Freedom Day in South Africa marks the beginning of a new era, a watershed moment that ended the institutionalized racism that denied basic human rights to the majority of our population, rightfully making our country a pariah on the world stage.
Freedom Day, commemorated every year on April 27, is the anniversary of South Africa’s first free and fair democratic elections. It is a day that reminds us of the first buds of new hope for South Africa. Thing is, with new buds, they need constant attention and good proactive care to nurture them into glorious flower.
Therefore, while hope underscores our intentions for our country, it is pertinent to remember also a now famous quote from filmmaker James Cameron, who said: “Hope is not a strategy, luck is not a factor,” probably in getting one of his huge projects off the ground. This does have some validity, as it is meant to express the notion that action is more important than inspiring words.
As such, the inspiration to us all on this day is to engender hope through unity, then to build on that hope with real concrete plans as to how we intend to make South Africa a better place for all.
Happy Freedom Day!
To this generation, Human Rights Day signifies the day that South Africa held its first democratic election when Nelson Mandela was elected as its first democratic President 21 March, Human Rights Day, is officially proclaimed a public holiday. On Human Rights Day, we as South Africans are asked to reflect on our rights, to protect our rights and the rights of all people from violation, irrespective of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether we are foreign national or not – human rights apply to everyone, equally.
However, Human Rights Day in South Africa is historically linked with 21 March 1960, and the events of Sharpeville. On that day 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the Pass laws. This day marked an affirmation by ordinary people, rising in unison to proclaim their rights. It became an iconic date in our country’s history. Today we commemorate Human Rights Day as a reminder of the cost paid for our treasured human rights and freedoms.
In the Boomerang SA contact centre environment, we constantly strive to ensure that all our Bae’s (agents) are treated equally, with respect, integrity, and professionalism. All decisions relating to Bae’s are aligned to these core values and we are proud of our diverse culture. The advantages of having such a unique and diverse culture in our organisation, is that the experience goes beyond surface-level diversity. Boomerang SA employs People with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage, and life experience.
Teza Haywood : “As a GenZ, I pictured a life which would be a lot easier than that which my parents and freedom fighters lived. My parents advised that I can dream big as there were no limitations such as “Apartheid” to hold me back.
This is a similar mindset I’ve adopted in all working environments I apply myself in. I do believe that nothing can hold me back, I am my biggest limitation.”
Sergio Coetzee : “As young South Africans born in the ‘90s a Millennial, we are reminded of the new direction and opportunities that were made possible by the brave actions of those who came before us.
At Boomerang, we are encouraged to be our true authentic selves and express our human rights freely. We work hard, but we also have the right to have fun and celebrate our victories. Boomerang puts its people first, which is why they have earned the nickname BAE (Before Anyone Else). They recognize and celebrate talent and achievements, and most importantly, they truly recognize their people. It is this human touch that sets Boomerang apart. Let us continue to celebrate our human rights and inspire each other to make a difference in our communities and our country.”
Xolile Samkelo Ngqokwe: “Being born in the late 80’s just a few years before the 1990’s, Human Rights Day means a great deal to me. I’ve witnessed first hand what it was for a black person to not have any rights in the country of my birth. That also means I proudly watched on TV with millions of south Africans as we celebrated the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, the end of a government that had hateful policies and the birth of the Constitution. This is a monumental occasion that must be celebrated, and its importance and relevance passed on to the younger generation. Being a Boomerang Bae in a Democratic South Africa, I’m able to apply for any job in within my organisation and in South Africa without any discrimination. I can enjoy these rights at my workplace by freedom of expression, no fear of being a black proud gay man and know my workplace and colleagues will celebrate my uniqueness.” As a millennial I believe I have a unique perspective as I watched it all unfold, and as a Boomerang Bae, I am able to express myself freely, without fear of persecution.”
KeoabetsweVunyelwa Heather Makhonjwa : “For me personally, these rights mean fairness, justice and non-discrimination. At the office these rights do align, the environment is a very cheerful and culture is amazing, there is fairness, equality, freedom and non-discriminations. The synergy is amazing!
My personal journey as a Millennial has not an easy one, there’s a lot we deal with as a youth, sometimes our cries are not heard, however, we remain strong and must keep our heads up. My focus is doing my online course which will enhance my skill set as an asset to the company. I feel like there’s a lot I’ve achieved at Boomerang and to be honest it was unexpected; it is always lovely seeing leaders who see potential in you and a leader who grooms you for the next possible role. I am happy, and content!”
Boomerang SA’s culturally diverse and inclusive contact centre environment empowers people to develop their talents and skills. It gives them a platform to voice their opinion, a range of ideas and expertise enables them to learn from each other through mentorship, and leadership programmes. It also boosts problem-solving capabilities and increases happiness and productivity. At Boomerang we have learnt that time is a scarce commodity but the best investment, we must listen, inspire and take action as our Bae’s are the future leaders.
Target driven | Professionalism | Respect | Integrity | Having Fun
We are focused on building meaningful connections with our customers.
There is much hype about the Metaverse and advancements in AI technologies (just consider recent developments in ChatGPT’s optimised language model for chatbots). Boomerang SA, BPO operators and clients already derive many benefits from advancements in modern cloud and CRM technologies.
Systems to manage workflows, enable self-service options, reduce customer effort, reduce wait, and ticket handling times, sentiment analysis, management information on the fly. One could almost be seduced by all the new and sexy tech into believing that AI will be some sort of silver bullet for delivering great CX.
However, when it comes to solving complex personal issues or providing empathy and care, nothing can replace the human touch. That’s why, at Boomerang SA, we no longer use the term ‘agent’ which implies a lack of engagement and connection – instead focusing on building meaningful connections with our customers through our team of ‘Baes’.
Bae, an acronym for ‘Before Anyone Else’ and a term of endearment, has been around in popular culture long enough to be universally understood. Our Baes love being called Baes. They feel even closer to the community we have fostered at Boomerang.
Boomerang Bae Jean-Pierre Myburgh comments that though the acronym BAE usually stands for ‘Before Anyone Else’ he interprets it as ‘Before Anything Else’ as he has discovered through his own experience, he says, “that at Boomerang SA we prioritise our Baes before anything else, and this is the key ingredient that fosters a culture of trust.”
We are committed to creating an environment where our team feels appreciated, valued, and respected – and that’s why we’ve changed the term ‘agent’ to ‘Bae’. Our customer contact team members are not just employees – they are Baes who take pride in connecting with our customers on a deeper level. In this post, I will explain why this shift in terminology is so important for us as a company, and how it will help create a culture of service excellence.
Our Baes are special people who make the effort to build meaningful relationships with our customers and who are empowered with the tools necessary to offer personalized experiences that go beyond the box. We believe in equipping our Baes with the necessary resources so they can truly engage with and find solutions for our customers. Our contact centre provides the technology, processes, as well as the training and development opportunities to enable our Baes to be the best they can be.
At Boomerang, we believe that valuing people should be at the centre of all we do – which is why making this change in terminology is so important to us as a company. We want our Baes to feel appreciated for their hard work and dedication, as well as empowered to provide exceptional services through genuine human connection. We also want them to take pride in being part of #TeamBoomerang. Ultimately, this shift will help us foster a positive working environment for our staff, allowing us to create lasting relationships with customers based on trust, respect and quality service delivery. Our Baes are empowered to go above and beyond in customer service – meaning better service overall for our customers.
To learn more about how Boomerang SA can support your brand in delivering excellent customer service experience (CSX) please contact us or request a case study.
In no other time in recent history has the topic of mental health been more at the forefront of public conversation. And this is no surprise, coming out of a pandemic that sent the whole world home, the resulting isolation fast developing into a sense of fear, stress, anxiety, uncertainty and loneliness that are all serious risk factors when it comes to mental health.
Add to this that the protective factors were way down, such as social connection, access to physical exercise, daily routine and secure employment.It’s not surprising people have taken strain.
Although the pandemic is mostly over, at least the high-crisis part of it, the anxiety and depression it sparked do not go away as easily. In any case, it is common to experience a mental health challenge in life, from anxiety and depression to bipolar disorder and PTSD. US figures say up to half of people will experience some form of challenge to mental health in their lives.
What is surprising is the level of stigma in society. Stigma is a negative and downright unfair social attitude to a person or group, often placing shame on them too. Interestingly, stigma often comes from a lack of understanding or fear.
The real problem comes when people delay seeking treatment out of fear of this stigma, and their condition gets worse.Many people fear being labeled ‘crazy’ for simply seeking help from a therapist. This stigma causes unnecessary suffering and prevents people from getting the help they need.
The question is: how can we at Boomerang SA help to break this stigma and ensure that people who need therapeutic help can get this help sooner rather than later. Then, how do we address the fact that many people need support and understanding at work?
When it comes to stigma, information is key.This month we are inviting our consultant life coach to give talks in the office that demystify mental health issues and offer a more humane and inclusive attitude to the challenges so many people face.
We intend to extend these workshops to leaders to equip them to make it easier for people to come forward when they are experiencing difficulties. What then becomes vital is an extensive referral network, as well as to able to guide people into more affordable therapy options. Often, cost for private care can be prohibitive but there are support groups for many conditions that are free.
At Boomerang we believe in lowering the barrier to entry for health care, and a wellness programme is included in our employee health insurance policy framework. The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) gives 24-hour care in the form of on-call doctors, as well as telephonic counseling on personal issues such as family problems, stress management and work-related concerns.
These services are geared for short-term intervention and assessment, and the EAP counselor will refer to external sources where need be. In addition, there is a 24/7 trauma line to help our employees cope should there be a crisis.
The EAP even extends to basic legal, financial and debt restructuring guidance, all elements that can negatively affect a person’s state of mind if left unaddressed.
At Boomerang our first and most important customers are our employees, who are the heart and soul of our business. We recognize that stigma is an unnecessary hindrance to getting real help for real people, and we are always on the lookout to do all we can to provide just that.