Tugreofia Smith interview with Canada’s podcast

20

November, 2020

 is the Vice President of Operations at A&T Ascension Consulting (ATAC) (http://atacinc.ca), a virtual #staffing company she co-founded with her husband Adrian, where she manages hundreds of #remoteworkers across North America. Having successfully led virtual teams for over 10 years, she is passionate about the opportunities that #remotework provides to individuals, rural communities, and evolving businesses. As the mother of five children, Tugs fully appreciates the challenge of balancing work and family. Part of her mission is to offer better work-life balance to thousands of working moms throughout the country. Tugs is based in the Toronto area.

“Remember why you started this business. Remember why you have this energy and this passion. Remember why you want to change the world. What inspired you? Who inspired you? Get caught up in that “why.””

Staying Positive in a Negative Situation — 3 Tips for Entrepreneurs

3 Tips for Entrepreneurs

21

October, 2020

There are many resources, motivational videos, books, and podcasts on how to stay positive but not a lot of them look at the subject from an entrepreneurial perspective. Entrepreneurship is a uniquely challenging but rewarding roller coaster of ups and downs that requires some very specific strategies to navigate the challenges. Here are three tips specifically for entrepreneurs seeking to level up themselves and their business.

atac inc

Tip 1: Remember that You Are Your Brand – As an entrepreneur and a business owner, you are your brand. If things aren’t going well on the home front and you get into a meeting with an important client, you still need to remain professional and composed at all times no matter how much you may be struggling internally. To be successful, you truly have to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do, which sometimes means putting on a smile on the outside however much you may be crying on the inside. However, ensure that you take some time after your meeting or presentation to address the source of the issues or stress. Keeping thing bottled up and unresolved will eventually affect your productivity.

Tip 2: Keep Moving (or Press Pause)First and foremost, keep moving. If something is not going right in one part of your family life or business, there are always a zillion other things in your life you will need to continue taking care of. For most entrepreneurs, when your business is in its infancy, you are everything. You’re the accountant, you’re the payroll person, you’re HR, you’re everyone. And if you stagnate or fall apart, everything can be destroyed. When one aspect of life isn’t going right, instead of sitting and wallowing or focusing on this negative energy, keep moving forward. If you have to complete your payroll or if you have to write a plan for your client, do that. Focus on income-generating activities. Focus on things that will propel your business to the next level. Because if you get caught in that negative energy it’s only going to pull you down. Remember from Tip 1, you are your brand on every level and your business will always be a reflection of how well you’re keeping it together.

If you find it impossible to keep moving, the other option is to pause. Try meditation. Taking a break can be as simple as five minutes away from your desk. Let’s face it. We’re business owners, we’re trying to launch our business or keep our businesses successful. We don’t have months, weeks, or even days to go off and meditate. But we can always take five minutes to sit in silence. Depending on your belief system, you can approach mediation from a spiritual level or purely as a relaxation strategy. Try to get your mind focused. Alternatively, you can enjoy an activity that allows you to lose focus. Sometimes, I’ll step away from a stressful time at work and watch a TV show for 30 minutes – something that makes me laugh or cry. And then I come back tough as nails ready to get things done. Take a break. And then come back stronger. Remember that negative energy is just that. It’s energy. You want to change the energy flow whenever you’re in a negative environment or headspace.

Tip 3: Remember Your “Why” — My most important tip for entrepreneurs is to always remember your “why.” Remember why you’re working until midnight. Remember why you may not be paying bills on time. Remember why you started this business. Remember why you have this energy and this passion. Remember why you want to change the world. What inspired you? Who inspired you? Get caught up in that “why.” Get refocused and get refreshed. And that is going to change your negative situation. I’m not going to promise it will change immediately. But it will change your energy and once your energy changes, everything about your business changes. Because when you’re an entrepreneur, you are your business on every level. When you change your energy and remember why you’re doing this, you become ready to take on the world. And that means continuing to make progress.

No one is immune to encountering negative situations. Inevitably, you’ll spill something on your shirt as you’re walking into a meeting, get into an argument with your spouse, or you might have a fender bender on your way to work. Things happen. Life happens. But despite the circumstances, we need to always make sure we are laser focused on our business, on our dream, on the seed that we planted and that we continue to nurture.

 

“Remember why you started this business. Remember why you have this energy and this passion. Remember why you want to change the world. What inspired you? Who inspired you? Get caught up in that “why.””

Tugreofia Smith
Tugreofia (Tugs) Smith is the Vice President of Operations at A&T Ascension Consulting (ATAC), a virtual staffing company managing hundreds of remote workers across North America. Having successfully managed virtual teams for over 10 years, she is passionate about the opportunities that remote work provides to individuals, rural communities, and evolving businesses.
Our Post-Pandemic Work Life May Never Be the Same (and that’s a good thing!)

Our Post-Pandemic Work Life May Never Be the Same (and that’s a good thing!)

Our Post-Pandemic Work Life May Never Be the Same (and that’s a good thing!)

09

September, 2020

While a few months ago businesses scrambled to move staff to home office environments, many of us are now starting to look ahead at what’s next. Several states and provinces have passed the peak infection rate and are looking towards declining COVID-19 numbers and a gradual return to normal. But if we assume that “normal” means working 9-5 while enduring a lengthy commute to work, is “normal” really “optimal”? We know working from home at least part of the time and can enhance a staff member’s work life balance while alleviating the need for employers to pay for additional workspace and infrastructure.

But many managers worry about how to train new staff or how to keep current staff fully engaged. These are certainly valid concerns but when managed effectively, working from home can be a win-win for both employer and staff member. Based on my experience over the past 10 years staffing hundreds of customer service agents, data entry clerks, sales reps, and licensed mortgage brokers virtually working in home offices across North America, there are some key tips and tricks to keeping remote staff members happy and productive.

Offer a virtual “water cooler” environment – It’s important that your staff feel connected and supported while working from home. Remote training platforms and communication tools are a must for facilitating skill development, performance management, and, equally important, social interaction. We use an internal chat platform to give staff members across the continent the opportunity to make social connections with one another and seek support when needed. The chat platform gives people the opportunity to share jokes, stories, family photos, or ideas with their co-workers. We don’t micromanage the chat platform or create rigid rules for engagement, and the trust we place in our staff members is reflected in their professionalism.

Keep different learning styles in mind – Deploy a comprehensive training platform that addresses diverse, individualized learning styles. Some people are visual learners, others learn by doing, and others learn through repetition. Understanding how individuals learn best from the start and delivering customized training is highly effective.

Get creative in offering incentives — Offering incentives to drive performance and staff behavior is not new to most managers, especially in a sales or KPI-driven work environment. However, we’ve found that when working with a large number of remote staff members, some mid-performers tend to disengage from incentive programs, feeling like they’ll never lead, or never win the big prize. To ensure that everyone is engaged, not just the super star performers, we offer raffles, with easily attainable ways to earn ballots. We then use a remote raffle platform to draw names for small cash prizes randomly and real-time. Staff members love it and the online raffle is often the highlight of the week!

Use video – Because 80% of communication is non-verbal, it’s important to build trust between co-workers, employees, and managers through video connections. If you’re a CEO or executive with hundreds or thousands of employees, strive to communicate as much via video as you do via email or even phone. When in-person team meetings or huddles aren’t practical, video is a great way to stay connected.

Provide flexible schedules – One of the biggest advantages of work-at-home environments is the flexibility for staff members to self-manage. Consider whether you really need everyone on your team available between the hours of 9 and 5 every day. As an alternative and where feasible think about whether tasks and assignments can be completed any time of day. As long as staff members abide by set deadlines and are delivering on their productivity commitments, many businesses find that loosening their restrictions can promote greater job satisfaction and create a more productive environment.

Look for opportunities to engage – Acknowledging birthdays, telling people they did a good job on a particular project, praising team work and collaboration, or simply saying “good morning” are small but important ways you can engage your remote team members.

Address performance issues early — Ensure that remote staff understand expectations from the start and address problems early. When performance issues crop up, provide additional guidance and partner them with a remote mentor who’s more tenured.

Grow your leadership team – Don’t think that remote workers don’t need management. One of the worst mistakes you can make when staffing remotely is letting team members get lost and feel like a number. As your leadership team grows, make sure your management team understands and abides by your corporate culture.

“One of the biggest advantages of work-at-home environments is the flexibility for staff members to self-manage.”

In summary, when managing remote teams, it’s important to respect staff members as adults. Trying to micromanage or “parent” them will never drive success. By placing trust in your remote team members, that sense of trust will be reciprocated and the business impact will show. Structuring an effective engagement and communication system for remote workers means businesses can create and maintain a post-pandemic work environment that may look a lot different and be a lot more productive than the “old normal.”

Job Opportunity: Project Phoenix

Job Opportunity: Project Phoenix

Great opportunity to earn money!

Full-time hours.

*** ONLY OPEN TO RESIDENTS OF CANADA***

Opportunity overview: Ninty day  temporary contract position, with opportunity for an extension.

Contract classification:  Customer service

 

ATAC is seeking experienced remote Independent Contractors to service a three-month inbound CSR program.  The ideal candidate must be professional, have strong communication skills, and excellent work ethic.

 

Selected contractors must be available to  provide service for a minimum of 25 hours weekly with 6 hours on the weekends.

The hours of operation are 8 am to 10 pm EST, Mon-Fri and 8 am to 8 pm EST Saturdays and Sundays. Contractors must be punctual and available to provide service during their selected hours without interruption.

 All contractors must ensure that they have a professional work environment, free from any background noise when in class, and when servicing.

 

ATAC Unveils New Whitepaper: Using Work-at-Home for Business Continuity in Customer Experience

ATAC Unveils New Whitepaper: Using Work-at-Home for Business Continuity in Customer Experience

14

May 14, 2020

ATAC Inc, an organization for accelerating the adoption of work from home solutions, recently announced the publication of its Using work-At-Home for Business Continuity in Customer Experience White Paper. This white paper was written for all businesses with an interest in implementing work-at-home solutions, and explains why work-at-home solutions can be an effective option for all businesses improving efficiency and continuity of customer experience delivery to consumers this is essential.

 

“Customer experience delivery to consumers in North America and around the world has changed dramatically in 2020. Enterprises can no longer assume that the old ways of doing things when it comes to contact center management is acceptable. Rather, no matter the
vertical, companies need to adapt to the reality of cementing consumer loyalty, while at the same time having the best business continuity strategies in place.

It is for this reason that more executives are looking toward a virtualized model as a means of seamless delivery to get through challenging periods, one that uses dispersed agents that
deliver value to end-users from their residences, as opposed to collectively in cental facilities.”

 

“Enterprises can no longer assume that the old ways of doing things when it comes to contact center management is acceptable.”

atac virtual staffing solutions

“Having the right customer experience services partner in place can make the difference between a well-thought out BCP strategy and one that is slapdash. ATAC has differentiated itself as a provider of home-based virtual contact centre solutions for clients in North America, providing front-line service support to consumers alongside services that drive additional value to enterprises, all with the goal of making their contact centre operations more impervious to sudden changes that could impact delivery.”

 

Download ATAC Whitepaper here

Using WorkatHome for Business Continuity in Customer Experience. A white paper for ATAC

Job Opportunity: Customer Service Reps

Job Opportunity: Customer Service Reps

Description

Great opportunity to earn money! Uncapped hours. Service (work) as many hours as you can select, with no caps. No long term commitment!

Opportunity overview : Five week temporary contract position for Independent Contactors

Contract classification:  Customer service / Demo calls

ATAC is seeking experienced remote Independent Contractors to service a five-week temporary program.  The ideal candidate must be professional, have strong communication skills and excellent work ethic. Selected agents must be punctual. This is a temporary contract.

Contractors will be accepting inbound calls from our client’s existing staff to “stress test” a new phone system before the system goes into production in February 2020.  Contractors will be supplied with scripts and instructions on how to handle each type of interaction. Contractors may be asked to place outbound calls to the service as well.  All calls will be demo calls, using scripts. There will be no client interactions or selling. 

All contractors must ensure that they have a professional work environment, free from any background noise when in class, and when servicing.

 

APPLY NOW