Organisations have been devising and deploying large plans and programmes to help reduce employee stress that may come from extra work pressure. However, the truth is that even the smallest of gestures can at times bring a smile on people’s faces; it has the power to make them happy and help them relax.
Charles Tyrwhitt, a multi-channel British clothing retailer, that is experiencing heavy load at its Contact Centre, owing to the peak Autumn/Winter season, did something unique to keep its staff pumped up during the hectic schedule. Every day, for an entire week, the senior leaders of the company were redeployed into the role of a ‘tea-boy’. A picture of their operations and people director, Mark Higgins keeping everyone well lubricated and sugar loaded with tea and cookies, was doing the rounds on social media late last month.
Sandrea Morgan, senior customer service manager at Charles Tyrwhitt says, “Our whole board of directors, including the founder, Nick Wheeler, participated in this absolutely great initiative. They have all approached it with bags of enthusiasm and the true Tyrwhitt Spirit.”
While Mark Higgins’ photo was a hit on Linkedin, the initiative itself has been a super hit with the team. “The staff loved the experience of being served teas, coffees and biscuits at their desks by our senior team,” says Morgan. She shared that normally when the directors visit the Contact Centre, it is to stay connected with their customer experience by reviewing contacts via phone, e-mails or Web chat. The tea trolley visits, on the other hand, are simply about giving the team a break, and that she says is greatly appreciated.
Morgan revealed that the response and feedback from the team was 100 per cent positive. “Our founder, directors and managers are absolutely committed to our core company values,” she says. ‘People Matter’, ‘We believe in Teamwork’ and ‘We are quirky and fun’ are the three very important ones and the tea trolley is a great way of demonstrating these values and showing the team that the organisation cares for them.
Elaborating on the inception of this idea, Morgan says, “Charles Tyrwhitt is all about growth and improvement. As part of that activity, we visited a high-performing contact centre for a well-known brand to share ideas and good practices. They had been running the tea trolley initiative for some time. We loved it and decided that it was a ‘must do’ for CT.”
Small initiatives, like the tea trolley, break down initial conversation barriers between senior staff, existing teams and freshers. Conversation is easy when you are deciding between tea, coffee, milk, chocolate chip cookies, custard or cream. And as Morgan aptly puts it, “New relationships are formed and we all work better together.”