Response Design Corporation:Creating the Uncommon Call Center
Kathryn's Uncommon Call Center Blog
November 27, 2006 12:18 AM
Categories: Employee 
Giving Life Events Room in our Employees’ Lives

How often do we hear from our employees about some tragic or time-consuming event in their lives? A child is ill. A spouse is injured. A parent dies.

How often do we ignore the toll that the crisis takes on our employees as they show up to work every day or ask us for time off to take care of the event?

Sometimes we reason, “I manage a call center and, by its very nature, it doesn’t easily adapt to the multitude of employee needs. If I accommodate one – I’ll have to accommodate all.”

I understand. But I wonder if there might not be some way we can better give these life events the consideration they need in order for our employees to be more effective. I don’t purport to know how to do it. The objective of this blog is to express my concern and suggest that we look again to find any small change that might give these events room in our employees’ lives.

I’m fortunate. I have a job that is extremely flexible, and I’ve come to appreciate the flexibility more than ever. My father died a month ago after a three-month battle with leukemia. First, I had to adjust to the diagnosis. Then, I traveled back and forth across three states to help during his illness. The emotional goodbye followed. Now the family is focused on settling my mother into her new home and life. I watched my sister use all her paid time off as well as hours generously donated by co-workers. Even with the help, she quickly ran out of time. Her family and I agonized as we watched her juggle her priorities and struggle to be with us.

I know all about PTO and FMLA. I understand what it means to set a precedent by “allowing” an exception to the rule. I get all that. But sometimes I think we hide behind rules because the alternative is just too complex to figure out. Perhaps simply thinking about these issues and expressing our concern to our employees during these times is the one small change we could make now.

Have you helped employees make room for life’s events? I’d love to hear how.

Entry logged at 12:18 AM
November 13, 2006 12:37 AM
Categories: Measurement 
Determining what to measure

Companies need a balance between what they are trying to achieve and what they are measuring. Before you determine what to measure, have a clear understanding of:

What your strategy to compete in the marketplace is.
Departmental measures should be linked to corporate strategy. Everyone should be heading toward the same goal. Often companies find that one department may be establishing metrics that compete with another department's measures. Needless to say, this often works against customer satisfaction. To help departments stay focused, ensure that the corporate strategy is well defined and clearly communicated. Ask each department to keep its measures related to the corporate strategies and measures.

What your customers want.
Companies fail when they develop a measurement system without asking customers what it takes to keep them. Your list of prospective projects could be endless. Your customer can tell you which things are the most significant. Make sure the metrics you choose are based on input gleaned from talking with (and surveying) your valued customers.

Keeping these goals in mind, choose metrics that are recurring, stable over time, and reflect project management level metrics, such as a balanced scorecard would depict.

Entry logged at 12:37 AM
November 6, 2006 12:36 AM
Categories: Measurement 
Effective measures reflect corporate strategy

The measures and goals of contact centers must reflect the strategy of the entire organization. Employees should be able to recognize a direct line of sight from the contact center measures to enterprise measures. Everyone employed by the organization should understand what is important to the enterprise and how he or she, as an individual, can contribute to that strategy. The employees must also know how their contribution to organizational success is measured.

We can’t copy the measures, metrics, calculations, or standards of another contact center. The reason that we establish a measure is as important as the measure itself. Measures vary from organization to organization and are based on the specific needs of an organization. As many times as I have helped organizations build their metric systems, I have yet to find a standard set of measures that works for everyone.

Entry logged at 12:36 AM
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