At the beginning of March 2020, who could have expected that the coronavirus would go from a rumored foreign flu to the source of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, which would affect businesses around the world? While RDI surely has no crystal ball, being prepared for the unexpected is at the very heart of their core capabilities. In a matter of days, RDI had completely adapted—seamlessly shifting from having 3,000 contact center agents with only 5% working offsite, to having 90% of employees working from home.
Initial Stages of COVID-19
As stay-at-home orders forced businesses across the country to shut their doors, RDI knew right away that they’d be classified as an essential business and could continue to operate, as healthcare, financial services, and other essential programs could not be put to a halt. However, teams were tasked with not only having to send 90% of their contact center agents home, but having to do this while maintaining compliance with privacy standards and adhering to new social distancing measures.
“We came together, we didn’t know what we were about to face, but [our leadership team] figured everything out and stepped up,” Michael Robinson, Director of HR, states. “RDI continues to do things that they’ve never done before and do it with excellence and it’s because of all the people that we have.”
All-Hands on Deck
Leaders from every department were all-hands on deck when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. RDI’s Client Services team gathered contracts and addendums to enable work-at-home capabilities for certain campaigns, and equipment had to be properly distributed to agents, all while ensuring all of the systems would continue to work from an IT standpoint. The Compliance team continuously ensured that we remained in compliance, and a lot of new documentation and policies for at-home standards had to be developed in a short amount of time.
In addition, training processes shifted to accommodate virtual needs, and Talent Acquisition Specialists to perform interviews and recruiting methods in non-face-to-face protocol. Despite these challenges, RDI still continued to recruit 200 new hires in the month of March.
On top of developing new processes and procedures, RDI had to seamlessly maintain services provided for existing client programs. Fortunately, there were no interruptions in services for any clients, and RDI teams companywide were able to ensure that all client customers were taken care of.
“The first 7-10 days just proved through and through that, we mean it when we say that we’re able to turn on a dime, not have red-tape, execute quickly, and do what needs to be done to cross the finish line,” says Tom Colligan, VP of Integrated Solutions. “It just proves the type of organization that we are and our ability to respond quickly.”
“Keep Your Distance, Lose Your Fear, Fight Together.”
CEO Bronson Trebbi encouraged the RDI team by pushing out a social media campaign to inspire unity and integrity in the midst of the pandemic, “Keep Your Distance, Lose Your Fear, Fight Together.”
“It is a reminder for all of us what our part is in this fight,” Trebbi states. “It is our way to tell the world that RDI is in this together. I refer to it as a ‘Rally Mark’, which reminds us to be safe in our distance, be strong in overcoming our fears, and be tough in our fight that we are in together!”
RDI places high value on investing in and engaging with employees, and with the majority working from home and not engaging on-premise at their sites, the Culture Team fought together by connecting virtually, especially through social media, more than ever before. RDI continues to win at home through various platforms and methods to encourage engagement and connection during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve gotten better than we were at the beginning of this,” Colligan says, “about our processes, of making sure that agents are effectively engaged at the front-end, to make sure that even though agents may be training remotely and not in the call center that they really feel like they are a part of the RDI team and that they are able to feel our culture, which is difficult to do when we’re not in a building.”
New COVID-19 Safety Procedures
With an estimated 15% of call center agents now currently on-site companywide, there are numerous measures RDI has taken to keep our on-premise employees safe, including installing plexiglass in several sites, distancing cubicles/office spaces, and requiring mandatory masks when walking around the sites (masks, of course, are removed for quality purposes when speaking with customers over the phone).
In addition to these new enforcements, employees are encouraged to adhere to the following procedures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Wash your hands on a regular basis
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects, including your cell phone and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe
- Use hand sanitizers when available
- Do not come to work if you are sick with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches/pain)
“RDI is still the same adaptive company, no matter what is thrown in our face,” says Robinson. “We see the challenge and figure it out… RDI is still going to operate the same way we always have, and that is ‘what’s the challenge in front of us, and what do we do to overcome it?’ And we’ll figure it out one way or another.”
RDI continues to stay on top of state and federal requirements, and forges ahead to remain flexible and nimble for whatever challenges may arise during the pandemic and beyond.
“RDI has weathered this storm because our ship is strong and built for rough seas,” says CEO Bronson Trebbi. “As the storms blew in, we counted on the fortitude of our crew who hustled and demonstrated grit through the darkest hours and lead us through the most difficult part of the voyage.”
To learn more about RDI, contact us!