Soft Skills Training

At GMS, we understand the difficulty of managing people, resources and equipment in today's competitive business environment and our Soft Skills trainings are a great way to learn these valuable business skills.

Business Communications

We know how difficult it is to keep multiple balls in the air at the same time, and to deal with the seemingly never ending maze of government regulations, employment issues and training.

Customer Service Fundamentals Over the Phone

That is why we are proud to offer a full complement of Soft Skills training, designed to help your executives and your management team gain the skills they need to compete, and thrive, in even the most stressful situations. With employee development training, any business will be more successful

Call Center Management

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary

Business Etiquette

Our mission is to be "providers for success" to our clients and other organizations and individual who share our values and zeal to explore opportunities and avenues for mutual progression

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

LEADERSHIP: ACCUSED OF FAVORITISM


By word definition, FAVORITISM, which is derived from the word 'favorite' is just an indication of preference - nothing harmful really. But it has such a negative connotation when levied upon a leader because it indicates a wrongly given preference at the expense of another more-deserving employee. It could really tarnish the leader's image and reputation, destroy harmony among colleagues and hamper performance.

In many cases, accusations of favoritism will never surface as an official complaint, but being spread around as rumors instead. And a rumors goes, along the way stories are being added and adjusted by the people carrying the rumors. Before we know it, it becomes such a stigma. It could get even worse when the leader, trying to salvage his reputation, is seen as taking revenge on the accuser. So, leaders should really make an effort to avoid falling into the situation of being accused of playing favoritism, because the remedy is not very simple.

Let's try to understand what are the triggers for favoritism accusations.

SENIORITY vs. PERFORMANCE
One of the most common triggers for favoritism accusation is when a junior colleague overtakes a senior one in promotion. This is really a misconception, but it is nobody's fault. We can find this misconception rooting back to way back then, when seniority carries such a prestigious status.


Indeed, back then promotions were given out in recognition of duration of service (i.e seniority). But since the explosion of the K-Economy (Knowledge Economy) in the 1970s, this corporate mindset has gradually changed. Organizations are continuously looking for new ideas and solutions to stay competitive. Methods, processes and procedures are being checked constantly.

Seniors may have been a STAR once before and thanks to the them the company is where it is now. But opportunity does not come always. And perhaps during their stardom, there were not much opportunities for their career progression. So, they remain where they are and continue doing what they have been doing. After a period of time, it is almost always that some seniors will get stuck with their 'old' ways and success stories and become resistance to change. But for the company however, to ensure that the it stays competitive, change is a constant. In fact, with the technology advancement, changes are happening even more rapidly.

In today's world, although seniority is still being put on the weighing scale when considering promotions, another attribute has now taken its place as the top priority and being given more weight on the promotional scale - That is CURRENT PERFORMANCE. If there is a few EQUALLY good candidates, then seniority would make a very good tie-breaker criteria.


UNBALANCED LENIENCY
Another common trigger for accusations of favoritism may not be an intentional, but rather the inaction on obvious misconduct being seen as favoritism.

Reality check - There are only a few lucky ones in this world who are doing exactly what they love to do. So to them, money may not be at the top of their priority. But for the rest of us, given the choice, we would rather be at home or do something else, don't we? It is not a secret that the majority of the public works for the money, to earn a living and there is nothing wrong with that. Ask ourselves, what would happen to those top performers if they are not being paid salary properly. Would they still be top performers? I don't think so! So, sincerity is such an abstract topic in the workplace.

How does this relates to favoritism?

Well, leaders may misinterpret hard work for sincerity. Just remember that every now and then, everyone need to release some steam, take a break - take a chill pill as they say it. But there will be some who would take advantage of the leniency given and go overboard with it. If no action is taken, others will start to question - why do they need to work so hard? And the favoritism will spark when 'suddenly' action is taken on those who takes advantage LESS frequently on whatever leniency given.


PLAYING FAVORITES

Another common triggers of favoritism accusation is when promotions or opportunities are given without reasonable justifications. Leaders really need to stay objective all the time because, like it or not, other people's rice bowl is in our hands. We should not be lazy to keep trackers on performance and discipline. It may be tedious, but it will help in a lot of ways, mainly to stay objective with our decision making. Should an opportunity comes up and the leader needs to decide who among the employees should be given the opportunity, they can quickly refer to the tracker and make a sound and non-bias decision. 

Sadly, some leaders can still proudly declare that they use 'gut feelings' in managing the teams and promotions. While gut feelings (which should correctly be referred to as 'intuition', which requires experience to develop) is a recognized leadership attribute, but leaders are humans too. We can be affected by emotions and mood swings. And we also forgets sometimes, just like anyone else. This is when a tracker will come in handy.


MY TIPS
  • First and foremost, avoid falling into the favoritism trap because the remedy is not very simple.
  • Do not despair or be de-motivated should such accusation being level on us. The worse that we can do to address the accusation is being presumed as taking revenge against those who spread the accusation.
  • Clear our conscience and reflect on the accusation if it has any truth in it at all.
  • My stand on favoritism - I am totally against 'personal favoritism', but I have absolutely no problem with 'performance favoritism' because I feel that top performers deserved to be recognized and celebrated.
  • If recognizing performance is the basis of the rumors - then Smile!! We are doing the right thing. It should send a signal that if anyone wants to be in our 'good book', they need to perform - which is a good thing. 
  • Rather than a signal that if anyone wants to be in our 'good book', they need to be nice to us - which is a wrong signal to give.
  • Most importantly, if the rumors has any truth in it all, then be prepared to change.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

VISION vs MISSION STATEMENTS

** Taken from a speech - Career Talk by Azmil Abdul Aziz **

Surely, many of us have heard of the terms 'Vision Statement' and 'Mission Statement' before. Fact of the matter, some of us may have set a very good vision for ourselves, but are clueless on the mission. And vise-verse, some of us may have a very good mission, but have no idea on the vision. 

To start with, do we really know what are the differences between the two? And why are these two statements important?

For huge organizations, these two statements are very important because it represents the name of the organization, it becomes the core for its policies and it lays the foundation for its operations. But what has this got anything to do with us as individuals? Read on.

Vision Statement can simply be defined as 'The Destination', while Mission Statement can simply be defined as 'The Plan to get to the Destination'.

Example : "I would like to go KLCC" - that's the destination - that's the VISION.
Example : "I would like to go to KLCC by taking the shortest, cheapest and easy-to-remember route" - that's the plan - that's the MISSION.


Making a bit more sense now? Read on.

For an organization, they will of course define the statement "I would like to go to KLCC" in their own way. It may not be a physical destination like KLCC. It can be an ambition like "We aim to be the world leader in quality shoe making" - that's their destination - that's their VISION.

They can then define their Mission Statement as "We aim to be the world leader in quality shoe making by ensuring all materials use to make our shoes are of high standard, ensuring our staffs are well trained in the machinery we use and ensuring that all completed shoes goes through 100% quality check before being released to the market" - that's their plan - that's their MISSION.

The mission statement can later be used to build policies, operations procedures and priorities; which are a whole new chapter altogether. Let's just stick to Vision and Mission Statements for now, shall we?

Coming back to the earlier question - what has this got anything to do with us as individuals? Well, it has a lot to do with us.

When we were kids, have anyone ever ask us "What do you want to be when you grow up?" - Well, that is actually helping us to make our vision statement - setting a destination in life.


Say our answer to that question is "I want to be a doctor!!".. Well, in one of my classmate's case, his answer was "I want to be a King!!" Hehe.. great ambition I must say, but surely by now he would have realized that one has to be of a royal blood to be a King. :)

Okay, becoming a doctor is our destination, our vision. So, will it make sense if we pursue a Degree in Finance, when our vision is to become a doctor? Of course not.

If we were serious in our vision of becoming a doctor, then our MISSION would logically be to get a Degree in Medicine, right? And that mission can be further refined into what subjects in school that we must really score, what references do we need to deepen our knowledge and what priorities that we must abate to; but as I mentioned earlier, that's a whole new chapter altogether.

Well, what do you know? We have had our Vision and Mission statements all along since we were a kids.

Next question : If that was supposed to be our Vision and Mission statements set since our childhood, then surely as an adult, we should be living that dream now, right? But what if we are not? Have we failed in life?

Absolutely not! Revision is allowed and sometimes necessary as our circumstances changes. Organizations does that too. There is no hard and fast rule in life. What is important is we set ourselves goals and devise a plan to achieve that goal. But along the way, if our circumstances changed, then revise our goals and redefine our plan.

Another friend of mine - Back in school, he was very determined to be a doctor. We lost contact of each other after school. But years later when I met him in KL, guess what? He is now an engineer. I asked him what happened because I was very sure that he was going to pursue medicine and become a doctor. He told me that shortly after school, he and his family met with a horrible accident, which took the life of his mother. He saw how his mother's remains were scattered around the scene and blood was everywhere. Ever since that accident, the sight of blood would immediately remind him of his mother and he could not stand that. So, he decided to forgo medicine and took engineering instead. Vision and Mission Statement revised!

And my personal experience - I did my Degree in IT in the late 1990s. This was during the booming of the IT age, the millennium age and the dotcom age. Everyone everywhere seemed very hyped-up about it. So, I jumped onto the bandwagon as well. While I was in the university, this hyped-up environment died down. When I eventually graduated in IT and started looking for a job, I was very sad to realize that knowledge in IT has become only as 'added advantage' and not the core skill required for many jobs. Admittedly, my grade were not that good anyway (but a degree none the less). So, that limited vacancies in IT has been taken up by those with better grades. And I had to go around with an 'added advantage' in hand without a core skill. So, I took up any job I can. It took me a few years to realize that I need to revise my vision. I decided to do my Master Degree in Business Administration and only then, I see myself moving ahead in my career. Vision and Mission Statement revised!

When we talk about Vision and Mission Statement, it does not always have to be a long term, complicated goals. It can also be for a short term, simple goals.

Our Vision Statement can simply be "I want to go on a good vacation" - that's the goal. And our Mission Statement can be "I want to go on a good vacation by end of this year with the cheapest travelling cost, having loads of activities and a lot of historical values" or however you want to define 'a good vacation' as.

Hope that helps.

To get more tips and career advise - Call us at 017-3055744 to book a consultancy session.

"Unleashed your true potential and stand out among your peer".

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SOFT SKILLS : HAVE U GOT WHAT IT TAKES??



Do we know what are SOFT SKILLS? Here are a few to start with...

Communication Skill
Effective communication skill is probably the most important skill we need. We communicate every day, either formally or informally. This is one single skill that brought humanity to where it is now - the ability to transmit knowledge from one to another. Otherwise, we would still be trying to invent the wheel. Although communication comes naturally for humans, but communicating effectively is an entirely different story. It's not unusual to need help to sharpen this skill. Read different types of materials to help increase your vocabulary. It will help you understand more words and write better. It will also help you learn how to evaluate and interpret information. Communication is used in almost every task from setting business goals to customer service. Join organizations, clubs or sports teams to improve your communications skills. Or serve on committees. Learn to listen to other people. Be willing to accept direction and constructive criticism. This will help you get along with all types of people. Make no mistake, listening is an integral part of communication.

Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
Solving problems and thinking critically are not skills we are naturally born with. They are learned through hands-on experience as you deal with issues in life or work place. Theory of this skills will get you started, but it will take practice to really get the hang of it. These skills are useful to solve conflicts, set goals, and make decisions. Duration of time spent will depend on the subject matter. Some decision or issue may take years to really come to a conclusion, while others can be a matter of a split second. Learn how to identify the source of a problem, identify all the options available, understand what each option requires, then decide what you need to do to reach the desired outcome. The best option may not always be the solution. It has to also take into account the affordability, duarbility and availability. See everyday problems as a way to perfect these skills. Serving on committees will help develop these skills too.

Business Ethics and Systems Analysis
Understand your role in how a company operates. This involves looking beyond your work unit. Learn about other departments and the industry as a whole. Read about the company, serve on its committees, and explore mentoring opportunities. Build partnerships and teams with your coworkers. Figure out how to simplify processes, functions, and products. Try to come up with ways to save time or money. It's also helpful to work outside your assigned job duties or within other departments. Students can develop system analysis skills too. School committees, team projects, and sports are good places to start. Community involvement, part-time work, and job clubs are also activities to consider.

Leadership and Teamwork
Leaders are not born, they are made. Good leaders exhibit many soft skills - communication, motivation, sense of direction, caring, sense of purpose, problem solver, point of unity and (to a certain extreme) reason to die for. Leaders often act as role models by coaching and mentoring others. They are sensitive to other people's needs, responsible, and enthusiastic about their work. They also take risks, develop teams, problem solve, focus on goals, negotiate, and adapt to change. Involvement in sports, clubs, or professional associations can help you to gain these skills.

Ethics and Legal Responsibilities
The workplace needs to function ethically and be legally responsible. Employees need to be honest and trustworthy. Take your work seriously, be ethical in all your dealings, and follow the rules. Employers want self-disciplined people who follow company policies. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary or legal action. Always act professionally and with maturity while at work.

Employability and Career Development
Employers want people who are flexible. This means you must be able to adapt to change and think on your feet. Employers also expect workers to keep their skills up to date and be willing to learn new ones. A good attitude and computer skills are also a must

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Leadership Persona


To start with, let's be clear that we are actually talking about Leadership, rather than Managerial. There's a huge difference between the two. While managers aim to do things right, leaders aim to do the right thing. While managers enforces rules and regulations, leaders gets the people to embrace those rules and regulations. While managers evaluates the staffs, leaders promotes self-evaluation. While managers reacts to problems, leaders anticipate them.

Now, it is wrong to be a manager? NO, it's not wrong. 

We do need managers to ensure that things are running according to plan, rules and regulations are being followed and targets are being met at all times. Managers are facilitators of their team's success. They ensure that their people have everything they need to be productive and successful. Making sure that the members are well-trained and have minimal roadblocks in their path. Managers will also recognize those with good performance and coach those who are not doing too well.

On the other hand, a leader can be ANYONE on the team who has a particular talent, who is creatively thinking outside of the box and has the ability to politely challenge the status-quo. A leader leads based on strength, not titles. And a good leaders consistently allows different leaders to emerge and inspire their teammates (and themselves) to the next level.



Let me point out that a person can actually have both qualities, Managerial qualities and Leadership qualities, in them. In fact, some leadership gurus explain that managerial skill is part of leadership and leadership skill is part of managerial.

It is also quite important to understand that leadership should be situational, depending on the needs of the team. Sometimes the team needs a visionary to assure them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the team needs a director to put things in a more structured plan and clearly defines roles. Sometimes the team needs a 'wake-up caller' to help them realize that they can actually do better. Or sometimes, the team just simply needs a warm hug.

A good leader chooses their leadership style like a golfer chooses his or her club. And there are many leadership styles that we can adopt to lead our team. Here are a few of those styles :

The Pace-setter Leader : This style can be summed up in the phrase "Do what I do, now". The pace setting style works best when the team is already motivated and skilled. The leader sets the pace and the people follow. Just remember to look back once in a while to avoid burning out the team or setting a pace that the team cannot catch up to. This could have a negative result instead.

The Authoritative Leader : This style aims to brings the team to a common vision. It works best when the team is seen to be working as 'separate entities' - marketing, customer service, finance, HR, operations, etc. It allows the different 'smaller teams' to come together and work as one.

The Affiliative Leader : This style works best in times of stress, when teammates needs to heal from a trauma or when the team needs to rebuild trust. This style of leadership says "People comes first". But it should not be used exclusively because a sole reliance on praise and nurturing can foster mediocre performance and lack of direction.

The Coaching Leader : This style promotes the phrase "Try this". It works best when the initiative of improvement originates from the team themselves and the team needs a leader to help them achieve that common goal. It is least effective when it is a top-down initiative or if the teammates are unwilling to change or learn.

The Coercive Leader : This style demands immediate compliance. It works best in time of crisis and decision making window is not a luxury. This style can also help control a problem teammate, when everything else has failed. However, it should be used cautiously and should be reserved as the 'last option' because it can alienate and hinder flexibility and inventiveness.

The Democratic Leader : This style aims to get the team members involved in the direction of the team. It creates the sense of belonging in the team members and foster the spirit of togetherness. It works best when charting new territories in the team's venture or discussing on innovative ideas. However, it is not the best choice of leadership in a crisis situation or compliance issues. 

That's a brief overview of leadership. At GETA Management and Services (GMS), we offer a wide range of leadership programs, which focuses on individual strength and industry specific modules. 


Call us now to find out more on our Leadership Programs and how our program can help you and your organization achieve more.

Call us at 017-3055744 today.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

INTERVIEW: WHAT NOT TO DO...


Surely a lot of people will agree that the most stressful stage of job hunting is the interview stage. A lot of times, qualification and experience on the person's resume may not be enough to lend them a job or even rendered worthless, if they can't perform well during the interview. Many well-qualified people commits interview mistakes that instantly kills their chances of getting that job. 

Here are some of the common ones - WHAT NOT TO DO...

DO NOT bring too much stuffs into the interview room.
Remember, there is no second chances to create a first impression. When you enter the interview room, you really want to be looking your best - sharp, professional and well-groomed. So, do not bring too much stuffs with you into the interview room. A slim folder is all you need to carry extra copies of resume, original certificates and a few pieces of blank papers. Do not bring your whole sack of stationary, just a pen in your pocket will do. And if the interview happens to be out of state and you had brought along your luggage, ask if you can store the luggage somewhere while you attend the interview. Carrying too much stuff can make you look off balance and clumsy.

DO NOT answer or play with your phone.
The last thing you want is for your phone to ring while you are in an interview. It is not only a distraction, but it could also kill your image and whatever good impression that you have managed to create before that. So, make sure that your phone is ON SILENT before walking into the interview room. In fact, I would even suggest a step further as to totally switch off the phone during the interview because some alarm or notification 'beeb' would still go off even when the phone is on silent.

DO NOT go for interview without knowing anything about the company or the job.
When the interviewer ask you "What do you know about this company?", that does not mean that the interviewer does not know about his own company. He is really trying to determine if you are just fishing for ANY job ANY where, or are you genuinely interested in the company and the particular opportunity. This will later be a critical point when they are deciding the best candidate to fill the post. The interviewer would also want to see if you had put an effort to do some research beforehand, which will give them an indication of how you would normally attend to your tasks.

DO NOT turn the interview into a confession
Interviewer commonly ask candidates to describe their weaknesses, but that does not mean that you have to turn the interview into a confession and to start giving them a long list of your weaknesses. What the interviewer is looking for is to see if the candidate has any sense of humbleness and is aware of his own area for improvement. So, name one or two of your weaknesses and explain how you are working to improve that area.

DO NOT misuse the word 'perfectionist'
Being a perfectionist is actually a good thing, ONLY IF you are not required to work with others. But if the job that you are applying for is part of a team (which it normally would be), then being a perfectionist means that you are a difficult person to work with as you tend to be pushy and bossy on others to ensure everything is perfect and it would be difficult for you to let go of a project. Use other positive words instead, like 'result-oriented' or 'attentive to details'.

DO NOT give scripted answers
It is very important that your do preparations before the interview. This may include predicting the possible questions and preparing the best answer. But more important than this is, during the interview itself, you must not sound scripted or robotic. Relax yourself and let the word comes out naturally. Put in some personality into your answers to let the interviewers know that you are speaking from your heart.
  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ADDRESSING THE CALL CENTER DILEMMA



Call Center job is not an easy one. It requires the agent to be sharp in their product knowledge as well as their soft skill, in order to give live responses to customer's every query. The nature of the job requires the agent to be on their toes at all times. Hesitations and lack of confident while speaking to the customer will often lead to a disastrous call experience, both for the customer as well as the agent.

The solution for this seems obvious, isn't it? Just provide more training and coaching.

But that is the dilemma faced by Call Centers - it is a 'time sensitive' industry because its performance is measured by the second. Pulling the agent away from their phones for coaching or training purposes, will not stop the customer from calling in and lack of agent to attend to those calls will lead to another problem - abandoned calls. While the supervisors struggles to keep the SLA up and avoid abandon calls, the agents continue to struggle with their lack of product knowledge and being punished with disastrous calls, one after another. On top of that, having poor soft skill will simply amplify the effect of a disastrous call and turn it into a horrific call. And as transaction types become more complex, the agent's learning curve becomes more steeper. 

As you would have guessed, this leads to another problem - high  attrition. Studies show that attrition in Call Centers are hovering at around 30% industry average. Not only is this expensive for the company in terms of hard cost like recruiting, hiring, induction training and productivity lost, but there are even more critical hidden costs such as the customer satisfaction, which is harder to quantify.

The truth is that when agents don't get the coaching and training they need, their performance suffers. And poor performing agents are less satisfied with their jobs and will be more likely to leave the company. At the same time, when customers have a poor Call Centre experience, they are more likely to defect to a competitor company. Research shows that customers who do not have their issues resolved are 8 times more likely to defect. When poor performing agent leaves, they are replaced by a new agent and the whole cycle repeats, giving a direct impact on customer loyalty.

So, how can we address this madness?

At GMS, we offer the opportunity for Call Center supervisors to have a broader understanding of Call Center Operations and learn effective ways to handle the challenges they face. Our "Addressing Call Centre Dilemma" program is developed through intensive research on various Call Centers, across various industries. It will empower supervisors to make split-second judgement call, while balancing between staff development and maintaining business requirements.




Addressing the Call Center Dilemma 
A program specially-designed for:
  • Call Center Supervisors
  • Call Center Team Leaders
  • Aspirant call center agents
Unleash your true potential and stand out among your peers.

REGISTER NOW!
Call us at 017-3055744 for more info.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Learning Administrator (3 positions)


URGENT VACANCY
Learning Administrator (3 positions)
Petaling Jaya - Selangor


Only serious and qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply?
Please complete below form and upload a copy of your resume.
We will contact you if you are selected for an interview.

Responsibilities:  

·         Coordinates end-to-end delivery support for multiple events/sessions per month.
·         Coordinates feedback process for assigned events/sessions, compiles and distributes results.
·         Identifies compliance issues, content and facility needs for events/sessions.
·         Coordinates on-site delivery needs of assigned programs, registration and enrollment process, issues and needs.
·         Communicates via e-mail, voice, and face-to-face with Account Team and events/sessions sponsor/attendees: progress, problem escalation, issue resolution, budget variance, customer satisfaction or feedback.
·         Identifies and schedules resources needed to deliver the program.


Requirements:

·         SPM, Certificate, Diploma or Degree in any discipline.
·         Fresh graduates are encouraged to apply. Those with customer service experience are welcomed to apply.
·         Candidates without customer service experience but want to explore in this field are also welcomed to apply.
·         Candidates age range from 17 - 40 years old.
·         Able to communicate and write well in English.
·         Open to be working on shift basis or extended hours if required (necessary allowance and OT will be paid).
·         Customer oriented with good interpersonal and communication skill
      Basic Computer literacy (MS Office) / sending and replying emails in English

Remuneration package will be offered commensurate with qualification and working experience. Competitive basic salary, with out patient and hospitalization benefit being offered. 

Submit your application now using below form.

Impress your potential employer with sound customer service skills. 
Enroll in our 'Upgrade Yourself' program - Join us now!