Management & Coaching Training to Improve Employee Engagement and Reduce Attrition

DIRECTV Customer Care

Background: DIRECTV delivers all-digital satellite-based services to U.S. customers in homes and businesses using some of the world’s most advanced technologies. DIRECTV began in 1994 as the first company to deliver all-digital, high-power, multi-channel TV programming services via an 18” satellite dish. DIRECTV is now a leader in innovation and quality. In addition, DIRECTV has an unwavering commitment to provide extraordinary customer service.


DIRECTV has been ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Satellite/Cable TV Subscribers” in the Southern, Western, and Eastern regions of the United States, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Residential Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction Study.

DIRECTV maintains offices throughout the United States and Latin America.

Challenge: In 2007, DIRECTV established a work group charged with reducing attrition in the organization. A key focus of the group was to review the skills required of the team leaders and their managers and the impact of these skills on retaining customer service representatives.

In DIRECTV’s business, attrition rates are critical to the success of the organization — customer satisfaction and profitability. By increasing the effectiveness of its front-line team leaders and customer care managers, DIRECTV hoped to reduce attrition while establishing a strong management team to lead the company in its accomplishment of its aggressive business goals.

While DIRECTV recognized the need for management/leadership training, the training needed to be engaging and job-focused; and the skills, techniques, and tools practical, simple, and immediately applicable in a fast-moving, constantly changing environment. In the past, DIRECTV had management training — this needed to be different. The focus needed to be on implementation, retention, reinforcement and accountability. With this in mind, Coaching for Results was born!

Solution: Working with a specially created DIRECTV Project Team, Entelechy created DIRECTV’s two-day Coaching for Results (CFR) program. The components of the program included:

  1. Performance Assessment
  2. Customized Coaching Program
  3. Management Reinforcement Program
  4. On-the-Job Tools
  5. Communication and Roll Out Strategic Planning

The process of creating the CFR program consisted of:

  • Interviewing DIRECTV leadership (Site Directors, L&D senior and mid – level executives, and senior stakeholders) for support and involvement from the top.
  • Conducting management and team leader focus groups in all five of the customer care sites throughout the United States, creating buy-in and an opportunity to gather critical insights for the creation of the program and rollout strategy.
  • Piloting the training to a select cross-section of participants to ensure that the training was impactful and applicable.
  • Involving regional HR and site management to lead the rollout of CFR and ensure local buy-in and ongoing support.
  • Conducting a week-long Train-the-Trainer program for an internal group of leaders/trainers who were identified to deliver the program across the sites.
  • Using real scenarios in role plays and feedback sessions to build competence and confidence in the use of the models and techniques.
  • Requiring all participants to complete the Management Action Plan (MAP) to identify specific on-the-job application of the skills and techniques learned in the training.
  • Using a web-based coaching refresher so that participants could refocus and re-energize their coaching activities after attending the program.

In addition, one of the most critical contributing factors to the success of the Coaching for Results program was the Management Reinforcement program. All managers (not team leaders) received a one-day Management Reinforcement training.

Management Reinforcement training equipped managers with the knowledge and the skills they needed to support and reinforce the skills their team leaders had learned in training.

The goals of Management Reinforcement training included:

  • Application of the Coaching for Results key models and skills.
  • Identification of implementation issues or challenges and development of a concrete action plan to address them.
  • Provision of hands-on coaching tips for employee and team skill development.
  • Providing guidance and accountability ideas on how to use training and performance assessment tools to get the best results in employee performance.
  • Sharing best practice ideas in a leadership forum.
  • DIRECTools – A group of eight individualized units to be taught over the next year by managers to their team leader teams to enhance retention and skill implementation from the Coaching for Results program.

Results: Feedback on the application of the skills learned in Coaching for Results has been extremely positive from participants, their immediate managers, operations managers, and L&D.

Speaking to the business impact and experience partnering with Entelechy for the customized Coaching for Results program, Sue Wombacher, Vice President HR, Learning & Development and Employee Communications, states:

“…….There are a few words I would use describe the relationship we had with them (Entelechy) and the work done by the entire Entelechy team:……….

  • Creative – you could always count on them to come up with creative solutions and ideas that “fit” our environment and our needs and even “stretched” us a bit.
  • High quality – every aspect of the product they delivered was of high quality and exceeded my expectations.
  • Commitment – from the onset of this initiative, I knew that all the members of the Entelechy team were committed to delivering a high-quality product in a timely manner and that it would meet all of the expectations that we had at the beginning of our relationship. And it did and more!”………

“…Coaching for Results was a huge success and is already having a positive impact on our business and the relationship between the team leaders and their agents.

I have worked with a number of consulting organizations in the past, but will say that Entelechy was one of the best. They delivered on what they promised and did so in a high-quality, exceptional way!”

Participants found the skills and techniques useful and practical while achieving extraordinary results:

“I, along with all of the team managers in the site went through the two day Coaching for Results class. Without question, it was one of the best training sessions I have had in my career. So, how do I judge “one of the best?” Simply, it comes down to a class that is engaging, enjoyable and allows for personal growth & development. The great thing about this course is that it is straight forward and easy to understand. On top of that, it should be a tool that truly does make us better. When we have all completed this training, I am sure that we will see even greater things here in Boise.”
– Site Director, Boise Customer Care Center

“After 22 years of leadership training in the military and being in a leadership role for the past 33 years, I would say this was the most productive class I have taken in all those years!”

“Every member of management from CEO down should receive this training. I believe it’s that good…and that important.”

Prior to attending CFR training, Joe had good performance and his team was frequently ranked #2 in the Call Center (out of 70 teams). The team had been trying to take over the #1 spot for several months. After Joe attended CFR training and began using the Coaching Model with his team, the CSRs began to self-assess and identify areas for improvement. We are excited to report that as a result, for the first time in 2008, Joe’s team finished in the #1 spot.

Sharon listed “obtaining a higher overall quality score” on her self-assessment in August. She has improved her overall QA from 90% in August to 96% in September and is now at 98% for October. She has shown the biggest achievement listed on her self-assessment than any other team member at this time.

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Author: STEP Consulting

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