As 2012 comes to a close we all do our best to slide into the holiday weeks in good spirits. What helps many of us here make “spirits bright” is a reflection back on the year. James Lord Pierpont wrote a song back in 1857 that is synonymous with Christmas. If you stop and listen to the lyrics, you realize that the sleigh ride J.L.P. writes about is much like the year we had here at Trase Miller.
In the last verse, we are instructed to choose a fast horse, to pick up some new people and to take off at full speed. No – really, this is true. http://www.jingle-bells-lyrics.com/
Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! You’ll take the lead.
| Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
So yes it’s true – We kicked off 2012 with a fast (faster) horse. We moved to a new building. We invested in some new equipment and technologies. And we modified some policies and procedures to accommodate a changing workforce. There’s more but those are a few highlights. Special thanks to our IT Leader John Coles for giving leadership and for helping to pick a faster horse.
Our biggest 2012 story (and accomplishment) was all about people and picking up new people. This was mostly driven by clients whose business was growing and by adding some new clients to our roster. It’s not a small thing because we recruit and select very carefully. We hired well over 100 new people in 2012; so our HR and L and D teams worked double overtime most of the year. Special thanks to Sarah Adair who leads those teams and made it all happen.
We took off at full speed in early 2012 and we had little time to rest the entire year. Vacations were constantly being put on hold, business travel schedules were rigorous and we began running out of space in our main operations center. Intense describes our overall 2012 pace and intense describes the energy put forth by Debbie Greene. Special thanks to Debbie for her leadership and dedication!
And to everyone that works here – Oh what fun it was to ride. Thanks for making this a great place to work and thanks for a fantastic effort in 2012 24/7/365.
Our last two blogs were dedicated to recognition of people’s achievement here at Trase Miller. If you watch even a little television, you are subjected to the commercials/infomercials that annoyingly push silly products upon us. Near the end of the ad is the enticement “but wait – there’s more”. Generally the offer is double the stuff.
Before paying tribute to 2012’s top achievers, we wanted to discuss the notion of how people here get pulled into the achievement cycle. It begins with employee engagement which we have discussed many times in this blog. Those employees that are the most engaged tend to be the most loyal. One measure of loyalty is tenure and the average tenure of this year’s high achievers is 10+ years. No kidding!
So on the topic of achievements here at Trase Miller – WAIT, THERE’S MORE...
Pam Shelnut – The 2012 Awesome Achiever Award Winner
To say that Pam exceeds expectations at Trase Miller would be an understatement. As an Operations Analyst, Pam continued to teach herself how to build tables to make our reporting top notch. This year, Pam’s talent was recognized and she was promoted to Sr. Operations Analyst. Pam works very closely with other members of management and she truly thinks outside the box. Her ideas and suggestions often involve ways for our company to be more operationally efficient. At the same time, Pam makes the workplace more inviting by her contribution of her time as The Trase Miller Employee Club Coordinator. She has in fact revitalized our TMEC program in many ways. Pam is the epitome of great attitude. She inspires everyone around her with her dedication and caring. On behalf of everyone who has benefited from her phenomenal work ethic and service, Pam Shelnut is very deserving of the 2012 Awesome Achiever Award.
Eugene King – The “we’re here to help you” Award Winner
“We’re here to help you.” is our company promise that is really a very important message however those who deliver this message are what make it so special. The message is mission critical and our leadership created an award for the person that most enthusiastically embraces its importance. This year the employee honored (first time recipient) is known for always going the extra mile to show care for fellow co-workers and our customers. He is always willing to lend a helping hand and consistently raises spirits. He has a passion for training and helping others learn. He was a valuable member of our sup assist team and I am grateful to say he is now a fellow member of our Supervisor team. Congratulations Eugene!
We get double the stuff from our people because deep in their DNA is the understanding that the attitude of “we’re here to help you” is not only a meaningful tag line and differentiator; it’s how we view our place in the world.
Today is 12.12.12. All across the USA there has been a spike in marriage ceremonies and the sale of lottery tickets is through the roof with players using these numbers. And there are a number of people here at Trase Miller that are celebrating the novelty of today along with 2012 in general. At the top of the list of celebrators are those individuals that were recently honored at our annual Christmas party.
This year’s Supervisor of The Year Award went to Coretta Grubs. “Coretta strives to excel on every task she is given. She understands the real meaning of teamwork and is always willing to help her peers and share her knowledge with everyone. She's 100% committed to provide outstanding customer service to her external and internal customers and is willing to work as many hours as needed, during any time of the day to ensure everything gets done. Coretta was responsible for revamping one aspect of our staffing model and did an amazing job. She is a great mentor to her peers and a wonderful coach! Bottom line is Coretta really get’s our company promise of we’re here to help you”.
Trase Miller’s 2012 Employee of the Year Award went to Adam Lucas. Adam makes a difference with his knowledge, excellent customer service skills and commitment to offer support. When a fellow employee has a question, Adam puts everything aside to help. He doesn’t just help find the right answer; he ensures the answer is understood. In the spirit of teamwork, Adam is the “it guy”. Adam is well respected by everyone for his confidence, willingness to share knowledge, ability to multi task and capacity to stay calm in stressful situations. Bottom line is Adam really get’s our company promise of we’re here to help you”.
One of our friends is travel industry luminary Pamela Johnston of Cloud 12 Group. She recently wrote and enlightend us with these thoughts - - “Twelve is the number that marks a complete cycle. There are 12 hours on the clock, 12 months in the calendar year, 12 inches in one foot, 12 items in a dozen. In modern numerology, 12 is the number associated with knowledge, wisdom and oracle-like serenity. Astrologers believe that the 12th house of the zodiac rules the most creative and magical parts of our psyche.” We love this perspective and context (thanks Pamela) and wish to everyone a very happy 12.12.12 and look forward to a great run in 2013.
Back in the late last century, there was a run on “motivational art” that ended up in most every corporate setting in America. The intent of motivational art is/was to make people achieve more, or to think differently about their work and perhaps even their life. Some of this stuff is still hanging around (get it?) on our walls. What we have a fair amount of on our walls - that is much more important is recognition of our people. Our walls are full of it because it is an important part of our history. Recognition of achievements is in fact a major part of our culture.
With a little more than a month left in 2012, we definitely have a great deal of things still to finish up on. We’ll get it done. We always do. On top of the list though is tallying performance results of every employee with the goal of paying recognition to the achievements of our people at our annual Christmas party. The party is this coming Saturday. Of course the party is fun and festive. Of course we’ll have seriously epic karaoke and a crazy photo booth. Naturally, everyone will be dressed to the nines. But the moment that most of our people anticipate is the annual recognition announcements. And this year’s announcements (like all years previous) will have the crowd going wild.
The Awesome Achiever Award
Every year, the Trase Miller management staff has the opportunity to recognize a member of the management team with the Awesome Achiever Award. The individuals eligible for this recognition are the four recipients of the quarterly Leadership & Excellence Award (4Q of the previous year through 3Q of the current year). The recipient of the Awesome Achiever Award is one who makes a difference every day, who makes suggestions and follows through, who is a leader but can also demonstrate the ability to follow someone's lead and who is a team player.
The Employee of the Year Award
The Employee of the Year is truly the highest honor that can be received by an hourly employee! Each Employee of the Month recipient is automatically a nominee for the Employee of the Year Award. Employee of the Year should be an employee who demonstrates the following:
- Loyalty and dedication to the company, our brand, and their peers.
- Focus on the positive side of things and goes above and beyond to help resolve issues.
- Understanding the importance of working towards reaching individual goals as well as team and company goals.
Stay tuned for achievement announcements that Trase Miller's GM Frank Silzer will be making (part 2) as well as details of our very special coming Saturday night!
Trase Miller is a contact center service provider that works exclusively in the travel space. We work with BIG brands and we have a solid track record of making them happy. This is a wonderful (the most) time of the year but we always seem to crash into the end of the year in need of some rest before even more craziness begins in January.
We love the 1982 classic film “A Christmas Story”. In the movie, Ralphie Parker has to convince his parents, teachers, and even Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect gift. Poor Ralphie wasn’t simply told “no” he was reminded over and over “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid”.
It reminds us of the kind of year we had. We spent a fair amount of time talking to big brands about why Trase Miller was the perfect contact center partner. Several companies did in fact tell us “you’ll shoot your eye out”. But the way the film ends is the way our year is ending. It is perhaps the best moment in the film. A beautiful snow is coming down outside his bedroom window and Ralphie is dreaming of his wonderful gift. The story's author and narrator speaking as the grown up Ralphie, realizes this was one of the best Christmases he would have.
The film’s story and message also helps us to anticipate what 2011 will be like. We’ll be taking chances just like Ralphie and his friends. Ralphie's friends Flick and Schwartz debate whether a person's tongue will stick to a frozen flagpole. Schwartz ultimately issues Flick a "triple dog dare" and of course Flick becomes stuck. This scene reminds us that we will get stuck once in a while and when we do we’ll get unstuck quickly and return quickly back to the classroom just like Flick.
So we are ending the year with some new client partners and many of us believe this is one of the best Christmases we have had in a long time. Merry Christmas, y’all!