Hilary Dudek has a team with a lot of new hires. Here she tells us how she manages performance without relying on metrics alone.
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to the customer support leaders podcast. This is Episode 32. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is managing performance. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today I’d like to welcome back Hillary Dudek. Hilary, the topic for this week is performance issues and how we as leaders manage those both at a team level and in terms of the individuals within our team. So can you tell me what strategies you’ve got in place and how informal or formal they are right now, and some wisdom around managing performance issues?
Hilary Dudek 0:59
Yes. When I came to this team, they were a little disorganised. And so right now my strategy with my current team is to err on the side of more organisation. So I built an intentional dashboard for the team in Zendesk. So they can see team-wide, their trending statistics, and know, in our OKRs, what we’re working towards every quarter, as far as you know, CSAT, or efficiency and things of that nature. So they have the goals, they have this dashboard that they can see, I’m always happy to pull individual reports for them to so they can see specific things for themselves. And we also sort of lumped into that ticket quality. So we have a tool called Aprikot, kind of like Klaus, if you’re familiar and we do ticket QA that way too, so that’s part of it. So I err more on the organised side of it for now until everyone is comfortable enough to speed. I also should say that I have a lot of new people on this team. Five of these people have only been here since July or later. So they’re still quite new.
Charlotte Ward 2:09
And what’s the learning curve? Like on your product, then? Because that’s six months. That’s all they’ve been with you. So with a significant portion of the team with that shorter tenure, how do you account for that? Because that’s going to skew not only the team metrics, but also I guess those guys are pulling out for want of a better word they’re pulling your more experienced agents, right they’re pulling strands of their knowledge out all the time and that has an impact on the wider team when you’ve got that number of, of new agents in one go. How do you balance that with your dashboard and everything else?
Hilary Dudek 2:53
So I actually did was for sort of my guru or my oldest tenured employee, and he’s actually removed down from the day to day queue activity. So if he doesn’t count towards those, he is taking internal escalations of tier two tickets. So, I pulled him aside because you’re right, that is going to greatly skew. And we also have a wide range of tickets. So pulling out ones that are, you know, I know, take 30 seconds to solve or are automated, whatever, I pull those out as well. Um, but that’s what I’m using to manage performance as a team.
Charlotte Ward 3:30
Okay, and do you look at individual performance on the basis of those kinds of metrics as well? Or is it more qualitative in terms of performance?
Hilary Dudek 3:40
It’s more qualitative. It’s also more soft skills in terms of performance for individuals. I’m still getting to know them as people so kind of learning their personalities, how they like to receive feedback, and better but that isn’t a huge component too because they’re all you know, the team, not large, it’s only seven people. So it’s, you know, it’s a tight-knit family still so but I will say like, there’s something to be said for not just looking at metrics, but also looking at, you know, who really guides meetings, aside from me, you know, who really keeps us on track and, you know, doesn’t allow us to veer off-topic, you know, I’m going to, you know, take into consideration who’s doing that, who’s not doing that, and things like that and try to coach them because they’re not going to stay in support forever. They’re not going to stay with Glooko forever. So let’s get them those skills so that they can be more successful in their next position as well.
Charlotte Ward 4:41
So in terms of managing performance, then of individuals, you lean you are leaning quite significantly towards coaching, actually. Yes, yes. What’s, what’s your approach to coaching? Is it very real-time? Or do you have more formal methods that you rely on? You know, is it kind of in-the-moment?
Hilary Dudek 5:03
It depends on what it is. So it could be in-the-moment. With my meeting example, though, for example on that it’s going to be after, you know, hey, I think, you know, that question kind of derailed the topic that we were there to discuss maybe in the future, we could do this a different way. That’s going to be an after the fact conversation or in our next one on one, I do hold regular one on ones with everybody. So that’s a great place to have a lot of those conversations, but if it’s real-time, and if it’s appropriate, I’ll just do it in real-time. One less thing for me to write down on their document, remember to say so,
Charlotte Ward 5:37
Very true less work for you as well as, as well as being more valuable for them being in the moment as much as you can. Absolutely. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/32 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
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