February 27, 2018
Once an Educator, Always an Educator
Filed under: Educators
Agent Education and Development Manager
Professional Experience | Virtual Contact Center Education / Curriculum Design
Education—All the Way
Alison comes from a family of educators, and wanted to be one herself. To that end, she got her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. And later, she’d earn a Master of Arts in teaching and learning, with a specialty in curriculum and instruction.
She started her teaching career as a fourth grade teacher and then moved on to middle school.
During the middle of her 10 years of teaching, she became a Title 1 Program and Parent Facilitator for the school board. In that position, Alison worked at the district level, collaborating with parents, school personnel and community members to improve the academic achievements of middle school students. In particular, she worked as a writing coach and trained teachers.
If that wasn’t enough, during her first years at the elementary school, Alison also taught evening and summer education programs as a college adjunct professor. She would later begin pursuing her educational specialist degree at another university.
The Best of All Worlds
After 10 years of teaching, Alison became a mother. She no longer wanted the long commute and late hours, but still wanted to stay in education.
Browsing jobs on LinkedIn, Alison saw a contractor position advertised at Working Solutions, where she could instruct agents from home. “I actually thought at first it wasn’t real.”
But she got a series of real interviews with real people who assured her it was a real educator job, which she began in 2014.
“It’s been the best of all worlds for me because I’m getting to use my degree and develop curriculum, educate and do everything I’m passionate about.”
Alison hired on as an employee of Working Solutions in March 2015, when she became an agent education specialist. She would later become an agent education and development manager.
During her first couple of years with the company, she has worked with clients in the consumer, retail and travel industries.
When asked what she likes about her current work, Alison had this to say:
“Public education is getting difficult and stressful for teachers today. When I started teaching elementary school that first year, I had my golden moment.
“As the years went on, pressures from parents and from the government presented a scenario that was not my dream of teaching as a little girl. So it’s very difficult to be a teacher today.
“I’m happy again to be educating. It’s different, it’s fast-paced and changing all the time. I’m constantly getting to learn from my colleagues as well.
“The people I work with are happy. And it’s not a pretend happiness. It’s fun and we’re growing with the company and its clients. It’s a really good experience.”
Ever Improving Agent Performance
Alison said her team is always looking for new ways to do what they do better.
“One thing I love about our team is that we all have different strengths. We work really well together, bouncing ideas off one another.”
Implementing a program that better assesses how well agents learn adds to Alison’s contributions.
“What we were using before was not time efficient and didn’t produce the best results. We lacked consistency in collecting, reading and archiving data, as well as providing real-time feedback.”
After some team brainstorming, Alison developed a real-time assessment approach. She compiled agent feedback questions, along with a single-system demonstration piece, where all team members can collaborate simultaneously.
“I can go in live, watch agent performance and enter information as other team members work with agents. So you can paint a picture of how each agent is really performing.”
The new process enabled the team to provide feedback to agents then and there, plus establish a historical record.
Alison is quick to say the whole team is constantly improving the agent assessment process to provide clients the best performance possible.