Not long after being hired as a customer service agent at SYKES Fayetteville, Chris Allen received some advice from a team lead that he took to heart – “Be vocal about what you want to anyone who’ll listen.” It worked! Chris did just that and after seven months on the job, he was promoted to team leader.
Relatively new on the job and having to manage COVID-19 has not been without challenges, but Chris and his team have tackled them head on. He’s spearheaded team meetings where his team of agents can, as Chris says, “let loose a bit,” and he’s launched a virtual lunchroom where folks can come by and socialize on breaks. Chris is also active on social media, catching the attention of Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Ian Barkin for his heartfelt and encouraging posts on LinkedIn.
What do you do with SYKES?
I am a team leader for one of our lines of business in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
What’s a typical day at SYKES like for you?
I start my day by logging in and checking in with my team and go over the cases for the day. We have a team meeting early on to make sure everyone is on the same page and to get everyone’s energy up. After that, I have meetings with the client throughout the day.
How has your work experience shifted because of COVID?
It definitely took some getting used to at first. My team kicked off in September 2019, and since then we have really found a groove. There’s a certain energy level that we like to maintain; we had games, prizes, and cookouts, and of course all that had to come to a halt. We had a connectedness that’s difficult to achieve in a virtual environment, but we’ve done what we can to maintain that team spirit even though we are apart.
What’s the best part about working with SYKES?
There are several! I absolutely love all the newness that comes with the job – new roles, new challenges, new brains to pick. I’ve been given a lot of cool opportunities within the company and a lot of creative freedom, and I love the feeling I get at the end of every week when I look back and reflect on all the new things I’ve learned.
What accomplishment are you most proud of at SYKES?
I love being an inspiration to everyone who wants to move up! When I started as an agent less than two years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would move up. SYKES talks a lot about all the opportunities that are offered and that they promote from within, and it’s easy to brush that off. I love being an example of just how true that is. I’m also so proud of the team we’ve built and what we’ve been able to accomplish. We have created a culture where we’re all learning from each other and that, to me, is so valuable.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I’m a bit of a politics nerd. I enjoy ultimate frisbee and am getting into disk golf as well. I also love nature hikes – being at peace with nature in spaces of calm.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Mind reading – I like to understand people, and I feel like that’s a pretty quick way to do it.
What TV show are you currently binge watching?
I have to break my TV watching into smaller spurts, but I’ve been watching Umbrella Academy recently. I also really love Designated Survivor!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I went through phases – there was a train conductor phase, which gave way to me wanting to be a TV star, so I did a stint in broadcasting and TV news.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I would love to continue to move up at SYKES! My next goal is an account manager, and we will see where the road leads from there.
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