The Jan. 13 Water Cooler Chat, hosted by WICRC member Caren Enloe, explored issues related to the changing workplace culture in the face of the Great Resignation. Register now for the February session featuring host Courtney Reynaud, ACA president-elect and board member.
01/24/2022 11:00 A.M.
3 minute read
The first Women in Collections Resource Council (WICRC) Water Cooler Chat kicked off in January with an attendance of 25 women. It tackled a number of topics, including boosting employee engagement, the current state of hybrid work and more.
Spearheaded by Debra Ciskey, chair of the WICRC, the Water Cooler Chat is an uplifting, professional 30-minute networking event for women in collections. The monthly virtual meetup is an opportunity to connect with your industry peers, ask questions, get feedback or simply socialize.
Each session, held on the second Thursday of every month, will include a new host from the WICRC who will kick off the discussion with a prompt based on current events and challenges in the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry. After the introduction, the host will open the floor for participants to share their thoughts.
During its inaugural session on Jan. 13, Caren Enloe, partner at Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers LLP, opened up with a discussion on the Great Resignation and its impact on employers.
The conversation also covered building connections with a work-from-home team and how to change workplace culture to boost employee retention and engage all members of staff.
“We had a lively conversation about creative ways to keep remote employees engaged,” Ciskey said. “Engagement comes in many forms and keeps employees connected to the company and to each other, encouraging them to not consider leaving their jobs.”
Ideas proposed by the group included:
- Reaching out to employees over Microsoft Teams, email and phone to welcome them to the new day and express support.
- Sending out periodic gifts to reinforce the employer/employee relationship.
- Providing performance support via online training and one-on-one remote development opportunities.
- Hosting remote, themed happy hours to ensure connection with other team members in a relaxed environment—for example, a “Lift a Pint” happy hour where employees are sent a pint of ice cream to enjoy during the meeting.
- Introducing yoga Zoom sessions or other engagement opportunities designed to mitigate work stress and support individuals.
Common themes that ran throughout the 30-minute session included flexibility, connectivity and creativity. Participants also reflected on the diversity of roles within the ARM industry, including debt buyers, collection agencies, compliance officers, legal departments, collection supervisors, owners and outside counsel.
The next Water Cooler Chat event will be held from 1 to 1:30 p.m. CST Feb. 10, , and hosted by Courtney Reynaud, president of Creditors Bureau USA and ACA president-elect.
Members can also join the Women in Collections Resource Council group on The Hub for continued discussions and updates on upcoming events.
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