A reader writes:

Recently, my boss started attending personal therapy (she shared this information with me unprovoked) and shortly after starting her sessions she discovered Brene Brown. Her interest in Brene has moved from simply showing a video during a group meeting to having us all read through one of her books.

My concern comes from the fact that in addition to reading the book as a team, we now have a weird “group therapy” sort of session weekly where we’re expected to have done some homework (reading and completion of “exercises” in the workbook).

In addition to these meetings, every day each team member fills out and completes this short survey:
-Name
-Feeling
-Intensity of feeling
-High point
-Low point
-Daily goal

It ends up looking something like this (names changed, as it’s one of my coworker’s recent posts):

JANE DOE
Feeling: Exhausted
Intensity of feeling: 10
Low point: INFANT’S NAME is crying at the bottom of the stairs while I’m in the office. He barely slept last night, his croup is awful and I feel like a crap mom.
High point: Meh
Goal: Make a dent in the Brene Brown book. I did make my Square Squad!

In addition to just feeling like this is generally weird, I have a personal problem with this as someone who has a mental health disorder. Reading this book has triggered sessions of me profusely crying out of nowhere, and having flashbacks of abuse. (I have a C-PTSD diagnosis due to an abuse history.) There is not a single person on our team who has any sort of psychology/social work type of degree either.

Am I being weird about this just because of my own personal experiences? Or is this type of task expectation at work normal, accepted, okay?

No, this is not normal! It’s not okay either.

That said, in the past two years I’ve received a small handful of letters about offices doing things like this (to the point that I wrote a Slate column about them at one point), so something is going on in our culture that’s making some managers think this is okay. But I want to be clear that just because your office isn’t absolutely alone in doing this, it’s still not common, normal, or acceptable, and most people would object to it.

This type of thing is clearly intended to be supportive in some way — “we care about you as a whole person, not just as a worker!” — but in reality it’s horribly boundary-violating. Lots of people don’t want to share their personal emotions in a workplace setting.  Sometimes that’s because what’s going on with them emotionally is way too big or serious to bring into their office.  Sometimes it’s because sharing in the way requested could open them up to discrimination (particularly when they have a non-mainstream identity). Sometimes it’s because it’s actively bad for their mental health (like your PTSD). And sometimes — much of the time — it’s just because they rightly feel it’s no one’s business.

And this just isn’t what most of us are at work for. Most of us want to do our jobs, get results toward our goals, have some pleasant interactions with our colleagues as we do that, and then go home. Lots of us want to save deep personal introspection for friends, partners, or therapists (if we want to do it all, which we might not and that’s okay too).

You noted that no one on your team has any kind of training in psychology. Even if they did, this still wouldn’t be okay because of all the reasons above. But certainly that makes it even more egregious. Your manager is mucking around in an area that can be big and serious and consequential, without any qualifications for doing it. (But again, even with loads of credentials, it would still be inappropriate to do at work, particularly as a non-optional group activity.)

If you want to push back against it, I’d tell your boss you’re finding these activities harmful to your mental health rather than helpful. If you’re comfortable sharing this, you could say it’s at odds with mental health work that you’re doing on your own/with a therapist. (If she pushes you about why, you can say, “That’s more personal than I’m comfortable going into at work.”) Ask that the meetings be made optional, and that people be able to opt out without any kind of penalty. Even better, if you sense anyone else on your team isn’t fully enthused, talk with them ahead of time and then have this conversation with your boss as a united front.

And managers: You are not a doctor or a therapist or a life coach. You are there to get work done. If you want to support people’s mental health, you can offer excellent health insurance, be flexible with people who need time off for various forms of mental health support (whether it’s therapy or just a day off to avoid burn-out), and be thoughtful about the levels of stress you ask people to take on. That’s it. Leave people’s emotions and personal lives to them to manage.

You may also like:my boss wants us to all share our mental health needs – at every meetingwe have twice-daily mandatory group therapy at workour boss pushes us to share how we’re doing emotionally at team meetings

my manager makes us do mental-health surveys every day was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Original Source: askamanager.org

Sharath Keshava was heading the Southeast Asia region for Practo, working out of Manila, Philippines, the business process outsourcing (BPO) capital of the world. He realised that one of the problems in BPO was delay and latency, which acted as a roadblock in driving faster and better customer experience. 

Sharath roped in his friends Akash Singh, who was in InMobi, and Swapnil Jai, who was heading engineering at Twitter, and the trio ended up starting Observe.AI in the San Francisco’s Bay Area in May 2017. The startup launched operations in Bengaluru in 2019. 

Observe.AI is a voice AI platform which provides the agent with real-time feedback on customer sentiment and guides them on the next best action during a customer call.

Product Roadmap - Observe.AI

The Observe.AI team

Also Read[Product Roadmap] Why these founders decided to focus on tech to build real estate startup NoBroker What does the platform do?

The AI platform listens to the call stream in real time, uses deep learning and natural language processing (NLP) to understand the context and generates suggestions and guidance for the agent. Explaining how the product works, Jitender Vepa, Head of India, and Chief Scientist says, 

“Our voice AI technology helps contact centres keep teams productive and empathetic from home so they can provide the best possible customer experience – even while working remotely. To do this we use AI and natural language processing to analyse 100 percent of a support team’s calls for opportunities to improve the customer experience, mitigate compliance/legal risks, and coach agents. Without voice AI, contact centres typically analyse only one percent or fewer calls, and they have a team of quality analysts who do that manually.”How does voice AI help?

Jitender says it can take an hour to review just a single call. They have no real insight into what’s happening on the other 99 percent of calls, or how agents are truly performing. 

Teams for quality, compliance, operators, and people managers use multiple platforms and spreadsheets to uncover insights from calls, and to evaluate/coach agents. This process is especially difficult to scale for contact centres who have recently sent all their agents to remote work overnight due to the coronavirus crisis. 

With voice AI, these remote teams can work on a 30-minute call in five minutes. They can evaluate 10x more calls and provide agents with more targetted coaching. They can also ensure that they never miss a compliance gap or fraud risk on calls to stay safe. Using one platform helps contact centre teams collaborate and remain connected when they are no longer able to hear and see what’s happening on the call centre floor. 

“Currently, we lead the industry in the best speech-to-text transcription accuracy for support calls. We are even more accurate than Google and Amazon, particularly at detecting strong emotions, such as positive or negative sentiment, from calls,” claims Jitender. Also Read[Product Roadmap] How apartment management app MyGate is tapping tech to ensure security and safety Building the first product 

The first prototype focussed on providing the most accurate transcription of contact centre’s support calls.

The team then continued to enhance features that would detect strong emotions, such as sentiment or tonality, from calls to provide better insights and coaching opportunities. They also built features to detect periods of long silences on calls, which help highlight time management inefficiencies and identify a lack of agent confidence in how to respond to a customer interaction. 

“This is called ‘Dead Air’ and drives up the talk time on calls, which can become very expensive for contact centres who need to run at the utmost efficiency to keep costs down for customers,” says Jitender. 

One of the early ‘Eureka’ moments for the team was when they visited Manila, Philippines, that houses some of the largest contact centres in the world. When they toured some of these contact centres and showed them the prototype, the executives were blown away, and within two weeks the team had set up more than ten meetings with companies who employ tens of thousands of agents. 

“We knew we were on to something and started with tackling the call monitoring and compliance. We then added features to evaluate and coach and will soon offer real-time to complete our offerings for the voice channel before expanding it beyond voice,” says Jitender. Evolution of the product 

The team soon realised that building a best-in-class speech recognition engine for support teams was just a means to an end where they could start to help them automate tedious processes and eventually augment agents on live calls. 

“At the end of the day, everything we do is geared towards improving the customer experience and the agent experience. The feedback we got from our customers on how to prioritise future advancements for our platform made it clear that real-time agent augmentation would be most valuable to them and something we could uniquely offer, given the higher accuracy of our voice AI platform, which is critical to these future capabilities,” says Jitender. 

The team then continued to add new quality management features to their voice AI engine so that contact centre teams could do more with the insights from their calls, including surface the best calls to review, efficiently evaluate and score more calls, provide feedback and coach agents right within Observe.AI in near real-time. 

“We continued to improve our ability to auto-suggest the interactions and keywords that contact centres should monitor on their calls to make it easier for them to run their contact centre with efficiency and get meaningful insights from calls,” says Jitender. 

The team also started generic integrations as they onboarded more and more customers and realised that there is a need for generic APIs so that they can do integrations faster. 

They next focussed on Redaction, which is masking critical/sensitive information to comply with data regulatory guidelines like PCI-DSS, GDPR. The sensitive information includes financial details like card numbers, bank account numbers, and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as social security number, addresses, and contact number.  

“At Observe.AI, we solved this problem by using named entity extraction of pre-defined entities or categories, which covers both financial and PII information mentioned earlier. First, we identify entities present in a call, such as social security or credit card numbers, and then we redact them from the audio calls and their corresponding transcript,” says Jitender. 

Also Read[Product Roadmap] From breast cancer to river blindness, Niramai is using tech to simplify detection What are they building now?

Observe.AI is currently building a team dedicated to real-time features that will help teams coach agents on how to personalise the customer experience live on calls and are hiring for multiple product and engineering roles. 

This will include features like suggesting a next-best action, alerting a supervisor when an agent might need help, and automating tedious processes, such as data-entry, so that agents can focus on providing a better customer experience on the call. 

The team is also adding Spanish language and omni-channel capabilities, such as the ability to evaluate text, email, or chat interactions. 

“It’s taken us about a year and a half since we launched our US office to land our first 110 customers and several strategic partnerships. Middle of last year, we started onboarding one of our largest customers and calls coming to our platform increased suddenly by five-fold, which sped up our need to scale our infrastructure. We adopted AWS fargate for some of our services, and introduced data retention in our DBs so that recent data can be accessed fast,” says Jitender. 

The global outsourced customer services market is believed to reach $84.7 billion by the end of this year. And yet companies are said to be losing more than $62 billion due to poor customer service. 

Some of Observe.AI’s competitors include – Neva.ai and DigitalGenius, among others. Observe.AI follows a standard pricing model for its customers, which is on a per-agent per-month basis. 

It also gives out bulk discounts for enterprises that look at large volumes and basis size of the deals. Last year, the team had eight enterprise customers and now has over 100. Some of its clients are – TripAdvisor, Talkdesk, itelBPO, Microsoft, Root Insurance, ClearMe, and ERCBPO to name a few. 

Speaking about future plans, Jitender says, “We will increasingly integrate our platform with others, such as CRMs or workforce management platforms to provide updates and alerts, to bring insights from voice calls into those platforms and automate processes.” 

(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)

Want to make your startup journey smooth? YS Education brings a comprehensive Funding Course, where you also get a chance to pitch your business plan to top investors. Click here to know more.

Original Source: yourstory.com

Tottenham vs Manchester United

This Friday, Tottenham are scheduled to host Manchester United in the Premier League.

Both clubs are trying to secure a Champions League berth via the league.

United are in the better position with 9 matches to go. Sat 5th, United are only 3 points behind Chelsea.

Tottenham have ground to catch up, sitting 8th on 41 points.

 

Paul Pogba set to be dropped vs Spurs

While there are several days to go before the Spurs vs United match, the Athletic report on Monday that Paul Pogba is unlikely to appear in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI in north London.

Pogba has been restricted to only 7 appearances in the league this season.

However, the French World Cup winner has been back in training for weeks, and many had begun to look forward to seeing Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the same team for the first time.

There’s still a chance the French and Portuguese midfielders will team up at Tottenham. But, according to reporter Laurie Whitwell, Pogba is set to begin the game on the bench:

United are understood to be working on a starting XI without the Frenchman.

Pogba has not faced Mourinho since their combustible relationship came to an end at United but plans, at this stage, are for other midfielders to start the encounter.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

That smile 😁 on your face when you do what you love again ❤️ ⚽️

A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on Jun 5, 2020 at 5:21am PDT

 

Why might Pogba be benched vs Tottenham?

The Athletic offer the following reasons to explain why Solskjaer is planning to leave Pogba out of United’s XI at Tottenham.

– Pogba must earn his spot: Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Man United were on an 11-game unbeaten run. Players like Fred had impressed, and those midfielders have secured the right to keep their spots for now.

– Pogba’s match fitness concern: Pogba might be back in training, but that doesn’t mean he’s match fit. The Athletic note the Spurs game comes 176 days since Pogba last appeared on the pitch.

– Dropping Pogba is tactical: According to Laurie Whitwell, “others point to the fact United may need insurance in midfield against quick Tottenham counter-attacks.” Of course, Spurs should have Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in their XI on Friday.

 

So what will Man United’s midfield be against Tottenham?

If Man United are worried about Tottenham’s counter-attacks, Scott McTominay and Fred could both be deployed to shield United’s back four.

United could then field Daniel James and Anthony Martial in wide attacking roles, Bruno Fernandes in the #10 slot and Marcus Rashford up top.

 

Other Tottenham vs Man United team news

Man United only have one injury concern: Phil Jones.

Meanwhile, Tottenham will be without Dele Alli following his FA ban.

 

Also see: Tottenham are interested in signing Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma as Juan Foyth is set to join Leeds United.

Wilfried Zaha addresses the rumour about David Moyes’s daughter from his time at Manchester United.

Original Source: 101greatgoals.com

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