Connect With Employees Through Rewarding Experiences That Elevate Their Engagement
This week’s guest on the Digitally Irresistible podcast is Jaymee Marquez. Jaymee is a director of operations at iQor Iloilo in the Philippines. She has extensive experience delivering and overseeing customer care delivery in the BPO industry. In her current role, Jaymee oversees a team of three operations managers with dozens of agents on their teams. She understands the importance of engaging iQor’s frontline employees through fun and rewarding activities that inspire them to Be More with iQor and to create smiles for the customers with whom they interact.
On this episode, we discuss her creative approach when developing employee engagement activities with the teams she oversees and the positive impact these activities have on the CX programs they support.
This episode features colorful images and video clips. Check out the video below to enjoy the complete podcast experience!
Leading Is All About the People
After studying electronics and communications engineering in undergrad, Jaymee began her BPO career as a technical support agent. She was soon promoted to team lead where she discovered her passion to lead. Progressing through several leadership positions, Jaymee knew that building connections with people was essential to her role.
She joined iQor as an operations manager in 2017 and was most recently promoted to director of operations for a telco client. Throughout her years in the BPO industry, Jaymee has enjoyed investing in and engaging employees to promote higher levels of workplace satisfaction, whether through fun events, meaningful coaching, or an open-door policy whereby all employees are welcome to discuss concerns. She has found that higher levels of employee satisfaction result in higher levels of productivity.
The Importance of Employee Engagement
Developing high levels of employee engagement helps people feel more connected to their team, their company culture, and their customers. This improves motivation and leads employees to be more passionate about their work, translating to a more positive customer experience.
In customer service, we say that we go the extra mile to make customers happy—at iQor we provide the extra smile.
To create excellent experiences, Jaymee regularly develops employee engagement programs and activities to connect with her team. She shares a few of them with us.
Customer Service Week Activities
In October 2022, Jaymee celebrated Customer Service Week with different daily activities. For the Monday kickoff, all directors of operations wore aprons and went to the production floor to serve donuts to employees. It was fun and rewarding for Jaymee to serve her team which does so much to support customers every day.
Even though it’s as simple as donuts, directors serving their employees is powerful, meaningful, and makes for many smiles. The week’s activities continued each day: Tuesday was pajama day, on Wednesday team leads dressed up as wizards, on Thursday they dressed up as K-pop stars, and the festivities kept going.
Before the pandemic, Jaymee and her team hired massage therapists to treat employees to five-minute massages of their choice (back, head, or hands/arms). A nice massage at work was a great treat for everyone to add some Zen to their day.
Jaymee also hosts charity events with employees to help give back to their local community. Jaymee especially enjoys celebrating her birthday and the holiday season by helping her community.
One year on her birthday, Jaymee and her team of employee volunteers visited an orphanage for girls and brought food, played games, and gave out gift bags with dolls and candy. She also got to share her birthday cake with two little girls celebrating their birthdays that month.
For the winter holidays each year, Jaymee and her team invite local children (ages three to 10) to a special holiday party with games.
She and her team also host a food program. They invest their own time and money to support members of the local community facing food insecurity. At one of the events, an employee dressed as Spiderman and brought smiles to the children. Jaymee emphasizes the joy she and her employees feel from seeing the children smile.
When the beginning of the pandemic restricted in-person events, Jaymee was determined to keep up the high levels of employee engagement and camaraderie through fun online events. With such tremendous success, online events are still a hit today.
She set up a Facebook page to host online activities and events that would have previously been in person. One of the contests was a competition for the best work-at-home workspaces. Entries with the most “heart” reactions won. Jaymee herself was one of the winners, possibly because of her comfortable gaming chair at the center of her setup! Winners received a gift certificate.
In another friendly competition, Jaymee led the charge for directors to compete for the best TikTok dance video called Cheers and Yells. Directors danced individually without knowing the song and Jaymee edited them together. The video played on TV screens throughout the contact center and the directors became instant workplace celebrities. They won the competition!
For Mother’s Day, Jaymee gives out flowers and invites employees to post photos with their moms. Those with the most “heart” votes receive a gift certificate for a date with their mom that includes a special meal. This honors not only employees who are mothers but also all employees’ moms.
On birthdays, every month Jaymee and her team pick a date to celebrate employees with a birthday that month. They enjoy cake and balloons!
For the most recent Halloween celebration, she invited employees to bring their children for a special trick-or-treat party. The children got to walk the contact center production floor and receive candy. Jaymee also brought in clowns and magicians for a magic show.
A Fun Work Environment Boosts Performance
Jaymee has found that fun and engaging activities increase employee happiness levels at work and make it a place they want to return to every day. When they love their job and their colleagues, they have a better overall experience which translates to better performance and a more positive experience for the customer. When frontline employees are happy, customers are happy and that makes for more smiles.
What Jaymee Does for Fun
When she’s not working, Jaymee loves to travel, both domestically in the Philippines and to other countries in Asia. She has visited 46 out of 81 must-see cities in the Philippines and she tracks her visits on an online map of the Philippines to be able to look back on where she’s been.
She’s visited nine countries in Asia, with Taiwan, Thailand, and Cambodia topping her list of favorites. Her travels have inspired her to create digital content celebrating her explorations, Michael King, and restaurants that would delight any foodie.