Feedback: August 2017

by Grant W. Johnson | Spencer Pierce | Michele Shuey

Question: What training programs do you have in place for your employees – whether new hires who may be lacking in certain skills or employees moving to new positions within the company?

Grant W. Johnson

North America Delivery Team Manager – Phoenix Contact Center
Direct Energy
Sector: Utilities

The Direct Energy Learning and Development Team ensures both new hires and existing employees have ample options when it comes to training.

Our new-hire programs are designed to skill our agents to create an effortless experience for our customers. We facilitate New Hire Induction for five distinct lines of business/call types in our Tempe call center, followed by a two-week on-the-job training process.

The Management Academy ensures managers have the knowledge and skills needed to fulfill their role by clearly outlining what is expected in that role, and helping them identify their areas of focus for their development. The starting point is a management diagnostic designed to help employees understand what it means to be a people manager in Centrica. The employee completes a self-assessment based on his or her experience as a people manager, which is collated with an assessment by the employee’s line manager. A personalized report is then prepared that identifies the employee’s strengths and development areas, and will signpost recommended learning activities to help the employee continue to develop his or her management capability.

Grant Johnson has more than 22 years’ contact center experience, with 20 years in Learning and Development across the service, energy, credit card, hospitality and collections sectors. He has worked in call centers for Bank One, ProMark One, First USA Bank, Cendant and Encore Capital Group.


Spencer Pierce

Talent Optimization & Leadership Development Manager
Sector: Professional Services Industry

At Spear, we value training and educating our team members to ensure they’re armed with the tools, resources and product knowledge to provide a high-quality customer experience, as well as ensuring they have immediate opportunities to connect and collaborate with other team members, clients and partners. Our initial new-hire training, Spear Immersion, is broken into three segments: Business Foundation & Industry Education; Culture, Values & Leadership; and Role-Specific Training.

We are in a niche industry, which makes training and educating our team members a crucial part of their success at Spear. We develop, manage and facilitate the program, all in-house. Our resident faculty, alongside our product and industry experts, elevate the experience, being able to provide insight and knowledge from their experiences practicing and teaching in the dental field.

We are equally passionate about our culture, our values and our leadership, and invite people to get involved right from the start. Team members at all levels within the company may embark on Leadership Development Pathways programs to develop themselves as leaders, which include subject-matter experts, leaders of people and culture advocates.

Spencer Pierce has a strong background in HR, building her career over eight years in the retail, marketing and professional services industries.  Having experience operating under various HR strategies, she’s developed and refined her own approach to optimizing talent and developing leaders with company culture, values and key business objectives in mind. 


Michele Shuey

Director of Talent Development
Sector: Facilities Management

Our approach to training revolves around what we call “The Vixxo Experience.” The Vixxo Experience is made up of six stages of the associate lifecycle, which includes first impressions, making a commitment, the first 90 days, rewards and recognition, growth and development, and career transition. We’ve intentionally developed training programs to align with each of these six stages.

For example, all new hires participate in culture training to learn about our culture and gain alignment around key results, accountability and ownership. Similarly, all managers participate in our Managing Matters program to set the foundation for developing strong leadership skills.

Our current program of focus involves career mapping, where we help our associates map out their intended career paths starting on day one. We highlight the specific skills and abilities that are required of their next role, and set them up for success even before they transition to their next role. This program, similar to the other training programs we’ve developed, are designed to ensure our associates have the tools and training needed to be successful.

Michele Shuey has more than 19 years of experience in training, organizational development, succession planning, executive coaching and career development, helping leaders uncover their strengths and capitalize upon them. Shuey holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in organizational management, and is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) as well as a SHRM-Senior Certified Professional (SCP).

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