Top 10 Highlights of 2021: A Year in Review
As 2021 comes to a close, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to reflect on the year behind us before we close that chapter and look onward to 2022. No matter how you slice it, this was a memorable year, and this list captures the highlights that made 2021 the mosaic it was for Alta, its employees, clients, and industry––a year of exciting opportunities, unique personal challenges, achievements to celebrate, and more.
1. Employee Engagement Improves Despite National Workforce Challenges
It was nearly five years ago when Alta leadership made Employee Engagement a strategic mandate. Looking back on the efforts this year, our chairman and CEO Jim Beré stated, “Many companies tout their culture and family-first attitude, and we thought, ‘We can’t just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk. Saying the right words might bring in great employees, but words alone won’t keep them. We’re focused on the long game.”
In the pursuit to make Alta a destination workplace, we saw some of our lowest attrition rates this year, with a 20% reduction in turnover. This was especially exciting news for Alta leadership, given the national statistics moved in the opposite direction. Amy Bouthilet, Vice President of Global Talent, stated, “We have worked relentlessly to create an environment and culture that people take pride in and want to be a part of, and we’re only looking forward from here.”
2. Forbes List of ‘Best Mid-Sized Employers’
Making the employee retention news even more exciting was learning of Alta’s debut on the Forbes’ 2021 List for Best Mid-Sized Employers. In response to the news, Jim Beré said, “It is an honor to be recognized by Forbes, made even more special because we were nominated by our employees. We have made a significant investment in resources to further engaging our workforce. This recognition is affirmation of that investment.”
3. Gallup Case Study
A Forbes recognition is an incredible accomplishment in itself, and just as exciting was Gallup’s decision to use Alta’s employee engagement process as a case study. In addition, Gallup, the global analytics and leadership consultancy firm, interviewed Amy Bouthilet for its ‘Called to Coach’ podcast. In the episode “How an Engaging Culture Positions Alta Resources for Going Beyond Boundaries”, Amy discusses the decision to make employee retention a top-tier priority nearly five years ago, the continuous improvement strategy developed with Gallup’s mentorship, and the steadfast results Alta has seen since its first company-wide engagement rollout.
“Our employees have a collective knowledge that affords them to solve some very complex challenges, so we want to foster a culture where those decisions are made from the bottom-up, side-to-side, and anything in between. It is not only productive; it builds trust and credibility at all levels.”
4. Work-from-Home Option Provides Flexibility
It’s hard to forget the beginning of the COVID pandemic when organizations worldwide made the transition from in-person to working from home. In 2021, Alta’s doors were reopened in all our locations, and employees have the option to work entirely from the office, from home, or a hybrid of both. “The work-from-home flexibility led to some really strong results from a retention perspective,” shared Amy Bouthilet.
5. Innovation was Front and Center in the Industry and at Alta
Conversational AI has been creating a buzz in the industry this year, and Alta’s IT and innovation thought leaders have been critical voices in that conversation. After all, it’s been a busy year for the team while they’ve been experiencing unbridled success rolling out and implementing autoMate, Alta’s phone-driven AI solution with clients. autoMate consists of a virtual agent as well as live agent assist capabilities, and with it, our client teams utilizing autoMate have already seen shorter call handle times and improved customer satisfaction scores, as well as lower attrition rates among those teams as well.
Matt Nelson, Chief Information Officer, participated in a tech roundtable at SOCAP in September, and Dara Rodciewicz, AI Director, presented at Customer Contact Week Digital’s online event in November, where they both shared their thoughts on how AI is evolving in the contact center landscape and what companies can do to utilize bots most effectively while keeping customer satisfaction high.
6. “It’s Good to be Back!”: Tradeshows & Conferences Resumed in 2021
With safety measures in place, some of our team members got back into the swing of networking, learning and sharing by attending in-person industry events once again. As an exhibitor, it also meant we had the opportunity to talk about our Content Moderation services. Mark Strassburg, our Care Service Line Director, said, “Content moderation is something we’ve always done in the context of social media services, data analytics, and more. In response to the growing needs of content moderation in today’s digital environment, we’ve repackaged our various services for this type of use case, and we were excited to be able to talk about that, particularly in-person this year, with our first being in our exhibit at SOCAP.”
At Customer Contact West, a Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange, Amy Bouthilet presented “Using Personas to Inform the End-to-End Customer Journey.” Bouthilet provided actionable strategies on how to effectively develop personas unique to an organization’s brand and leverage them to make informed decisions that enhance customer engagement and brand loyalty.
7. Partnerships Take on a Whole New Meaning with In-Person Networking Resuming in 2021
Alta was a proud sponsor of Frost & Sullivan, CCW Events and SOCAP this year, and even more special was recognition for our 20-year sponsorship of SOCAP. “It is an honor and a privilege to work side-by-side with industry leaders who make it possible to share knowledge and gain insights that make a positive impact on the quality of service we provide to our clients. Our commitment to learn and provide innovative solutions to our clients is aided by these events. Twenty years marks a special time to commemorate those kinds of relationships, and we’re just getting started!” said Pat Nicholson, Vice President Business Development & Sales Operations. Nicholson has previously served on the Board of Directors for SOCAP.
8. Alta Celebrates New Client Relationships
During a year when the world has been anything but normal, Alta has held strong to its unrelenting commitment to client relationships, and this year we are able to celebrate the launch of several new client opportunities in customer care and sales with clients that represent the healthcare, CPG, automotive, and entertainment industries. “One thing was certain in 2021; the perseverance of the teams involved in putting Alta’s best foot forward and positioning Alta as the preferred solution for complex contact center needs was second to none. While we had a successful 2021, we are optimistic for the year to come,” said Steve Seidl, Vice President Business Development.
9. Alta’s Global Footprint Expands with New Facilities
With more than 4,000 employees across 12 sites globally, Alta has been consistently growing this year in the U.S., off-shore and near-shore locations, with sites including:
- Expanded office space in Belize City, Belize, Central America
- Expansion into newly constructed tower in Manila, Philippines, Asia
- Construction is underway on new facility in Fort Myers, Florida, North America
- New presence in Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America
10. Challenges ‘Close To Home’, Globally, Were a Reality for Many Alta Employees in 2021
Despite all the reasons to celebrate as a company, it’s no surprise that 2021 brought with it some personal challenges for various employees, families, and communities that make up the Alta family. Our employees rallied to show their support in various ways––financially, volunteerism, or any of the creative ways they found to lift each other and their communities up.
In addition to our employees’ annual giving to United Way and Alta HOPE (Alta’s foundation where employees help decide where funds are locally distributed), Alta employees rallied in a unique and special way this year––helping to support our fellow brothers and sisters in the Philippines rebuild after the tumultuous Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) and Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) wreaked havoc on their cities. As Dennis Bonn, Vice President Marketing explained, “Alta made a commitment to our employees. It’s a two-way street. Our employees are committed to us and our clients and we’re committed to helping them.” Our best wishes continue to be extended to our Alta family there.
Thank you for being a part of the Alta story, and we look forward to building more together in 2022. Cheers!