Hints, tips, insights, resources and non-traditional thoughts given in the spirit of sharing information.


"Yes, that's me 20 years ago holding a lion cub."

March 2007 - #2

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In This Issue



Complimentary Tele-seminars

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NWCCP presents complimentary seminar:
Puget Sound Energy: From a Call Center's viewpoint during a major disaster

March 21st, 2007
Bellevue, WA

Complimentary Tele-seminar - ITIL
March 22, 2007

Complimentary Tele-seminar - IRS Call Center
April 4, 2007

The 6th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo
May 7-9, 2007
Alexandria, VA

The 9th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo
October 22-24, 2006
Phoenix, AZ

Government Customer Support Conference 2007

"Be an Event Sponsor"

GCSC 2007
Event Partners

Aspect Software

Association of Support Professionals

BMC Software

Brad Worthley Intl.

Call Center School




Customer Service Group


DEMA Education

Federal Consulting Group / Department of Treasury

Driva Solutions


Fed Tech Magazine

Government Customer Support Community of Practice

Help Desk Northwest

Help Desk Xlence

HDI Capital Area Local Chapter

Master Counsel / Infra

Mikki Williams


Northwest Call Center Professionals



RightNow Technologies


Symon Communications

The Fraser Group

The Telework Coalition


VoIP Institute

Do you bring your pets to work?

Did you know that bringing pets to work could increase the productivity of your staff in the workplace?  In the Help Desk and Contact Center industry, increased productivity, retention and elevated job performance are at the forefront of managers in service and support centers.  Is it possible that letting people bring animals to the workplace might contribute to these factors being realized?

Consider these facts:

An American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey of businesses allowing pets in the workplace confirmed the benefits:

  • 73 percent indicated pets led to a more productive work environment.
  • 27 percent reported a decrease in employee absenteeism.
  • 96 percent said pets created positive work relations.
  • 58 percent of employees stayed late with pets in the office.

In addition:

  • Staff morale increased by bringing pets to work.
  • There was increased camaraderie among employees.
  • Happier employees enhance job performance.
  • Storeowners who take their dogs to work have reported increases in sales.

Sources: American Pet Products Manufacturers Assoc.; Pet Sitters International for Take Your Dog to Work Day 2001

We have multiple clients who permit animals in the workplace and are very successful with their programs.  There must be policies in place to manage pets in the workplace to respect people who have allergies to animals or a fear of some species (i.e. A cage with snakes or tarantulas on your desk might not be a good idea.)  One of our clients has pet cages set up outside in a very safe, dry area.  There is a small field for playing with the dogs too.  It's perfect for animal bonding and de-stressing and eliminates the allergy concern by having the animals deskside.

We permit animals in our office at High Tech High Touch Solutions.  One time we didn't communicate about who was bringing what kind of pet in the office.  I arrived with my dog and Christine had her very well trained bird loose near her desk.  We got one heck of an adrenalin rush, trying to stop the dog from getting the bird flying all over the room.

I have a very good friend who leaves the office every day for lunch to go home and relieve his dogs.  After work he hurries home to again take care of his dogs.  This person is an absolute animal lover.  He is also a very hard worker.  What if he could bring his animals to work?  Likely, he would not feel the level of concern to leave the office at specific times to deal with his dogs if they were just outside of the building or even under his desk.  It is probable that he would be more relaxed at work and be even more productive.

The following resources offer considerations for having pets in the workplace.

I have always loved animals and find they keep me grounded.  I bring my pets to work and find I can stay much more productive.  They also force me to take the needed stretch break that may not have happened otherwise. One of these days I'll tell you about the bear cub and deer I raised and turned back into the wild.  I have loads of animal stories.

Will you email me (solutions4u@hthts.com) if you bring your pet work? How does it work at your company? Have you seen any specific changes in attitudes or stress levels? If you have any pictures, we would love to see them.

Have an unbelievable day,


Ivy Meadors
High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc.

www.ivymeadors.com or www.hthts.com

Office: 425-398-9292


 "In general, we do know that petting and stroking your pet has been known to decrease blood pressure and stress," Nelson said. "I think it helps interaction with other employees, also. People see your cute, little dog and make conversation."

Nelson said pet owners who can take their dogs to work may be more likely to stay with the company. "If people are happy at work, they're more likely to want to do well and stay at their job."

 (Source: Susan Nelson, 785-532-4130, snelson@vet.k-state.edu.)

Survey Design and Data Analysis Workshops

Our good friend, Dr. Fred Van Bennekom, principal of Great Brook, will be delivering his acclaimed Survey Design and Survey Data Analysis Workshops in Charlotte, NC at the Morehead Inn, April 10-12, and in New York City, June 11-13. For details please go to www.greatbrook.com/events.htm where you find the latest venue information, links for workshop descriptions and registration information. Dr. Fred will also deliver a Design for Supportability Workshop in San Diego on May 6.

The 6th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo

Training and travel budget cuts? Limited resources making it hard to get out of the office? Is it difficult to justify attending a conference when the funds aren't available or the continuing resolution is holding things back?

Leadership development programs create employee engagement through trust-building, providing mentors and a systematic approach to feedback that helps leaders connect with employees, which encourages them to stay.  If companies invest in developing their leaders, they can maintain their staff and reduce turnover. 

Making a small investment of about $2500 and spending three days with brilliant and experienced people affords the ultimate learning investment to contribute to the rest of your career.  If you don't find your time well spent after three days, we will give you back the money invested in the conference.

Contact Ivy directly (Ivy@hthts.com) if you would like some help in finding a means to attend GCSC 2007 this year.  She will help design a creative option just for you to make it possible to attend one of our educational events.

* * * * * *

What does the Space and Naval Warfare Systems , IRS, Office of Personnel Management, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Finance Center, FEMA, US Navy, Miami Dade County, and the Federal Consulting Group / Department of Treasury have in common?  They are all delivering case study presentations at GCSC 2007 sharing success stories and teaching how you can use these techniques in your own centers.

* * * * * *

GCSC has an incredible half-day post conference on "Another Kind of “Smart”: Using Leadership Quotients to Get Real Results"  Read more.

* * * * * *

The 2007 Customer Support Excellence Awards will be presented at GCSC 2007


Have you registered for GCSC yet? You will really enjoy this beautiful awards ceremony.

Sign up now and save $200

There are only a small number of hotel rooms left at the super reduced room rate and the incredible deal expires on April 9th.  Click to book your hotel room now.


Hi Ivy,

Astronaut Farmer was wonderful!

As a Help Desk Manager at a startup during the dot-com bust a few years ago, I arranged to have my team of 12 watch a similar Shackleton movie. It was a very difficult time: we'd just gone through 30% layoffs with more looming, morale was rock-bottom and FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) grew daily.

Each and every member of the team was moved, renewed and, most importantly, re-inspired. We adopted the mindset of Shackleton and his crew: if we were going out, we were going out fighting!

Eventually, the rest of the company caught wind and "screenings" were set up company-wide. A book club was formed where even more "lessons" were discovered and shared.

Six years later the company is worth over $2B and headcount has grown 800%. And, I'm happy to say, many of my former team members are still there...sailing on that good ship Endurance.



Aspect Software hosts a LiveWIRE webcast series on educational topics for contact center and IT help desk decision makers. To register for their upcoming webcasts or to view any of their archived replays, go to www.aspect.com/go/livewire.

Speaker: Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting LLC and author of The Real-Time Contact Center

Topic:  Work-at-Home Agents: Today’s Reality

Date: Thursday, March 29, 2007

Time: 10:00 am PT / 12:00 pm CT / 1:00 pm ET

Cost:  None


High Tech High Touch Solutions invites you to attend this session. You will find your time well spent.  Donna Fluss is very knowledgeable and well versed in her field.



Unleash the Leader Within: A Better Way to Manage Customer Support Operations

Brand new course for service and support managers loaded with fresh material for the advanced professional being unveiled at the 6th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo.

Eric Rabinowitz of Dema Education and Eric Svendsen of SCInc., two of the most insightful, knowledgeable and fun instructors in the Help Desk industry will be delivering this two-day course at the Government Customer Support Conference and Expo on May 10-11, 2007 in Alexandria, VA.

Details posted here.

Register now - it only takes 60 seconds to sign up to the most advanced support management training available!


Sharing Solutions and Ideas

If you have solutions or non-traditional ideas you would like to share with our readers, please email me so we can share it with the thousands of readers from all over the world who subscribe to eSharings. 

Will you be at the 9th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference?

October 22-24, 2007 in Phoenix Arizona at the incredible Pointe South Mountain Resort

Register now and save $300


High Tech High Touch Solutions offers complimentary tele-seminars presented by speakers of our conferences.  We use a "Mastermind" format keeping the phone lines open for discussions.  We limit the number of callers. Be sure and sign up now.  Simply email solutions4u@hthts.com to say you will be joining us.

What's a "Mastermind" format? Napoleon Hill, author of the must-read book Think and Grow Rich, said, “A mastermind is the harmonious alliance of two or more minds that creates a friendly environment to gather, classify and organize new information for fast and effective implementation.”

These sessions can fill up since we have a limited number of lines. If you haven't RSVP'd please do so today. Email solutions4u@hthts.com

Putting ITIL, Six-Sigma and CobIT to WORK-shop

Presented by Greg Charles, PH.D, Computer Associates

Date:  NEXT THURSDAY - March 22nd, 2007

Time:  10:00 AM (pacific time) / 1:00 PM (eastern time)

Call in number:  (563) 843-5600  access code 724326#

Cost:  None

Greg will be covering key components in this ITIL Theory seminar, a compressed version of the mini-workshop he is presenting at GCSC 2007.  It is based upon ITIL education and discussions of real-world scenarios. Attendees will learn and discuss the benefits of applying ITIL best practices while at the same time learning the basic principles of ITIL.  Attendees will also learn the relationships between ITIL processes, the different ITIL roles and discuss the best way to implement this framework in their organizations. Click to read full session description.

This is not a vendor sponsored session and no sales pitch will be made about CA.  Greg is an expert in delivering educational material and is a favored speaker in our program.

yolunda davis and Deborah Eaton from the IRS call Center present how they built a collaborative culture through employee engagement.

Date:  April 4th, 2007

Time:  10:00 AM (pacific time) / 1:00 PM (eastern time)

Call in number:  (563) 843-5600  access code 724326#

Cost:  None

There is one thing that plagues most businesses - CHANGE. The ERC is the single point of contact for all IRS employees to request administrative products and services. We have morphed from a Call Center to a Customer Service site. There has been no significant turn over in employees. How did we do it? Two words, Employee Engagement.  Click to read full session description.

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