top of page

Writing Samples

The following writing samples have been altered, in some cases, to protect the anonymity of the clients or groups for whom they have been written.

Writing Samples: Text

Speech Sample: employee recognition picnic speech for an executive written in their unique voice and casual style

I am so happy to be here today, with you all, to celebrate our amazing team. We have been through so much together in the past five years, and what an interesting journey it has been. We have undergone a lot of change – even in a world where change is constant – and through it all, you have stepped up, worked hard, and shown what you are made of. I am proud of each and every one of you, and so thankful that we have had the opportunity to make this latest change – our transition to the virtual world – together.

As we come together today to celebrate and have fun, I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to thank our leaders who have brought us to this point and led us through the transition to our next phase: the transition to a call center without walls.

Our managers, Susan* and Joe*, have taken on so many aspects of our transition, partnering with our tech ops, courtesy services, IT, and other teams to make this transition run smoothly. Mary* has been right there with us every step of the way. She has pulled reports, and run down information, and I think she has probably talked to each of us personally multiple times. The entire team has been so incredible. They have attended conference calls from early in the morning until late at night and have been available virtually around the clock. Special thanks to them and their families for supporting us.

Like our managers, our supervisors, who have so frequently stepped up in the past have taken this project and stepped up to an even higher level than ever before. Each of them has been flexible, and professional, and shown an unprecedented degree of enthusiasm for this new era upon which we are embarking. They, too, have spent countless hours away from family and other commitments to ensure we have what we need to move to the home environment successfully.

I recently heard an inspirational phrase that really resonated with me as it relates to our experience of going virtual.

Iteration is doing the same thing better, Innovation is doing new things, and disruption is doing new things that make the old obsolete. - David Nour

We have accomplished iteration – assisting our customers with consistency. We have championed innovation – leading the region on customer satisfaction results and thinking outside the box to create our own initiatives to drive performance. Now it is time for us to engage in disruption. We have been given an opportunity that most companies would never provide to their employees. We have the chance to forge a new way of doing business – to lead not only the region, the division, or the company in performance, but to set industry standards for excellence in care through our virtual center of excellence. I believe you – we – can do it! Can we do it? (wait for affirmation from the crowd). Going forward, our team events will not look like what you see here today, but we are committed to staying engaged, being innovative, and providing you with a fantastic employee experience.

So today, let’s spend time together, celebrate, and appreciate the families who have supported us through the recent weeks and months.

Writing Samples: Text

First-person Writing Sample: ghostwriting project for an article on human resources planning and staffing

            I first had the opportunity to interview candidates for front-line employee positions as a supervisor in a call center environment. In the late 1990s, call centers were emerging as a new workplace option for unskilled workers with an aptitude for computer-based work and customer service skills. Many of our employees might have otherwise found employment in the retail or food service segments. For many, the call center environment provided a new opportunity to make a living wage and receive paid training for the work that they would be performing. The emergence of call centers, concurrent with burgeoning technology that allowed someone in a remote location to provide customer service, was changing the paradigm for unskilled workers. The training systems in place in most call centers allow new employees to become quickly acclimated to their new skills and enter the production phase of their new job quickly.

            As a Supervisor, I was assigned a certain number of interviews to conduct each week while our office was in a hiring phase for an upcoming new hire class. The recruiters contacted and vetted the candidates, and scheduled the face-to-face interviews based on the applicant’s résumé and initial screening results. In entry-level positions, such as call center jobs, candidates may have limited job experience to include on their resumes. Therefore, they rely on their ability to relate to the interviewer to get the job opportunity. Although interviewers attempt to be as unbiased as possible, human nature dictates that interviewers make determinations based on the information gathered in a brief impression. There is a limited amount of information to be obtained from a short discussion with the candidate. Based on my experience leading people, I was able to place many candidates into roles, and some proved to be very successful while others failed over time.

            As leaders, we sometimes looked to recruiting, human resources (HR), or training to justify the reasons for the candidates who were ultimately unsuccessful in their new roles. However, in truth, employee failure can often be attributed to a combination of factors in which many people in the hiring and onboarding process have a part to play. Employees who fail in new roles typically fall into one of two categories of failure: skill or will. Skill failures occur when the employee is unable to do the job due to the inability to follow directions, or complete tasks based either on the confines of their abilities or having received insufficient training. Failures will occur when employees can do the work, but merely choose not to follow directions, or prioritize their energy in areas outside the job, resulting in their lack of success.

            Most call center, new hire training programs last for six to eight weeks from the start date to productivity. During that time, it is not uncommon for several employees to be lost through attrition due to attendance, receiving alternate job offers, or behavioral concerns. Therefore, as interviewers, we were always striving to hire the best candidates, but also mindful of meeting the expectation of filling a class with adequately qualified applicants. If a class of twenty employees started on the first of one month, by the time the class graduated two months later, their numbers might be reduced to fifteen or even less. During my time as a Supervisor, I learned to balance my perception of the ideal candidate with the reality of appropriately qualified candidates. This newfound understanding served me well in my future roles.

Writing Samples: Text

Sample Blog Post: written in the casual style of a reader submission

We got our yellow Labrador retriever, Duke, last year when he was about 11 months old. He was a quasi-rescue (partially trained as a duck retriever from a puppy, but the owners had to give him up). Duke went to a professional trainer to finish retriever training for about 2 months before he came home with us.

I had concerns about a hunting dog as a family pet (especially as a house dog). We had a couple of tough weeks when we brought Duke home as he had been bounced around a bit by the time we found him. However, within a couple of months, he was an irreplaceable part of the family. He is as happy sitting in a freezing blind on a cold winter morning waiting for the first duck to fall as he is chasing a Frisbee in the backyard or playing ball with our nieces & nephews.

Our lab (an American yellow Lab) is very high energy but has been easy to get into a daily routine. He knows when it is time to play and won't let you forget it! He lets us know when he has to use the bathroom, so he can go out. Within a few weeks of being home, I was able (with no prior experience) to teach him the 'stay' command using treats, as well as 'to the house' when it is time to go inside.

He is a loving dog and often wants to climb up in our laps. This can be awesome bonding time, but also painful (as he weighs around 80 pounds).

A few things for anyone considering a lab to keep in mind:

  • Fur is everywhere. He seems to have a new coat come in during the winter and the summer. We sweep, and vacuum daily, and highly recommend a rubber bristle brush for removing fur from furniture and vehicles.

  • Labs seem to have strong personalities. Both our dog and another yellow Lab, a family member had owned years ago seem to share this trait. They need to be given an alpha to follow, or they will become the alpha and run your household. Duke loves being able to participate in more family activities, which he can do as we have taught him not to jump on people, and to obey when we bring him to heel.

  • This is a large breed that needs room to roam. It would be cruel to keep a dog like this in an apartment. We have a large house, and Duke goes out at least twice a day for a long play session, plus additional breaks outside. High-energy playtime and high activity levels keep our Lab healthy & happy.

  • If you are looking for a loving, loyal, and fun family pet or working dog, a Lab can make a great addition to your family. If you are looking for a passive companion to sit by your chair and need little to no activity, this may not be the pet for you.

Writing Samples: Text

Crisis Communication: Follow-up to hurricane impact to employees

As you know, on September 23rd, a category-4, Atlantic hurricane, the deadliest in nearly a hundred years, made landfall. The cone of impact included most of the state of Florida, with the storm moving up to South Carolina and North Carolina.


Over the past forty-eight hours, we have contacted and accounted for the safety of every employee in the impact zone. Several of you have reached out, asking if any of your teammates experienced loss in the storm, and how you can help. The following are the latest updates on the situation on the ground in the storm-impacted areas.


Impacted Employees


Were any of our teammates impacted by the storm?

All employees have been accounted for and are physically safe. Some team members had varying levels of property damage and loss. Our HR partners are working with each individual to connect them with both company and partner organization resources to support their immediate and long-term needs.


Will employees who can’t work/are without power, have to go without pay?

We have automatically processed timecards for this pay period for all those who were impacted directly by the storm to prevent any lapse in pay. This has been communicated to employees during wellness checks.


What about people who don’t have damage but are currently without power?

We are asking leaders to contact each individual and work through the best way to handle their situation. All absences will be waived for this week for anyone who was in the impact zone of the storm.



Non-impacted Employees


How can I help?

Employees who would like to donate to those whose homes and property were damaged or destroyed in Hurricane Ian can donate to the Employee Impact Fund or donate to our charitable partners listed here.


Overtime

With so many employees unable to work, and many of our customers calling in for support, we need your help. Please sign up for overtime through the time system here if you can work additional hours this week.


Next Steps


As we learn more about cleanup efforts, and how we can support our friends and neighbors, we will continue to send updates here, via our intranet site, and through our internal social media channels.


Thank you for your support and for being here for our colleagues, and our customers, during this challenging time. The way we come together in times like these is what makes this such an incredibly special place to be.

Writing Samples: Text
bottom of page