posted by | on News | No comments

Award-winning trainer is fuelled by passion
SA’s contact center industry scoops major international prize

Divinia Fernandes Esch, a contact center trainer with O’Keeffe & Swartz, has won a major international award that shows that, in the contact center industry, South Africa is up there with the best in the world.

Fernandes Esch works as a trainer at the OKS outbound call center, which serves the insurance and financial services industry.

She won the gold medal for the best trainer at the Europe, Middle East and Africa Contact Center Awards.

Having already triumphed in two previous rounds of awards- the regional and national BPeSA (Business Process enabling South Africa) Contact Center Awards- Fernandes Esch will now be representing both OKS and the nation at the World Contact Center Awards in Las Vegas in November.

The company is proud of her achievements, but not surprised at her success.

“Our training is specifically designed to produce clarity and enthusiasm in managing contacts with our client’s customers,” says OKS chief executive Miles Crisp.

“We have hundreds of amazing young South Africans from all walks of life. These youngsters are the heart and soul of our company and they clearly deserve, and receive, the best training,” he adds.

“I think that training is the key to our success as an organization and the instruction and guidance we offer our people far exceed the legislated requirements of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. In fact, our sales consultant training is considered the best in the industry- and now, thanks to Divinia, we have the awards to prove it.”

Fernandes Esch says that despite winning these awards, there remains plenty for her to do. She insists that one needs to continue looking forward, and that winning is not the end but rather the beginning of a new phase.

“I have always had a burning desire to do more, which is one of the reasons I am a trainer,” she says. “In this sector it is all about hard work, as there are no short cuts to people development and training. I always point out that one needs to go through the fire…. to become steel. It’s also important to understand that I am only in the position I am in because of the people I train. I wouldn’t have made it this far if it weren’t for them. As Niccolo Machiavelli said: the first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the people he has around him.”

She points out that her success is also built on the platform that has been set by OKS. The company has a holistic approach to talent management, succession planning and leadership learning, she says. Most important, it is driven from the top down.

“The entire company, from the CEO on down, is focused on ensuring that our people are the best they can be. OKS is disciplined, professional, focused on performance and teaches skills that will become essential life skills for anyone making their way in the world. Our leadership attracts people who are passionate about helping others and each other. Perhaps most important, we never lose our sense of fun in what we do. It is important to understand that training needs to be a targeted and strategic investment for the organization in the long term.”

“At OKS, one of the key benefits is that the learner receives not only theoretical training, but also applied and experiential learning. The company has also adopted an organizational responsibility for training impact. In other words, everybody needs to take responsibility for ensuring that the training programmes are effectively supported, thereby producing the best possible results.”

According to Crisp, Fernandes Esch perfectly represents the OKS ethos, as she is the epitome of a professional trainer. “Divinia combines technical learning expertise, training presence and presentation skills, passion and a deep need to help other people. She is sincerely more interested in helping others to succeed than she is in succeeding herself, and this attitude shines through in everything she does,” he concludes.

Leave a Reply