Think about your participation in a recent meeting: when you joined in the conversation or were called upon unexpectedly, did the word “Umm…” come out while you were speaking or trying to figure out how to start? Strong communication skills are still a must-have in today’s technology-driven world, and like any other skill, speaking improves with practice. We’re giving Servicing employees an opportunity to enhance their verbal communication talents through the new “Marq My Words” program.
Marq My Words: Educational and Enlightening
When NorthMarq’s employees expressed a desire for more professional development opportunities, NorthMarq’s employee-run Servicing Council responded by creating a public speaking group dubbed “Marq My Words” to help employees develop the prepared and extemporaneous public speaking skills required of leaders. In the words of its mission statement, the goal of Marq My Words is to help its members “develop communication and leadership skills, which, in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.” Marq My Words uses a modified version of the classic Toastmasters public speaking club format. Its first meeting occurred on May 14 and the club meets twice per month. The group’s motto is “If you’re going to fail, fail here.”
We understand the strength of our servicing business lies in great customer service, and clear, concise communication is the foundation of great service. While our clients won’t attend a Marq My Words meeting, we expect they will experience the benefits of the program as they continue to work with us. And in many respects, this group is proving to be something of a team-building exercise at the same time.
We’re learning more about each other through the speeches people are presenting. In the first speech, called “The Ice Breaker,” speakers recounted a story or significant event in their lives as an introduction to the club. Topics varied dramatically, ranging from stories about volunteering at a bird sanctuary to a personal history of growing up as a military child. Through these funny, thoughtful and authentic insights, employees not only developed their penchant for speaking, but also discovered attributes of their coworkers that would have been left unspoken without the Marq My Words platform.
CareerMarq: Developing the Next Generation of Servicers
A second professional development initiative underway at NorthMarq is the rollout of CareerMarq, an online integrated learning management system. CareerMarq’s three modules—performance management, succession planning and training—formalize the processes we’ve had in place for career development.
Our employees are excited about the level of feedback CareerMarq provides and the clarity it brings to the available career paths within the company. We encourage employees to self-identify their strengths and use CareerMarq to search job descriptions for clues as to potentially surprising “fits” for other positions.
Our leadership team is excited about the benefits of the training aspects CareerMarq brings to the table. Training is a challenge for every company—a tremendous investment of resources goes into training new and existing employees. Nothing slows the progress of a team like stopping to hire and train new employees. CareerMarq offers the prospect of shortening and optimizing the training process through housing training materials and videos and providing a systematic approach to ongoing training. In addition, the system stores a library of materials on a wealth of employee development subjects.
We believe investing in the professional development of our employees leads to cascading benefits in terms of performance management, advancement, retention and training, all of which contribute to NorthMarq delivering the premier customer service you expect from us and that we want to deliver.