Angeline Unnata at Missio Nexus (Twassistant Story)
Angeline Unnata, based in South India, has been working on behalf of Twassistant with Missio Nexus, a prominent faith-based American charity, since August 2013.
Starting with email handling and scheduling for the president, Steve Moore, she has also taken on other significant responsibilities in the 1 ½ years since–first as the primary customer services representative, and then recently as co-ordinator of Missio Nexus sponsors.
Angeline’s capacity and work ethic impressed Steve from the first training task he assigned her. “My initial task for her was to transcribe an interview I recorded, to get a feel for her English, typing abilities, and her pace of her work.”
“As it turned out, the transcription was nearly perfect, and took her about 50% of the time our volunteers usually took to do it… so that showed us she was highly functioning in English, had pretty good typing skills, could deal with the techno-jargon of our industry, and the pace of work was very high. That was the initial testing ground that gave me some encouragement.”
Angeline continued to show high levels of reliability and loyalty as her responsibilities were increased. Steve had this to say about her recent performance in sponsorship management: “Angeline demonstrated very high capacity in managing our portfolio of sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers. I think in the first two weeks that we began to open up for sponsors and exhibitors, she was close to 50% of our annual goal in the first two weeks. So, the qualifier is those were warm leads who have worked with us in the past. But that still doesn’t change the fact that she had to engage with them and win their trust, and we’ve been very encouraged about that.”
Part of Angeline’s ongoing success is thanks to Steve’s comprehensive management approach, which is grounded in principles of strengths-based leadership and employee engagement by the Gallup Organization. According to Gallup, the key to employee engagement is to position team members in areas of responsibility where they can leverage their strengths, so they get to do things that they’re good at–while also meeting their needs for relationship and care.
“What I think is critical, especially in working with virtual employees that you don’t have face-to-face interaction with, is that you have to treat them like real people. When I interact with Angeline especially in the context of our weekly phone meeting, I try to make it a point to ask questions about how she’s doing personally, how are her kids, how are things going in church, how is she going to celebrate this holiday. Demonstrating even modest amount of interest and concern cultivates a sense of relationship and friendship and loyalty that is pretty powerful, but it all translates back into putting someone in their strengths zone, and then treating them like a human being.”
As for what initially drew him to consider getting an assistant on board, Steve says: “Like most people, the initial interest came from the cost-effective nature of engaging global talent. I was nearly as intrigued by [Twassistant’s] conviction that there doesn’t need to be a drop off in capacity just because the cost of labour is less–that these are high-capacity staff members who can perform with excellence.”
“Being part of a network that functions globally, it was easier for me to accept that premise. And I would say that my experience is such that I can’t really imagine a going forward scenario where I wouldn’t be connected to a virtual staff member as a cost-effective way of helping fulfill our mission.”
Its been an honour to have Steve as a client–Angeline’s success with Missio Nexus has been a major influence for us in connecting our other staff with clients long-term. As we provide human resources support in these types of relationships, we’re aspiring to apply the same principles of employee engagement.
And lastly: we’re excited to announce that Steve will soon be joining us in Toronto to film a video series on employee engagement, for new and existing clients! Look out for more details on that early this summer.