While most blog posts will revolve around business issues such as call centers, Millennials, corporate culture or employee engagement, I want to take advantage of this holiday week to say thanks.
Starting a business isn’t easy, particularly at the end of a year and in today’s economic environment. So when we decided to launch PCC a month ago, it was a little scary. Okay, A LOT SCARY!
Starting a business is less scary, however, when you have help from great people. ProCulture Consulting is blessed to have guidance and encouragement from a number of individuals: John, Kurt, Paul, Christine, Tom, Tim, (another) John, Joel, Georgia, and Brian. These are just a few of the people who have helped us get ProCulture Consulting off the ground. Thanks to everyone who played a part in the successful PCC launch!
We can’t wait to begin 2014! We are excited to partner with companies as they build healthy corporate cultures and engage their employees. Please join us – it’s going to be an exciting year!
When asked to lead the culture efforts at Santander Consumer USA as VP Culture & Engagement, I moved my office from the HR area to the far end of our call center. After all, to lead the corporate culture efforts, I wanted to be in the culture! So walking past cubicle after cubicle of call center professionals helped me see what was happening in the call center on a daily basis.
After meandering through the building for just a few months, some people started standing out. These account representatives were friendly, smiled, said hi, and many times were sitting at the desk of another account rep, offering help or pointers regarding a particular customer issue.
These people were obviously leaders on their respective teams and were good examples of one type of employee found in all organizations. In his article “Your Success is Linked to 4 Types of People”, Forbes contributor Glenn Llopis points out four types of workers who either help or hurt your chances of reaching success:
1. The Leader
2. The Loafer
3. The Leech
4. The Lifter
Some people in your call center are leaders. Leaders are typically respected for their thoughts, opinions, and behaviors. Leaders have the ability to bring about change through their knowledge, hard work, and positive attitude. Leaders listen more than they speak and impact those around them even without having the title or authority to do so.
Others in your call center are loafers and display many different work behaviors. Loafers can be late to arrive, can be uninterested in their work, and can be unprepared for their daily responsibilities. Loafers can have a negative attitude, can push away customers, and can be a drag on performance. Unlike leaders who listen more than speak, loafers tend to be loud, complaining about work problems rather than attempting to improve their surroundings.
The Leech is the third type of employee. While leeches may not actively work against call center objectives, they tend to be apathetic toward their work and those around them, may sometimes play in the loafer’s sandbox, and at best do the bare minimum to stay out of trouble. However, at the first signs of success, Leeches emerge from the shadows and jump to the front of the line, loudly celebrating and participating in the success of others if not outright claiming success for themselves.
Finally, there are the Lifters, those workers who are action-oriented, self-starters, and seek to add value to those around them. Lifters are not afraid to speak out but do so with tact and clarity. Success seems to find Lifters rather than them seeking success.
For all of their differences, there is one characteristic that ties these four workers together; influence. The attitudes, words, and actions of each worker type has a direct impact on the performance of both coworkers and the call center as a whole.
The question then becomes, how does a call center maximize their Leaders and Lifters (by the way, your Lifters are your future Leaders) and minimize the Loafers and Leeches?
I certainly have a few thoughts on this question. That’s one of the key objectives of ProCulture Consulting – to help call centers do great work through great employees. So before I throw some thoughts out there, let me hear from you.
How do you make sure your call center has more Leaders and Lifters and how do you avoid Loafers and Leeches?
Welcome to PCC!
Have you ever had a bad job? “Bad” comes in many different colors – a boss who didn’t guide or develop you, you didn’t understand your organization’s work or purpose, coworkers who made your life miserable, and the list goes on. Hopefully, you’ve lived that magical career and have never suffered through a difficult or disappointing employment situation.
While I’ve come close to that magical career, I have unfortunately experienced a couple of tough job situations. Years ago during the dotcom bubble, my situation was so difficult, I found it hard to get out of bed and go to work. The culture, my teammates, company leadership, the pressure – UGH! I was miserable. The pay was good but that was it. Since personal satisfaction is more important than the money, I finally took my abilities elsewhere.
ProCulture Consulting exists to put an end to these types of work experiences. PCC is dedicated to employees at all levels and in all industries. We work with companies, helping them develop corporate cultures that allow their people to do great work. We also work directly with employees including those on the front lines or in the back office, challenging them to work hard and find satisfaction in their daily activities.
I hope this blog is more conversation than me simply throwing out thoughts. If the content is good (I’ll do my best!), it will hopefully stir comments and ideas that readers will share. I am not as smart as all of us put together!
What will we “talk” about and how often will we talk? We’ll hit key PCC topics including customer service, generations in the workplace with an emphasis on the Millennial generation, corporate culture and leadership. We will also explore general business topics such as ethics and how organizations can be a good community partner. If it helps you do good work and find career success, it’s fair game!
As for frequency, I’m thinking once a week? Twice a week? Those seem like pretty good numbers.
So welcome to PCC! Please check back regularly to review the latest posts and to join the conversation. If we work together, we can bring an end to “bad” jobs. It won’t be easy and it will most likely take a l-o-n-g time. I’m confident, though, that it can happen one organization, one boss, and one employee at a time.
Now, go take on the day!
Darren K. Ford
I've enjoyed a great career. Worked in many different industries with great coworkers and customers. I talk to a lot of people while drinking a lot of coffee. I read constantly. From all of this, I have much to say.