Coaching Transforms Intuit Call Centers

Interaction Associates provided coaching for one of the most successful human resources initiatives ever at the Intuit Contact Centers.

Situation

In mid-2002, an eight-person internal task force was charged with examining coaching and performance management practices at the financial software giant Intuit Inc. To assess the role these practices played in the employee experience, the task force held focus groups, and reviewed the results of Voice of the Employee (VOE) surveys, which Intuit conducts periodically.

The task force reported that employees were dissatisfied with the quality and quantity of coaching they received, and noted that managers were frustrated by the absence of the tools — and the incentive — they needed to coach effectively.

Renee Starnes, Senior Manager of Contact Center Development for Intuit's four customer service centers and a member of the task force, partnered with her colleagues to select a pilot coaching skills program. With help from Interaction Associates (IA), she launched what has become one of the most successful human resources initiatives ever at the Intuit Contact Centers.

How Interaction Associates Helped

After receiving approval to bring IA's Essentials of Coaching for Managers (EOCM) workshop to Intuit Contact Centers in Plano, Texas, and Fredericksburg, Virginia, Renee and IA developed a pilot program. Feedback from participants in the interactive workshop — which uses video simulations, practice sessions, and group discussion to maximize the effectiveness of coaching relationships — was overwhelmingly positive. The successful pilot set the stage for rolling out the program in the other sites.

Within 12 months of bringing EOCM to the Intuit Contact Centers, more than 300 managers had been trained, and several of Renee's colleagues had become licensed to lead the workshop.

Renee also had the opportunity to test the global applicability of the program. "One of our Contact Centers is managed by an outsourcing firm in India. While planning our training sessions for this location, we wondered how effectively the workshop would translate to another culture. Seeing how readily this group of managers embraced the EOCM concepts was amazing."

Return on Involvement

For Renee, the results of recent VOE surveys confirm the efficacy of the program. "When Contact Center managers are coaching a lot, their employee satisfaction scores are high. But during our peak season, when managers have less time for coaching, the scores drop. Since managers' coaching skills are now assessed as part of their year-end performance evaluation, there's a tremendous incentive to make coaching a top priority."

Renee concludes, "I love the EOCM program's focus on coaching as a relationship-based activity. In most coaching models, the manager is responsible for leading the coaching activities. But with EOCM, the manager and the employee are equal partners. Both parties prepare for coaching meetings because both are responsible for the results."

 

 

 

IA Services Provided

  • Coaching Skill Development.
  • Interactive Workshops.

Project at a Glance

A leading provider of business and financial management solutions.

Developed call center managers in coaching skills.

Improved employee satisfaction scores.