07 May Strong Leadership Helps Centrinex Stay in Front of Fast-Moving Pandemic Restrictions
The beginning of March marked an unprecedented time for the U.S. and local businesses alike. For Centrinex Call Center Services in Lenexa, Kansas, this meant beginning the task of staying ahead of restrictions. It was seemingly impossible considering guidelines – recommendations and information changed daily.
Our priority was to keep Centrinex’s employees informed of the latest news, current and upcoming changes and the logistics involved with them. Here’s a look at the Centrinex crisis response timeline, past, present and future.
700 COVID-19 cases reported across the U.S.
- Placed CDC hand washing posters throughout the call center that morning.
- By that night, we devised a COVID-19 Preparation Plan that covered coronavirus awareness, door/window cleaning updates and proper hand washing procedures. The Plan was shared with all employees and clients.
The Big XII tournament held its first round games that night, only for the tournament to be cancelled nationwide. World Health Organization declares the outbreak a pandemic.
- Daily meetings with our executive team were held to address outstanding and new issues.
- An early draft of our new Business Continuity Plan (BCP) was updated, including the addition of an option to work at home if there was a stay-at-home mandate from federal, state or local officials.
U.S. national emergency declared.
- Our BCP was sent to all employees and clients.
COVID-19 cases climb to 5,000 across the country and Kansas governor announces ban on gatherings of 50 or more people. 11 positive cases in four Kansas counties.
- The decision was made to shut down our call center to all non-employees.
- Employees were sent home with equipment to test their internet connections should we mandate working from home.
All Kansas K-12 schools are closed for the remainder of the year.
- A few Customer Service Representatives (CSR) with adequate internet connection that tested their equipment the day before are now ordered to work from home.
- New rules went into effect regarding employees self-quarantining based on their recent travel and exposure to other people.
- Invited employees to eat at their desks since restrictions were placed on using the breakroom and sitting in any area for breaks.
- Coordination with our IT department ensured secure remote for all at-home employees for all clients, if needed.
- A master list of those able to work from home was created to determine how many clients would allow off-site CSRs and which CSRs had adequate, secure internet access.
- Centrinex is deemed an “essential business” because of our call center support work for banking, healthcare and government industry clients.
- By 3:00 p.m., all of our call center employees who can work from home are ready to go, despite there not being a “stay-at-home” order officially issued. Within two hours, Johnson County, KS officials give the order.
64 positive cases in 14 Kansas counties.
- Work began on a 32-Day Plan.
- Three infrared thermometers were ordered.
- With solid plans and policies, the office quieted down and was operating at 25% capacity with the remainder of CSRs working from home.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order , asking people to stay home to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. The order went into effect Monday, March 30.
- Adaptability and thoughtful preparation helped us stay ahead of this order, keep our teams safe and continue to support our clients.
World passes 1 million COVID-19 infections.
- We created a Super CSR program in order to retain the exemplary employees who would’ve been furloughed otherwise. Thirty-five super CSRs are able to continue working by training on a number of different clients throughout the day, every day. When call center volume resumes normal levels, these CSRs are ready to fit in wherever needed.
- Employees have mandatory temperature checks prior to shifts.
- Two body temperature cameras are purchased for installation at two entrances. This equipment will take employees’ temperatures as they walk through the entrances, eliminating the burden on them to do so.
- Centrinex’s Return to Work Agreement is developed, outlining behaviors for when employees start to return to the office. It has five sections:
- Health over the past two weeks
- Personal responsibility in the office (based on CDC COVID-19 Guidance)
- Interaction with others over the past two weeks
- Agreement to come back to work, and
- Most importantly, personal promises to all Centrinex co-workers
May and Looking Forward
4,419 positive cases in 81 Kansas counties and 130 deaths reported and 3.3 million confirmed cases globally as of May 1st.
Beginning on May 4th, Centrinex begins slowly and carefully welcoming employees back with all known, best-practice precautions in place. The goal is to have all employees back in our call center by the middle to end of June as following local, state and federal guidelines allow. Our structure allows for employees considered “vulnerable” or those whose performance warrants it to work from home for the foreseeable future or permanently.
Our management team and employees have been amazingly responsive and flexible throughout this crisis. Working closely together has allowed Centrinex to stay in front of front-moving pandemic restrictions, and it will help our call center and employees return safely to a more normal work environment.