The door continues to open. People flow through the small lobby space. I wait for just a few minutes before I’m collected by General Manager, Jessica Coen. During that time, employees keep coming in the door, lunch sacks and car keys in hand and bright smiles on their faces.
As Coen begins the tour of Xerox Commercial Services in Lacey, I soon realize why there was so much activity at the front door.
The inbound customer service center, partnered with a major wireless company, is staffed with over 800 employees working every day to answer telephone inquiries and solve customer issues. Seven days a week from 6:00 am – 11:00 pm, the call center is bustling with people chatting on the phone.
But, certainly you are not just “Employee #752” at Xerox. The frequent celebrations and personal interaction makes this a great workplace.
Inside the building, teams group together helping each other give the best customer service possible. Colorful signs announce each team name. Bright colors signify the larger organization.
In total, Coen manages a team of over 1100 individuals, making Xerox the largest private employer in Thurston County. What’s even more impressive is that as we tour the facility, she is greeting people by name, displaying her true nature of creating an outstanding place to work.
Beginning as a customer service agent eleven years ago, Coen has held eleven different positions within Xerox. In August, she will celebrate her two year anniversary as General Manager of the facility.
The workforce is quite diverse. For example, employees have a variety of customer service experience prior to working at Xerox – ranging from retail to food service and volunteer efforts. A coworker may be 18 or 70 or any age in between. “We have employees where this is their first job, stay-at-home parents returning to the workforce, and others that are selecting to work in a call center later in life,” describes Coen.
“But what really stands out when we are recruiting new employees is people that really want to work and care about doing a good job. The person may be fresh out of high school or recent military veterans. A prospective recruit needs to have great ethics and display empathy,” adds Coen.
“When we are talking to prospective employees, we ask for examples of how they have shown care to a customer in the past,” shares Taryn Loftness, a Xerox recruiter with almost three years of experience with the company.
Since it can sometimes be tough to listen to customer’s complaints each day, Coen makes sure that there are crazy, fun events happening frequently with great employee incentives on top.
For example, I was visiting on a Friday and she sent a Xerox employee off to Costco to buy over $500 in fresh fruit. “Fresh Fruit Friday has become so popular. We throw a load of fruit in the lunchroom for everyone to snack on during a break. It’s a great way to promote healthier eating too,” she explains.
Feeding employees is a popular motivator. Once a week, Coen and her management team host employee appreciation meals varying from pizza to salad bar or a BBQ where she is roasting hot dogs for the team. “We are buying food for 500 – 700 people once a week,” she recounts with a smile.
Throughout the week, managers hold drawings. Employees may win a coffee card, Wild Waves tickets, seats at an upcoming Tacoma Rainiers game, or even an iPod.
Spirit Days, Team Color Day, Crazy Hat Day – these are all on the calendar and the Xerox team looks forward to the fun excitement of seeing different costumes, helping lighten the mood. Whether it’s Where’s Waldo or Hawaiian shirt day, the events promote unity within the worksite.
“I enjoy scheduling crazy things, just for fun,” says Coen.
As job applicants look for their next position, Xerox is recruiting individuals that are ready to work hard but have fun during the process. To find out more, click here.