – for customer experience, you’ve got a window today of what is possible. We’re in the future, we’re in the digital world, and I couldn’t be more excited.
As contact center contacts become more tricky – due to the rise of self-service and automation in this digital world – a need for giving agents accountability, inspiration, and expertise emerges, alongside empathy.
Genesys appear to be working towards such a reality, heavily promoting the Thrive Reset for Genesys and also teaming up with Zoom to support remote agent collaboration.