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Call Center Cactus Chat

Episode 26: The Big News (Part 1)

Amazing things are happening at Pac Biz Contact Center Outsourcing! Eric talks with the culture director, Kiezia, on how the company has become such a “Great Place to Work”.

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Eric Mulvin: Welcome to the contact center cactus chat podcast. I’m your host, Eric Mulvin. And we’re excited that you’re back for another episode. It’s been a while since our first episode of the new season, I guess we’ve already had one year of podcast episodes, which is a huge accomplishment. So really quick want to give a shout out to our podcast production team behind the scenes. Thank you guys for all the hard work you’ve been doing to put this together. And it’s not easy. But we’ve got a great, great episode today. Because we just recently, we have a huge announcement. And so I’ll wait to talk about that announcement. But I brought a guest back on Kiezia Eguia, you get who is our company, culture director. And so welcome to the show. Again, welcome back.

Kiezia: Thank you. Thank you for having me back and excited to talk about the big news that you have.

Eric Mulvin: Alright, so we got some really exciting news. So let’s get into that. I don’t want to keep our listeners in suspense. So Kiezia wants you to do the honors. So, drumroll, what’s the exciting news we have to share with everybody?

Kiezia: Alright, thank you, Eric. So we just got certified as a great place to work this year. And we can talk more about it.

Eric Mulvin: Super excited with that So that’s what we’re gonna be talking about today is getting the Great Place to Work certification, and I got to play my favorite sound effect. Oh, it’s so quiet. So, yeah, we got a lot to celebrate. Because after eight years of having Pac-biz existence, and the last seven of those eight years with Kiezia being director of company culture, we’ve put so much focus and effort on culture. So that’s what we talked about today. Getting the great place to work what it took to get that. And maybe at the end here, I’m going to ask Kiezia for some advice. If you’re a business owner, maybe you’re in charge of culture at your company, and you’re like, I’d like to get that for my business. Maybe Kiezia has some advice you could share. So. So let’s dive into that because I, first of all, there might be some people who don’t know what this is possibly. And so let’s take a moment to explain what is great place to work, certification. And so I got a cool story that I want to share. A week ago, I’m in this business group Vistage. And every month, we meet up with other CEOs, and we all help each other out. Same group of CEOs. So there’s a new, there’s a person here in Phoenix starting a new group. And so she happened to be in our group this last week, and I was telling the group about my exciting news, hey, we just got this great place to work certification. And she was like smiling, and she had an interesting reaction. And she’s like, You won’t believe this, because her job was before retiring and getting into this Vistage coaching position. She was president and CEO, CEO of I think over five different business journal publications here in the US. Phoenix is one of them, I think there’s 17 different cities. But she said about 30 years ago, it was her paper that she was president of when they came up with this idea for great, the great place to work to recognize those employers that are going above and beyond and that are doing a lot more to maybe they’re giving back to the community. Maybe they’re helping make their employers healthier, maybe they’re just taking care of them. Because you know, it’s more than just a paycheck. Like there’s a lot of things an employer can do. So they started recognizing those companies in that city about 30 years ago. And it was such a success that they rolled it out to the other business journals within that next year. And then right away, like it just started to spread. And so now, it’s spun off as its own organization, and they certify businesses around the world by surveying the employees to see how happy they are, are they treated? Okay? And then then we, as a company, like practice, we get to see the results. How do we do what are the areas we need to work on. But if you score high enough, you also get to be recognized and as get the certification as a great place to work. And so companies like I was looking at who are some of the businesses that have achieved this award. So Cisco, Salesforce Hilton, Edward Jones, Capital, One, Google, Microsoft, Accenture, Fidelity, Rocket companies, and the Via SAP Dell progressive, and the list goes on and on. So very big company names. And so that puts us, you know, right in the same category of those companies, so it’s really, so I wanted to set that up, in case you didn’t know what great place to work is. So hopefully, that gives you guys a little background. And it was something that Kiezia and I, so let’s tell the story a little bit. We’re on the podcast. We’re here to tell stories. So when did we start talking about this Kiezia? Do you remember Yeah, exactly. It is a great deal. And so thanks for sharing that story. Because yeah, you were the one that found it. This is one of those things where, you know, when you’re in the middle of COVID, and we lost like half of our business overnight when COVID hit, and you could be sitting there thinking like, How can any could come to this, we had to lay a lot of people off. There’s a lot of people that were suffering, that could make the income that they were making before. But yet, we’re able to take these crazy adverse situations and turn them into positives. Because I don’t think we would have been considered great place to work. And I remember that year when you talked about it. And we’re like, we’re gonna go for this one day. I don’t know why we didn’t have it in the budget, because we were struggling because of the what was happening, but we’re like, we’re gonna go for this. And so yeah, and I, it was cool, because it was only like, maybe April or March or April, when we reached out, we’re like, hey, let’s, let’s look into this. What does this cost? And what can how do we work with getting recognized? And so? Because, yeah, it’s just really cool that we were able to move so quickly. Once we found out about it,

Kiezia: Right? I do, I do have an interesting story about how I need to figure out about race race toward, though that was three years ago. And I just pitched the idea. Because during the COVID, I was with downtime, that we have no longer go to the office. So I tried to find opportunities for growth and value that could bring to pack this. So I was, I got into this culture consulting group there, if I can tell it here, they called Delivering Happiness. So I got like a free consulting with a group. And at the bottom, while doing the Zoom meeting, at the back of the zoom, they have the best, yes, we considered best place to work and was doing the culture coaching. They they also mentioned that so that certification, great place to work for us to get certified. Because Great Place to Work is globally renowned. It’s it’s a certification were it validated radio culture is by aside from that they have a very normative system of measurement for your culture improvement, but it says a great deal when you get certified. right, it was excited when you said getting we’re gonna get this certification. And that was as we think, three months ago. And I was like, I had this intention that oh, what can we how can we level up Pac-biz that intention, and then you just coincidentally, that you were a follow that sign one of the offices, then a Best Place to Work badge too Right?

Eric Mulvin: Exactly. I was, uh, I forgot what burger place it was, it was like a fast food burger place here. And I saw the picture on the door. And it reminded me like, hey, you know, like, we should go for this. And so I was like, let’s look into this. Yeah, so I remember sending that to you. But it was just that little reminders time. And it’s so funny, you know, timing is everything so much in business, and you feel like, Why didn’t that work out? And you know, you beat yourself up over it. And then, you know, a year or two later, you realize, like, as probably the best thing for me. So there’s some advice for you guys listening, you know, just remember, it’s a long journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Well, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about you know, because I really believe that we would have not gotten this award and this certification, if it wasn’t for our culture, which is why I’m talking here with Kiezia. So tell me, like, what would you say are some of the aspects of our culture that helped us get this award? Because you were the one that designed a lot of what culture looks like today at practice? So is there anything that stands out to you that we’ve done in the past that you think like, yeah, that’s definitely some winning things that helped us get here.

Kiezia: I agree. So yeah, I tried to move also data driven and look at the data for a great resource, whether amazing system metrics. So we were on top on communication. And we’ve done a lot on communication. We’ve been using different like, centralized communication tools, and we have this in the HR as to HR created this open door policy. And it’s not just about the thing about opening your biases just about you talk about your job, but you also talk about what like your struggles about your daily work. And that’s so important, right? Because it shows that you having an open door? It’s a kind of support or your agents. Yeah, so that’s on top communication. And also the the so 91%. That was a score. And second is the leadership behavior. Pac-biz’s had been known for having this great management coming from the CEO. It’s not, it’s not just this culture thing is not just for us. But modeling having this good model for, for all the companies out there, right down the street, to build this great culture for the people and for the business. Because when you take care of people, you know, it’s gonna do good for your business.

Eric Mulvin: So true, you know, and it’s great when, you know, it’s unfortunate that there aren’t more businesses that realize that, that they think, you know, there’s I think it’s, it’s unfortunate that they have to have an award to recognize companies like this, because it is that rare. And that shows you just how rare it is. Because if there were that many companies doing it, there wouldn’t be an award for, you know, for this, so. So, let me see, I want to dig more into this a little bit, too. You know, you mentioned the data that it gives us in being data driven. So we did get some really valuable information on areas that we could we’re doing great in areas that we can improve in. Was there anything else that stood out to you from the data that we got back? Because we did have 90 over 90% of our staff? Participate? Which is, I think, what was the goal that you guys had? Was it 90?

Kiezia: Yeah, 90 plus or above 90?

Eric Mulvin: Okay. What? Yeah, and you did? Really?

Kiezia: Well, the part Eric Yeah. Because you don’t you only encourage people to participate? You cannot force, it’s a lot. One of their guidelines is you cannot have it like a force or encourage them to participate. So we have a big number of participants. And that aspects.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah, we didn’t, we didn’t do any kind of incentives. And otherwise, it’s a great way to get disqualified from the program. It’s like asking to, you know, pay someone for an Amazon review, but which happens, unfortunately, but But yeah, so. But was there anything that stood out though, from what you saw from the data that we got back? You could possibly share? I don’t know.

Kiezia: So 94% of that missions, or are my coworkers fellow coworkers. So they’re proud to tell others that they work at Pac-biz. And it’s such a big thing for them to, to have that number. And also 94% They said that they feel welcome. They may feel welcome, when you join factors. Yeah, so those are the top statements that we have prepared data and also about inclusion people, like people are treated fairly, regardless of their sexual orientation. And what variously are like, if we look specifically at I think it stood out here for me, would be the they’re given. They’re given the resources and equipment to do my job. Because although it sounds like a basic thing, but I just figured out this out from other call centers here in Dumaguete that they don’t really those that have like big offices, they don’t have a work from home setup. And given the competitiveness of remote jobs and you know, the physical office, but then a more jobs are it’s nothing from studying with my friends, they don’t enjoy it because they don’t have a big social life and the company offers the perks. So given the resources and equipment to do my job, well just want to dig deeper into that because I know we spent so much on good resources to improve our people as well. They’re how they can so love this about Pac-biz how you can be You know, your authentic self. So you can bring. That’s how you bring value to the company. Right? But you’re being authentic, bringing skills and talents to the company. And it did personally change. There’s one specific tool that I really change. Like, let me be able to give about a company was that culture index? Where Yeah, I love that one,

Eric Mulvin: Which was the last episodes. Last was Jackie. All right. So yeah, that was great. Thank you, Kiezia. Because I do love that we’re able to help people be their true selves, and as much as we can, and whatever position we have at practice. So now, what’s an interesting challenge that we’re going to be facing? You know, we’ve built packages up to this size over the last eight years. The next big challenge we’re going to face is, as we grow, how do we maintain that culture, we’re at 250 employees, right, now we want to get to 1000. So we’re a quarter of the way there. But we’re talking about opening up a site in another part of the Philippines that has no connection to do Dumaguete. And so that’s, that’s going to be an interesting challenge. So how important is something like the Great Place to Work certification, as we’re getting ready to do this big expansion and start, you know, pulling packages and new places that people don’t know, they won’t know us in other parts of the Philippines, like they do where we’re at now?

Kiezia: Yeah. So having the certification itself you know, we had this ICT talent by then locally. And then we had our logo weather, a great place to work banner for the first time out there and I believe is already attracting talents locally, when they see that badge. So, when we have the opening, another we open another office is going to be especially when they search it and I got online I more say social for this talent, or skills, they would go for great place or a company with considering their skills and talents, right? If you if you are doing if your company is great, and you want to track the same thing, great talents, and how do we maintain the culture in that, if we build another office would be it would come down from the core values that we have. So again, going back to, like, the resources we really spend so much on bettering any aspect of the business, including culture and keeping maintaining a culture. So we can easily expand whether same culture that we build over the years. So yeah.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah, I love that you’re bringing up core values, because that was actually one of the questions I had was, you know, core values that pack this now it’s summer 2023, they really started and we started that process right after COVID. Again, a lot COVID. So many things happen. We could have thrown my hands up and like, oh my gosh, why is this happening to us? We decided, you know, we’re gonna get to work, we’re gonna work on the business and work on the company. And so we came up, we went through a bunch of exercises, got everyone in the company involved and came up with our core values of family respect, teamwork, compassion, and personal growth. And for the last three years, we’ve been talking about it, we painted it as a giant mural on our walls. We’re getting ready to launch a new another initiative where we’re going to be talking about the behaviors that go with those core values. And we’ll be talking about that every week with the staff. But talk to me about that, how, how important do you think we’re having these core values to, to achieving this culture that we have so that we could get this great place to work certification?

Kiezia: Well, yeah, core values, any company is to call it a call pass or a guide. So the word yourself Guide is a guide for the culture they want to build for the company. So we wouldn’t have this great place to work without having a really core values. Specifically, when you get this certification, they would ask for very specific, there is that charitable commodity, how are you doing? So, we’ve been big and that we gave on a monthly basis based on our core values, passion. And respect. Also, that’s why we had this 91% That’s our leadership behavior. And leadership is so important. In a company, you don’t like your boss. Right?

Eric Mulvin: That’s true. That’s, I think one of the top reasons why people leave their job is because they don’t like their manager. So many people, they, they make the make the same mistake. So many companies make the same exact mistake, they just take, hey, this person is doing good. And whatever job they are. Now you’re in charge of people, they might hate managing people. And now they’re doing bad, you’re like, what happened, they were a good employee. Now they’re showing up late, they’re not, they’re not happy with their job, they’re not energized, like they used to be. And so you know, that hate to bring up culture index again, but like, you know, that’s, it’s right there, we’re, we got to find the right people into the right seat. And when you, when you have that happen, and you mix in those core values, then everything seems to just work. You know, because of the teamwork, we give people opportunities to give back to the community, which I really love. And then that means as we grow, we’re going to be able to get back to more parts of the Philippines. And, you know, I don’t even think about the, the whole thing about, you know, attracting people, like, but you’re right, we’re we are going to attract people that are really talented, really smart, and hardworking, that are going to want to come to practice, they just didn’t know we existed. And now that they start finding out we exist, we’re gonna get some really amazing people. So I’ll be excited, you know, to hear about who, who joins the team? And who are the other 750 people out there that are going to be joining on. But yeah, because of those core values, I think we’re gonna be able to, because that’s what we use to find the right people, right? Like we’ve for three years now. It’s like, do they line up with these core values, and if they don’t, maybe they’ve been working here, and now they don’t line up anymore. So we got to, we got to show them the door. Because you know, it’s a big family, we don’t have room for someone that isn’t performing isn’t a good fit. So,

Kiezia: Right. So it’s not just like amazing people, but they didn’t be working with an amazing company. Being part of the Pac-biz family, literally, with their families. So we just had this. Like, call, former co founder is like even he visited here, and he’s still like part of the Pac-biz family. And we went to go my cousin Jani, and also some of the former and present staff, or we’re joining him for hanging around him. Right. And with our family is very evident with our partners, how they also have their part and it is like, they’re just like, friends or family. So definitely like family. Yeah. Because the thing about everything, we do it on a consistent basis, just to borrow in general, general managers. cool with that consistency is the key. So yeah,

Eric Mulvin: She does say that a lot.

Kiezia: Yeah. Yeah.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah, And I think the consistent, the consistent thing that you’ll find at Pac-biz is is those core values, and you know, that we really try to put out into the world what, what we’re trying to attract to like, we want to find people that line up with family respect, teamwork, compassion, personal growth. So it’s, it’s amazing. When I’m talking to clients, and I’ll share another example. This week, I had an opportunity to interview one of our health care clients up in north Scottsdale, and I we’ve been working with him for a year now. So I was like, Hey, can we do a video testimonial? So I went out to their office and shut up all the gear that I have around me. And I got to hear some stories because you don’t normally ask Like, these kinds of questions on a normal conversation, so, you know, like, what impact that we have on your business and, you know, start digging into that, and the answers just blew me away. And, you know, it’s like, while he’s there talking, I’m like, thinking of ideas of like, my gosh, we should be doing more of this and that. But family, you know, that that theme of family, that was something that came up with him, he’s like, I really consider, you know, my virtual assistant as part of our family here at our company. And we want to be able to come out and visit the Philippines one day and see our remote employee in person. And it was cool to hear that because I didn’t, they’ve never said that to me. So I didn’t know that they were wanting, they were a lot of people say they want to come out to the Philippines, but I didn’t hear that from them. But it’s just, you know, like, if you’re not a good fit, like, we got to get rid of you too. And that’s the same thing for clients, the staff. And so I think just as important as it is to find the right people. But when people aren’t a good fit, we have to get them out too. Because that could ruin that’s that’s another one of the top reasons why people will leave a workplace is because of toxic behavior with coworkers. You know, if there’s constant gossiping, if there’s throughout the work, and you’re just stressed out, because they got to deal with all this crap, like why, why do that, I’m gonna go find another job where I can hit the reset button. And I don’t know, it’d be a bunch of people have no idea who I am. And I don’t have to think about this stuff. And that’s what people are doing, they’re quitting, they’re going to other jobs. So. And I think the fact that we have this low retention under 20%, every year, that we’ve got people so happy, and these core values, so So Kiezia I wanna thank you for helping put all this in place at Pac-biz because I know we wouldn’t be here having this conversation, if it wasn’t for all the work that you and

Kiezia: I agree. Everyone

Eric Mulvin: department has been. And so the teamwork, not just department, you guys get everybody involved in a company. And if we didn’t have that involvement, if you did an event, and five people show up, you know, what good is that is not making an impact. But people show up, we, I mean, we had an event, earlier this year, when I went to visit, they got a permit, shut the street down in front of the office, and we had former employees coming out to hang out. And so I’ve seen stuff like that. It’s just, you just see examples over and over and over again, and those core values. And it’s why I’m so excited that we have some validation here, like we’ve got now instead of like, the thing I’ve been saying, I think I said it in my video to everyone, you know, like, we could talk all day about how great our culture is. And we’ve got some really good data to back it up. But now we’re getting some outside companies to look at Pac-biz and say, Yeah, you know, what, they do have a good culture, there is something good here going on, which was super helpful, because then hopefully, we could attract more clients, which means we could hire more people, give more people jobs that fit those core values, and then 110 million people in the Philippines, I’m sure there’s a couple 100 more we could find that match those core values to work at Pac-biz. So

Kiezia: I certainly Eric agree. And yeah, what would just say it’s a smart thing to do to we’re getting to the core here. Instead of just, you know, changing. I mean, your core values is, uh, we’re just getting to the core things right to do to run your business smoothly. And it’s the power of having this strengthening your core values and yep, in any I believe in any culture. So yeah,

Eric Mulvin: For sure.

Kiezia: We don’t have to like change. employees to do the job. And you’ll be part of the Pac-biz family forever if you join us.

Eric Mulvin: All right, Keisha. Well, it’s getting to be about the time to wrap up our episode here today. So thank you for helping me make this huge announcement, great place to work certification. But we’re not done. We still have more to talk about here, including some really amazing advice that Kiezia shares to companies that are thinking about improving their culture, about maybe going to that great place to work certification. And so make sure to subscribe, make sure to check back check back in two weeks where we continue the conversation. And we’ll keep talking more about what makes Pac-biz is a great place to work. So thank you guys for listening. Thank you Kiezia for being on the show today.

Kiezia: Yeah, thank you, Eric. It has been great chatting with you.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah. And we’ll see you guys in the next episode.

Kiezia: See you, bye

Eric Mulvin: Catch you guys in part two.