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Future People - Blog

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Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage review

A reminder about the upcoming Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage review which occurs at the end of each financial year.  Here the national minimum and modern award minimum wages are reviewed in relation to cost of living in Australia.

New minimum award rates come into operation from 1 July each financial year. The new hourly rates for Temporary Employees cannot be confirmed until the increase is Gazetted which often occurs only just before or on the effective date of 1 July. This year 1 July falls on a Wednesday and any increase is required to be reflected in the first pay period. This means that the hourly charge rate will increase proportionate to any pay increase for all hours worked by Temporaries from 29th June (week ending 5th July).

As soon as the new rate increases have been gazetted for our temporary employees, you will be informed of the impact on the hourly charge rate for your Temporaries. This will occur in the week beginning 7th July.


Publish Date: May 29, 2015 5:00 AM

Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage review

A reminder about the upcoming Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage review which occurs at the end of each financial year.  Here the national minimum and modern award minimum wages are reviewed in relation to cost of living in Australia.

New minimum award rates come into operation from 1 July each financial year. The new hourly rates for Temporary Employees cannot be confirmed until the increase is Gazetted which often occurs only just before or on the effective date of 1 July. This year 1 July falls on a Wednesday and any increase is required to be reflected in the first pay period. This means that the hourly charge rate will increase proportionate to any pay increase for all hours worked by Temporaries from 29th June (week ending 5th July).

As soon as the new rate increases have been gazetted for our temporary employees, you will be informed of the impact on the hourly charge rate for your Temporaries. This will occur in the week beginning 7th July.


Publish Date: May 29, 2015 5:00 AM

The top priority for team leaders – people engagement

The contact centre is often the customers’ only connection with the organisation, so the engagement of that customer is critically linked to the service each agent provides. An agent who is being mentored, developed and coached by their team leader is key to providing the plus-one levels of discretionary effort that shows up in tone of voice and willingness to serve by the agent on the end of the phone.

And they do this, not because they’re following a script that tells them to thank the customer at the end of the call, but because they truly buy into the values of the organisation that places the customer at the heart of everything they do. And even more importantly, they care about the customer because in turn, they feel cared about by their leader.

Having a team of agents who are continually motivated to give a truly great customer experience is no small ask, yet this is what hundreds of team leaders are doing, day in and day out, all over the country.

Forget monitoring KPIs, analysing spread sheets and replying to a never-ending stream of (internal) emails, it’s the relationships a team leader fosters with the people they lead that really drives performance.

  • Are they demonstrating to their team what to do?
  • Are the leading by example?
  • Are they building trust?
  • Are they coaching underperformance and building confidence?
  • Is the team truly engaged?

Leading psychologist Daniel Kahneman is the founder of Peak End Theory and his work tells us that when people reflect on an experience (for the purpose of this article, let’s say a call to a contact centre) it’s the peak moments they remember, good or bad, and the way the call ended. A team leader who knows this, because they’ve been coached this way will share this with their team ensuring they are mindful of the way a call starts, their tone of voice throughout, and that the call ends positively.

Ensure your team leaders are truly equipped to lead, coach, mentor and develop their teams with our eQ+ FutureLeaders program.

For more information please call Ruth on 0488 132 334 or email


Publish Date: May 28, 2015 5:00 AM

Reflections on leadership; the ‘why’ is just not enough

I don’t know about you but sometimes I find being a good leader can be hard. I’m consciously aware of being a good role model, always being ‘present’ for my team irrespective of work pressures faced and  what may be going on in my personal  life and I’ve been trying to work out how to be an inspiring leader especially at those low points when feeling inspired is hard.

Simon Seneck’s TED talk on ‘How great leaders inspire’ deeply resonates with me and what I view my role to be – if you haven’t watched it you must.  Simon Seneck talks about the golden circle’ – ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘what’. Most organisations know what they do and how they do it but very few understand why they do it. The difference with really great organisations is they focus on the ‘why’ and the role of leaders is to connect every individual to that purpose in a personal way. Makes sense.  Feels good. Harder to do in practice.

Why’s it so hard? Because most leaders spend at least 80% of their time on management not leadership. 

In a work context the measure of a great leader is really about delivering results. A good leader GETS STUFF DONE. Having great leadership qualities; connecting people with purpose isn’t enough. A great leader also needs to be a great manager – they need to find and engage the right talent to deliver results, connect their team to purpose and focus on the right tasks, at the right time, in the right way.

Management is about organizing resources, processes and systems to deliver results. Leadership is about inspiring great performance. There’s plenty of great leaders but poor managers however to deliver results you need to be an effective leader and an effective manager. When these two things intersect great things are possible. 

The key to success is balancing leadership and management, focussing on the ‘why’ to inspire and the less glamorous but as important management to deliver results.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – email me on



Publish Date: May 28, 2015 5:00 AM

Why recruiting top talent shouldn’t be the first priority

There are two ways of looking at human behaviour: that is people generally have good intentions or those intentions and are bad. If we assume the former and employ a recruitment process that gets to the heart of a person’s engagement drivers and selects them accordingly, then it’s fair to say that new employees come into an organisation as highly engaged talent.

Highly engaged employees are the holy grail based on the three S’s of employee engagement: Say, Stay, Strive – engaged employees say good things about the company – they are a potential referral base, they stay longer avoiding the cost of attrition and most importantly they strive to deliver ‘plus one’ discretionary effort – the ‘plus one’ makes a significant impact on positive customer experience.

Research shows that highly engaged employees deliver 45% higher job performance yet only 20% of employees in most organisations are highly engaged. Furthermore close to 10% are actively disengaged and 70% are neutral – those who are neutral are average performers who fly under the radar however they also represent the biggest opportunities for managers. Imagine if we could move even half of our ‘neutrals’ to highly engaged – we’d need half the number of people to get the same outcome!

It is interesting to note that highly engaged employees also represent the greatest risk to an organisation – they deliver the most and offer the greatest potential but if disengaged can cause the most damage. A good analogy is high performance race horse spooked at the starting gates.

However, the point is that our new employees come in as highly engaged. Our job as leaders is to ensure we keep them that way. Engagement is about culture and leaders are culture in action – ‘people leave managers not organisations’.  In the contact centre, team leaders are culture in action – the new employee’s experience of the organisational culture comes via their immediate manager – and is often their only experience of the organisations culture.

The relationship the team leader builds with their new employee and the culture they foster within their team is the key to maximising employee engagement – of existing employees and the fresh new talent that joins with hopes and aspirations. Team leaders must be involved in the recruitment process of new employees: to understand engagement drivers and ensure they deliver on the promise the organisation makes when attracting talent. This is the key to reducing the very costly early stage attrition and driving long term retention.

The priority before recruiting top talent is ensuring your team leaders can deliver on brand promise and engage those new recruits.

Ensure your team leaders know how to recruit and keep highly engaged employees.


Publish Date: May 27, 2015 5:00 AM

Behavioural agility – the new silver bullet for contact centres

Frontline employees have always needed to be highly resilient and agile enough to quickly transition from one challenging call to be fully present on the next, but now we’re asking more of them than ever – and what are they getting in return?

The ‘contact centre’, ‘call centre’, ‘national sales centre’, ‘hub’, ‘club’ or the even the ‘customer experience centre’ are recognised as the key channel for customer engagement, and frontline staff – agents and team leaders the critical link in developing deepening customer relationships.

In our recent competition to tell us about your ‘worst call ever’ the responses we received painted a pretty grim view of the highly stressful and emotionally charged calls our agents and team leaders are dealing with on a daily basis. And in the main they all do a pretty great job of it despite having had, in most cases, little to no real customer service training, let alone anything specifically designed to deal with the pressure of life in a modern customer contact centre environment. Skills such as conflict resolution and advanced communication are lacking in most cases, never mind any development focussed on mindfulness techniques, stress reduction and emotional wellbeing.

Our research tells us that 90% of CEO’s have customer engagement at the very top of their agenda, yet there is little investment in developing the skills of the people who live and breathe customer engagement each and every day.

Too often an agent will have a good or a bad day depending on who they speak to or interact with. Behavioural agility which can be learned and developed provides frontline employees with the ability to exert more control over their reactions to, and interpretations of the calls they make or receive during the course of their day.

Business is rapidly changing. The world of work is shifting at a pace none of us has ever seen before – the idea of ‘change’ has traditionally equalled ‘stress’ for most people, yet new psychological research is discovering that as human beings we are actually at our happiest when we are growing and evolving. Coupled with this, the research shows that things we are most proud of are the hard experiences where we have pushed through to achieve something we felt was just out of reach.

The key to much of this is the stories we tell ourselves and learning to understand our own explanation style and how we can use it to be more resilient; learning to manage negative emotions and to diffuse from our thoughts and exhibit considered and constructive responses.

Take a look at our science-science behavioural agility workshop where learned emotional intelligence knowledge is used to equip frontline employees with the ability to transition seamlessly between calls, tasks work and life.

For further information or to discuss the unique challenges facing your team, email Ruth on


Publish Date: May 27, 2015 5:00 AM

FutureLeader of the quarter awards

Our FutureLeader of the quarter award recognises high performing FuturePeople temporaries and gives our clients the opportunity to acknowledge outstanding temporary FuturePeople team members which is especially important for those employees on longer term assignments.

Our winners are presented in person by their FuturePeople consultant and receive a $100 pre-paid VISA card along with a certificate and balloons and are automatically in the running for our FutureLeader of the year.

The winner of the Q3 FutureLeader was Peou Prak at Westpac for consistently delivering strong results identifying customer needs and converting them into sales, she was also the top performer in her team last quarter!

You can watch  her interview with FuturePeople consultant Jamie here.

Q2 saw two winners Jacob Ranga and Jason Fou.

Nominations for Q4 are now open – nominate here!


Publish Date: April 29, 2015 5:00 AM

Worst call ever’ competition: put your own oxygen mask on first

The entries into our ‘Worst calls ever’ competition literally made us laugh and cry. And, it became evident it can sometimes be a mighty tough gig working on the front-line in a contact centre, dealing with such a broad spectrum of society of which individuals all have different ‘stuff’ going on in their lives.

In our ‘worst calls’ customers can come across as angry, sad, distressed, and sometimes slightly mad forcing the front-line to moonlight as councillors; and face abuse, sexual innuendo and prejudice.

What stood out from these stories was the importance of equipping your front-line to deal with the emotional aspects of their role, not just managing how customers feel but their own feelings in relation to the broad range of people and situations they deal with every day – we’ve all heard a flight attendant to tell us to ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’ before we can help others and nowhere is this more important than on the front-line.

The overwhelming majority – 82% of our competition entrants felt training in Emotional Intelligence could have assisted them in handling their ‘worst call ever’.

Click to see our contact centres Emotional Intelligence training offerings.

The winner of the iPhone 6 harrowing entry who chose to remain anonymous.

An additional prize of a $100 pre- paid Visa card was awarded to Robin Ford for funnies call. 

Thank you to our participants and congratulations to our winners!


Publish Date: April 22, 2015 5:00 AM

Green talent and effective leadership key to retention in contact centres

Whilst the contact centre industry has done a great job of reducing staff turnover over the past years by investing in improved training and career paths, attrition continues to be a costly challenge for the industry. The estimated cost per agent starts at $20,000 which doesn’t take into account the indirect costs of lost sales opportunities, disengaged customers and impact on team morale.

Early stage attrition (in the first 90 days) usually points to gaps in the recruitment process. There is also often a spike at the 9 month point in many contact centres which represents an additional cost – the loss of knowledge that has the potential to create a ‘brain drain’ of experienced talent and future leaders.

This loss of talent at the 9 month point is usually career related and can be reduced by investing in recruiting greener talent who have a longer development journey to role mastery and are grateful for the opportunity. Our recent survey of industry exits indicated 69% were experienced in contact centre work and 53% were now seeking work outside a contact centre or not seeking work at all!

The demand for talent in the contact centre industry continues to outstrip supply. Limiting the recruitment pool to only experienced agents which holds the risk of higher turnover as these candidates have a multitude of vacancies to choose from so mobility is high and some may be at the ‘end’ of their contact centre journey.

Of course, the most powerful tool in stemming attrition is proactive development conversations between employees and their managers.


Publish Date: April 22, 2015 5:00 AM

Recruiting for multi-channel – rise of live chat – new skills on the front-line

As multi-channel customer interaction continues to gain momentum new roles and skills are developing on the front-line which require a new approach to recruitment and training.  We’ve seen a significant spike in recruiting for live chat roles and a shift away from traditional methods of recruitment of talent for these roles.

There is a need to look for new and different talent and evaluate their skills and job fit differently. This new talent needs to be able to engage customers via live chat

Whilst traditional competencies such as customer focus, patience and problem solving remain relevant, the ability to multitask to manage multiple chats at once, good judgement and a new type of written communication skills that focus on accuracy and succinctness are now the focus of our assessments for live chat recruitment.


Publish Date: April 22, 2015 5:00 AM

‘Worst call ever’ winner… Stories from the front-line.

It was a tough task determining the winner of our ‘Worst calls ever’ competition – we were inundated with so many deserving entries, however we felt this harrowing call of how an entrant handled a customer going through what was imaginably one of the worst times in his life was deserved.

What we liked most was that her humanity shone through….

This entrant chose to remain anonymous.

‘I can handle angry customers, and honestly those aren’t the calls I remember. The worst call I’ve ever had was when a man called and wanted to end his ex-wife’s TV subscription effective immediately. I kindly explained that his ex-wife will have to cancel it herself and that she needed to give us 3 months’ notice.

What he told me then will haunt me for the rest of my life. His daughters, 8 and 10 years old had come home from school a few days earlier and found their mum in a puddle of blood on the bathroom floor. She had committed suicide.

He started crying on the phone and told me how his daughters were in shock and kept asking for their mum. I tried as best I could to keep a professional manner, but how could I? I cried with him on the phone, gave him my deepest condolences and told him not to worry about the subscription. He wouldn’t stop crying and asked what he should do, I gave him some words of comfort and said things will eventually get easier – he seemed to calm down a little. He thanked me, and hung up the phone.

I cancelled the subscription even though I shouldn’t have. When I told my team leader about the call he agreed it was the right thing to do. Later on he said that they had received an email from the man, thanking me for being more than just a voice on the other end and that I had given him some comfort and hope.

I got promoted to a trainer not long after that call.’


Publish Date: April 9, 2015 5:00 AM

‘Worst call ever’ funniest… Stories from the front-line.

Robin Ford’s entry into our ‘Worst calls ever’ competition was most definitely the funniest and literally made us LOL.

Although probably not particularly fun for him at the time we were most grateful for the light relief so awarded him a prize of a $100 pre-paid Visa card for funniest entry.

WARNING: Do not read whilst eating.

‘I was collecting funds for a hospital. When I asked the person on the phone how he was he said “Not well” I then asked why not? …. a BIG mistake.

He explained he had some gastric complaints and went into detail about his leaking bowels. It was that bad the previous night that his wife had left the room. He said he even woke to find his white Maltese terrier looking like it had been spray painted. The sheets were a nightmare and he had run out of washing powder. He tried going to the doctor but the explosions made it too difficult to leave home so the doctor was on his way.

Fortunately, after judicious use of the mute button, he donated 100 dollars!

Mind you, this call was the last one before lunch break….yuk!’


Publish Date: April 9, 2015 5:00 AM

Global leaders in contact centre recruitment

Awarded gold and silver at the Contact Centre World Awards 2014!

So we told everyone that FuturePeople’s CEO, Linda Simonsen, was in Las Vegas competing for the world title in the category of ‘Best Recruitment Campaign’ at the most prestigious Contact Centre Awards held last November…

What we forgot to tell you was that she won!

Congratulations to the FuturePeople team who were awarded both gold and silver at the Contact Centre World Awards in the category of Best Recruitment Campaign.

The awards are organised by the global association for contact centre best practice and showcase contact centre expertise and innovation around the globe.

FuturePeople were awarded for the Nespresso Club Contact Centre recruitment campaign, where they successfully transformed the recruitment process into an experience. Shifting the focus from looking at technical competencies to emotional competencies resulting in increased retention and record levels of employee engagement.

Simonsen says ‘We won because of the innovative way we’re helping organisations source a new breed of talent that fits with the changing role of the front line contact centre agent as a multi-channel customer engagement expert with emotional intelligence’.


Publish Date: February 24, 2015 5:00 AM

Recruit Best-fit Contact Centre Talent using the latest Asessment Centre technologies

Don’t rely on gut-feel when it comes to recruiting best-fit talent for your contact centre.

Do you currently recruit for best-fit talent that exhibit both the technical and psychological skill-sets required on the new front line?

Do you test & assess for the propensity to be engaged with your customers who will be retained and loyal, spend more with you and refer their friends?

We design assessment & selection processes that align with employer expectations around performance and behaviours, with employee capability, personality, values, motivation and emotional intelligence.

We’ve done our research!

Unlike traditional recruitment & selection methods, we focus on psychological-fit factors in addition to ‘observable’ criteria to achieve overall best-fit.

So, why rely on gut-feel when it comes to recruiting talent for your contact centre?
Get ‘fit’ right!

Recruit ‘best-fit’ using award-winning methodologies & techniques specifically designed for your contact centre.

Learn more here

What our Clients say

“the level of innovation and integrity demonstrated by the team was of the utmost. With little fuss, they customised a program which suited our requirements and matched St George’s high level of professionalism.”

– Manager, St George Bank

“Their workshops work wonders, making what can sometimes be a stressful task of recruiting large numbers smooth and easy for us with great outcomes”
​- HR Consultant, Manchester Unity

FuturePeople use the latest Assessment Centre technologies to recruit best-fit talent for you:

  • Online contact centre simulations that evaluate suitability to work in a contact centre environment
  • Telephone Role Plays which are customised to simulate the nature of calls in the specific role
  • Structured Behavioural Interviews with targeted interview questions delivered face-to-face and via video interviewing to evaluate motivational and cultural fit
  • Team Activities that are designed to simulate team scenarios to evaluate cultural fit, team dynamics & interpersonal skills
  • Psychometric Assessments which are online assessment that test for emotional intelligence (EI) and evaluate personality and values as they align with high performer profiles in your business.


Publish Date: September 26, 2014 5:00 AM

How they do it in Public…

Last Friday 12th of September, FuturePeople had the pleasure of sponsoring a buffet luncheon co-hosted by Auscontact Asociation.


On the Agenda?

Glenn King, CEO of ServiceNSW – the new one-stop service for customers accessing multi NSW Public Sector Agencies transaction services delighted attendees in sharing his journey of the new start-up!

Mr King explained that by taking a customer inside approach in the design and delivery of its value proposition, ServiceNSW has moved from low customer satisfaction and poor service quality to the BEST in-class government service – and one that is characterized by a culture of deep customer focus.

Another salient point in transforming government service included changing the strategy for multiple phone numbers and various agencies to one phone number serviced by an all-encompassing agency, facilitating high levels of performance and in turn customer service.

ServiceNSW’s website can be viewed here:






Publish Date: September 16, 2014 5:00 AM

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