Tara Atkin has been with SeniorVu since almost the beginning. With a degree in nursing, she discovered this startup that was out to make the lives of seniors better and couldn’t resist. Her education provided the perfect knowledge base to spend time on the phone with families searching for answers to questions when they were contemplating the need for senior care. Since then, Tara has grown in her role at SeniorVu and is now the company’s Director of Contact Center Services.
- You are head of one of the most important teams at SeniorVu – the Family Advocate Managers or FAM as we call them. How do you keep your team positive and motivated?
I love giving them shoutouts and I really love giving them shoutouts when it comes from our clients – sometimes it’s to the whole team and sometimes they’re providing positive feedback for an individual.
I continually let them know what a great job they’re doing especially in times when I know we all feel overwhelmed and are extremely busy. Before Covid-19, when social distancing wasn’t a thing I planned a FAM outing to show our team how much they are appreciated and what a great job they do. It was a night out for dinner and then we competed at an escape room. It was a great team bonding experience!
- What is the most important thing you have learned in this role?
The most important thing I have learned in this role is to delegate tasks when needed and allow team members to take on responsibility. It helps them grow as individuals and helps us grow as a team.
- What is the biggest tip you could give any contact center?
The biggest tip I could give is to talk with your team members on a regular basis and to stay in tune with how they’re feeling in their role. I would also advise to always listen to their ideas and input. And perhaps most importantly, advocate for them as they are the team members who are on the frontlines building relationships with families, supporting our clients and using our system every day. They know more about the contact center than just about anyone on the SeniorVu team so, they know what is needed to help make processes more efficient.
- How do you help new team members understand the culture of your organization?
We love our culture at SeniorVu! When you work in an office with a ping pong table, video games, massage chair, gym and kegerator, it’s not hard to sell our culture. We are also a purpose driven company in fact our motto is in huge letters on the wall in our office: “Work to live and live to serve the Greater Good.” What some people wouldn’t know from walking in our office is that we are also a group of people who care about each other and we care about our community. Even during the pandemic, we have found ways to give back. Our culture is something that is always brought up in the interview process so new team members are always aware of the culture we’ve created at SeniorVu and what it means to our organization before even becoming a team member!
- We heard you have a ‘talking’ dog. What does that mean?
That is correct. When I was in my final semester of nursing school, my preceptor and I grew very close, and we’re still friends today. Her relatives had a chihuahua named Chula that they were not able to keep. My dad and stepmom had a chihuahua too and we thought it would be great to get them together. Chula was very shy and timid, and it didn’t take long before it was clear that she did not like to share attention with other pets. At that point, we were not aware that Chula could “talk,” and the previous owners never mentioned it. As she became more comfortable with us, she would just start “talking.” A few months later I agreed to watch her when my dad and stepmom took a trip, and Chula has been with me ever since! I have come to learn that she “talks” when she needs something like to go outside, food or water, or just wanting someone to pet her.
What does her “talking” sound like? Well, we’ve taken her on a few plane trips and when she starts “talking” others on the flight typically think it’s a baby babbling until they see that it’s a 4- pound chihuahua instead. Although the “talking” can be a lot at times, I would never trade Chula for anything! She is amazing and I’m a bit obsessed with her!
Click here to go to Facebook page to hear Chula “talk.”