Creating a Thriving Culture Shift for iQor Employees Through Organizational Development
This week we welcome Mark Monaghan to the Digitally Irresistible podcast. Mark is vice president of organizational development at iQor, driving the transformation of leadership development programs for iQor’s 40,000 amazing employees spanning 10 countries.
Mark’s rich background in human resources and training and development has fueled his passion for leading iQor’s organizational development initiatives. His work focuses on building programs that positively impact the lives of iQorians through leadership coaching and career advancement.
On this episode, we discuss how Mark’s organizational development approach to employee career pathing enables iQorians to “Be More with iQor” and creates value for the clients who trust iQor to help achieve their goals.
Transforming Employee Growth Through Organizational Development
Mark’s journey to a career in organizational development was shaped by the valuable skills and experiences he gained along the way. He earned his undergraduate degree in telecommunications and film production. By his late twenties, Mark became managing partner with a national restaurant chain. Though he enjoyed the work, he wanted something he could really put his heart into. After reassessing his passions and priorities, he decided to earn master’s degrees and certifications in human resources.
He worked in HR for over a decade before accepting a corporate training position with iQor. The chance to develop people in positive ways made him fall in love with the world of training and development. His contributions helped expand iQor’s focus on training and onboarding to address broader organizational development.
Mark has been at the forefront of iQor’s shift to organizational development, providing leadership and proven strategies to support employees at every level of the company. His organizational development programs have won awards and created smiles for iQorians and clients alike. The efforts of Mark and his team embody iQor’s commitment to building rewarding employee experiences that support career growth and drive excellent CX.
Career Pathing Is the Way Forward for Maximizing Employee Potential
iQor has historically emphasized onboarding and training for new agents and supervisors. While this remains an important focus for iQor, providing developmental opportunities at all leadership levels is also imperative. In 2022, iQor brought in new senior leadership to focus on training, allowing Mark to focus on organizational development.
Mark is instrumental in building leadership programs and coaching workshops that focus on all employees, from agents to all levels of managers. He built career pathing into these levels, providing a leadership pipeline to maximize iQor’s investment in its employees, resulting in new avenues for growth.
iQor’s sQholar Program Enables Agent Leadership
Frontline customer service agents and supervisors comprise the majority of iQor’s global workforce. In 2017, Mark helped launch iQor’s sQholar Program to enable the advancement of agents into leadership roles.
An assessment of the existing training identified opportunities to improve its effectiveness. The sQholar Program was designed to drive specific KPIs along with other behaviors through a comprehensive coaching workshop.
Mark and his team reduced a six-month-long training program to four months while also improving outcomes across multiple metrics. Frontline agents with the initiative to progress to the next stage of leadership are equipped to provide quality service and excellent CX, aligning employee career pathing with the growth expectations of iQor’s clients.
The Award-Winning iLead Next Level Career Coaching Program Drives Leadership Potential
The next level of iQor’s organizational development strategy is the iLead Program to provide career pathing into higher levels of leadership. The program applies iQor’s Leadership Competency Model, which describes the four levels of employee career pathing:
- Leading Oneself – Agents beginning their leadership journey.
- Leading a Team – Frontline supervisors.
- Leading a Department – Manager of managers.
- Leading a Vision – Executives who drive strategy and results.
Each step aligns with Lominger Competencies that ensure an employee’s position is about more than just a title. The program uses a mentor/mentee style dialogue to assess these competencies and encourage the relationships at the heart of iQor’s leadership structure.
In March 2023, iQor was awarded a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Customer Service Training or Coaching Program of the Year for iLead. Mark expressed pride in his team and the program for achieving this in the first year and a half of a global rollout. For Mark, this indicates that people recognize the difference iLead makes in the lives of iQor employees and the unlimited potential it has for improving output at every level.
3 Values of Effective Leadership
iQor’s training programs and coaching workshops provide many metrics for assessing and enabling leadership success guided by these three key values:
It’s important for leaders to hold themselves accountable, asking themselves “did I set up this person to fail or to succeed?” This models the ability to provide honest self-assessments and remain solution oriented. Accountability is critical for maintaining the relationships at the core of advancing employees into new leadership roles.
Mark says that in order to guide employees, leaders must have the capacity to withstand and recover quickly from obstacles. This true grit factor is especially critical in the BPO industry, which requires leaders who can thrive in a world of advancing technology, shifting client needs, and dynamic client priorities.
3. Servant-Leadership Mindset
Effective leaders lead by example. An empathetic approach provides a respectful, safe atmosphere that allows employees to grow through recognition and appreciation. This culture of support and trust empowers employees who are intrinsically motivated to be the best they can be by developing their leadership potential.
Culture of Learning is Key for Organizational Development Teams
Underlying these three values of effective leadership is a culture that facilitates active learning. iQor’s active learning strategy involves fundamentally reimagining the classroom for career learning through the application of research-driven adult learning principles and incorporates our expertise in work-at-home (WAH) and virtual learning processes.
iQor has embraced methods and technology proven to increase employee engagement and provide effective learning and coaching. These methods emphasize collaboration, engagement, and active dialogue between coaches and employees. When learning strategies embody these priorities, employees are happier, more productive, and better suited to invest in their own development with iQor.
Organizational Development Creates Teams That Consistently Exceed Client Expectations
The sQholar and iLead Programs have been enormously beneficial for iQor’s employees and, consequently, for iQor’s brand partners. These programs empower Mark to share measurable results with clients pertaining to the effectiveness of iQor’s teams and training platforms.
Career pathing aligns iQor’s internal messaging with client priorities by ensuring that employees at every level are driven to create smiles for themselves, their teams, their customers, and the brands they serve.
What Mark Does for Fun
When not building leadership programs from the ground up, Mark enjoys taking his vintage Corvette for a spin around his family’s home base in Charleston, South Carolina—a hobby that he and his son enjoy together. He is also a science fiction fan with a large collection of sci-fi memorabilia!
To learn more about Mark, connect with him on LinkedIn.