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Alorica Harnesses Technology to Engage Gen X, Y & Z Workforce

 

High employee attrition rates are the norm in contact centers, with companies maintaining a constant recruitment, training, and onboarding pipeline. As generations X, Y, and Z come to represent the majority of the workforce, these new workers have different career aspirations, work values, and learning styles. For CX services providers with global delivery networks and demand for specialized agent skills, workforce engagement becomes a priority. The most effective ways of finding, hiring, training, and preserving talent combine people analytics, bots, mobile apps, and other tech solutions with new HR models.

Here, I look at Alorica’s investments and practices in engaging new generation employees by harnessing technology.

Bot recruiters

Since 2018, starting in the Philippines, Alorica has had a dedicated recruitment chatbot to field applicant questions, perform initial screening, and organize interviews with one-click applications. The bot is on the company Facebook page for each country. In 2019 it expanded the tool to certain LATAM and India delivery markets.

For general company inquiries and available positions, it has a FAQ bot called AVA (Alorica Virtual Assistant) on the official Alorica webpage. AVA is an in-house company development using Microsoft NLP layer. The bot also answers question through Google Home and Alexa. Alorica is now customizing AVA for internal use to enable employee HR self-service for its 100k people in 14 countries. It will answer general questions related to HR, policy, payroll, and PTO and has basic service desk functionality, e.g. password reset.

Alorica also developed a physical robot on wheels which is in pilot at select contact centers. It greets applicants, answers questions, and provides information on the company and the recruitment process.

Evolving trainee engagement with digital tools

In 2019, Alorica launched Connect, its own employee engagement and training progressive web application using IP. It has sections with new hire content, quizzes, and surveys, prompting trainees to increase their competencies. Through team and leader boards, new hires can see their progress and individual standing.

On Connect, employees can also submit their mood and confidence levels anonymously on a daily basis. Trainers and managers then view a dashboard with the overall team mood and performance in real-time and break it down by time slot and competency. The company analyzes the overall data to identify pain points during the onboarding journey at macro, country, site, and team level. Alorica is now establishing ‘hypercare committees’ in each contact center to respond to employee feedback on various topics from management to IT and facilities.

It also has gamification elements for agents to win points for different interactions with the app. Agents can use the accumulated credits to acquire badges and build customized avatars.

Connect is available on both Android and Apple devices, with an initial roll-out in three regions with selected clients in the Philippines, Guatemala and Panama, India, and the U.S. For data protection and to meet employee work hour restrictions, the app is geofencing certain sections, so users can only access on work premises. Over the first three months of the pilot, Connect had ~10k active users. In six months, Alorica achieved eNPS scores improvement of 10% of the global average.

Virtual microlearning for new generation workers

The Connect app is at the core of Alorica’s approach to training next-generation employees, for many of whom this is their first full-time job. Connect has a digital backpack with microlearnings to help trainees organize their knowledge and access it. The app offers bitesize information with instant responses and gratification, while ensuring the agent has minimum viable proficiency. The company’s design team is tasked with converting many of the materials into visuals.

Within the app, it is now building Alorica Academy for learning content, including topics outside the immediate work environment such as negotiation skills and business software. Alorica Academy piloted in the Philippines in February 2020.

Alorica is also testing the use of VR with a virtual classroom and an avatar trainer to guide employees through the learning material.  

Automation of the -30 to +90-day employee cycle

Alorica’s objective is to automate and enable self-service for the complete new hire onboarding process. It plans to move AVA to a cognitive conversational level to assist applicants and collect process feedback. For employees, on the development roadmap are seven POCs for self-service features. The bot will link with backend systems such as Oracle, payroll, and WFM. Alorica also wants to enable AVA on the physical robot and deploy it on the contact center floors to engage with agents, answer their questions, and play training videos.

The company plans to integrate the bot with Connect and transform the app into the main HR source for employees, including for schedule management. Next, it is localizing and expanding the app to new delivery geographies and languages and incorporating the ESAT surveys for additional feedback.

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