Skills & CCiNZ  – championing the “why” of training


Over four weeks, Skills and the Contact Centre Institute of New Zealand (CCiNZ) are partnering to produce a roadshow of events across the country. Each features an experienced guest speaker to share stories of training in a client-facing environment.

For organisations with a dedicated contact centre, it’s important that staff represent the business, have the right skills, and stay on board. For this reason Skills and CCiNZ decided to share insight on how training has been successful in various settings.


Skills Wgtn MSD 1Ministry of Social Development

The latest of these events took place in Wellington where Josie Nafatali, Manager Regional Services from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), gave a stirring insight into her organisations’ approach. As an employer who cannot always offer the attractive benefit of a very large salary, MSD have given back to their staff in other ways. Training leading to nationally recognised NZQA certificates is offered.

Front-line staff were initially sceptical of a programme which would involve extra work, and couldn’t yet see tangible benefits. So Josie took the training herself to fully understand what she was organising. “You cannot promote something to your staff until you know it yourself. Delivery of the qualification purpose and content must be genuine to ensure effective learning” she said. This was a key part of her talk, and she called it “championing the why”. It has been important to the successes at MSD.

Skills partnered with MSD to design a training programme and ensure it met their needs. The training has evolved over time and some resources are now available through an online platform. Leisa Weir from Skills expanded on this approach at the event, and emphasised how important it was to hear directly from Josie on what worked and what didn’t. Skills partner and guide organisations down a path, as well as developing best-fit resources and solutions. This has been the case for many years, and for many clients. But it is up to managers to understand the environment and ensure uptake and results. These events show Skills and CCiNZ are here to support and offer a window into a successful programme series.

The remainder of Josie’s talk was focused on two other areas – “looking beyond the now”, and “reaping the rewards in the future”. She spoke about establishing relationships with those involved in previous training. This was a great way for her to understand past resistance from staff and ensure agreement on the approach going forward.


Skills Wgtn MSD 3Benchmarking New Zealand’s Contact Centre Industry

A recent survey of call centres in NZ established some core insights into the industry in NZ. An extract from the ‘New Zealand Contact Centre Benchmarking Whitepaper’ produced by Chandler Macleod, a global recruitment agency, was also presented at the event. General Manager, Greg McAllister, was there to discuss it. To see the full white paper, get in touch via the Chandler Macleod website.

The Rewards from Upskilling Staff

On this, Josie talked of the importance of building future leaders that would not only benefit the organisation, but develop their own career. This precipitates the appetite for learning and a cycle of new leaders. “I am amazed at the number of CVs I now have coming into my inbox. People are incentivised to work with us because of the learning programme we deliver.”

The roadshow is still touring, and the next and final event will be taking place in Palmerston North on 25 July. The guest speaker will be Amanda Mackrow from Massey University. If you are interested in attending then register online, reservations close on 18 July, so don't miss out.