If you ask young workers in Vietnam about the learning they have gained after the first year of the pandemic, they’d be quick to answer “adapting to the new normal”. But as the health crisis continues into another year (and probably more), even the ‘new normal’ keeps changing. McKinsey & Company’s report on the future of work shows that employees and businesses need to quickly understand and adapt to the changes that the pandemic will leave behind. New working models will rise, and the way we work will never be the same.
With all these expected changes, which are currently in the works already like remote working and flexible working spaces, businesses are now more focused on improving the working experience for employees. They believe that by paying attention to employees’ needs and building engagement, productivity could be enhanced. Thus, the importance of a Community Manager — whose main roles are building and connecting the collective — is now more emphasized than ever.
Vietcetera had a chance to meet Nancy Quach, Community Manager with five years of experience working at Dreamplex. She is also the winner of the “International Community Manager of the Year 2020” award, which is organized annually to honor the world’s best Community Managers by the Global Workspace Association.
What does the title Community Manager mean, and what responsibilities are included?
The responsibilities can be summed up in three terms: meeting, connecting, and building working experience.
When an employee or a company starts working at Dreamplex, the Community Managers are the first person they meet. We meet and discuss to know more about their expected working environment, and other expectations as well.
The Community Manager is also in charge of building relationships with companies to promptly introduce and connect them to suitable partners in the Dreamplex network. This will help businesses a lot in finding cooperation opportunities, which is considered a direct way to make the working community grow.
Building working experience is the final task. “Working Experience” is a vague concept, but it can be understood as getting everything ready before the start of a working day, or decorating and designing a more enjoyable workplace.
What is the biggest challenge for a Community Manager?
The most difficult part is to upgrade yourself and expand your knowledge to many different fields. In this position, it is part of the job to talk with business leaders to understand what they do and what they need, and thereby customizing and designing the right working experiences that suit their business.
When we meet same-aged colleagues, we would easily share daily stories and common interests. But for leaders or business owners, they have limited time and the issues they think about are extremely large. So to be able to understand and meet their needs, I have to actively improve myself and gain more knowledge.
If one wants to enter this profession, where should they start?
As for me, my first job was in Customer Service in the hospitality industry. And I realized that if you want to do well as a Community Manager, these industrial skills are a prerequisite.
To get into this job, first of all, you have to learn how to communicate. Because you have to meet and talk to a lot of people, and it could even be your advantage if you are an extroverted person. But most importantly, you should learn how to communicate so that other people wouldn’t hesitate to open up to you.
For this position at Dreamplex, candidates will have to go through three rounds of interviews and will be given situations to solve. We highly appreciate candidates who excel in communication, have an open mind, and are willing to learn. If someone has a rigid, unfriendly, and non-customer-centered approach, then it will be difficult for them to pursue this career.
Can you share with us about the “International Global Community Manager” award you got in 2020?
This is an annual award organized by the Global Workspace Association for excellent Community Managers from nearly 2000 co-working spaces around the world. The criteria to evaluate candidates include Positivity, Hospitality, Multi-tasking Abilities, and Multi-disciplinary.
We go through rounds of CV-scanning, sending videos describing our working day, the values we bring to customers, and the things that make customers satisfied when using services at Dreamplex. In the Semi-Final round, a jury of eight experts from the largest co-working companies in the world will evaluate and interview our customers. And in the final round, only three candidates from Mexico, Canada, and Vietnam were interviewed directly.
In my interview, I emphasized the experiences that the Dreamplex team brings to customers, the way we observe and listen to customers, and find out how to capture trends to create a workspace that makes everyone excited and happy.
I always wanted to create a workplace as a second home for the employees, where we not only work but also become a real community. I also did not forget to share about the surprise Christmas Party we held to make our foreign members, who were unable to return to their countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, feel the spirit of such an important season. That is how we listen, understand, and care about our customers.
How do you describe a typical working day at Dreamplex?
Currently, each Dreamplex branch has three people on the Community team. Our daily job is to always arrive early (before the operation time) to check the equipment, coffee, detox water, etc., to ensure everything is in order when the employees start a new working day. Then, we will meet to summarize our daily tasks, discuss specific work with each client and prepare for events.
The Community Manager is the first person customers contact and talk to, ensuring both understanding and caring factors are fulfilled for customers’ needs. Based on those needs, the Employee Experience team will design customized programs for each customer. After that, the Community Manager brings those products to users, with the support of the Marketing team to widely spread the message “A better day at work”.
Although I have been doing this job for five years, I never get bored. Everyday functions in the same way, but the customers are always changing with new experiences. They come from different fields and always bring us new stories and knowledge.
What is the best thing that you gained from this experience?
It’s self-development. I feel like I’ve grown a lot more since I started working here five years ago. In those five years, Dreamplex has grown from having only two locations to seven branches now. I am very happy when my own development contributes to the development of the whole team.
This job has also brought me great associates, as well as a cohesive and productive team. Our team members are friendly, cheerful, vivacious, and they also transmit positive energy to each other. Before we spread the spirit of “A better day at work” to our customers, we also have created “A better day at work” for ourselves.
What are your plans in the near future?
Although the last two years have been difficult due to the pandemic, Dreamplex is still growing steadily. We will continue to open three more locations this year, including the UnOffice project in District 2 and The Campus in District 4.
I am very excited about these three new locations because the campuses and workspaces here are designed to focus on Millennials and Gen Z — the main workforce at the present time. In the near future, I look forward to continuing to grow and build even stronger communities at the next Dreamplex branches.