Collector - August 2017 - 20
fret-you can turn things around. Here's how
you can help rekindle your employees' spark.
CLARIFY THEIR MISSION
THREE QUESTIONS TO ASK
EVERY POTENTIAL HIRE
You can get a good sense of a person's engagement
potential even before you extend an offer of
employment. Dallas S. Bunton Sr., CEO of North
American Credit Services, suggests asking collection
candidates these questions:
1. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR COMPANY?
Bunton Says: "Hopefully they've researched us before
submitting their application-looked at our website, read
our history and maybe even talked to a current or past
employee. If they look me in the eye and say they don't
know anything about our company but they'll look it up
when they get home-and they do-well, that's enthusiasm.
Maybe they didn't think about it before but now they
recognize what I'm looking for."
2. ARE YOU ABLE TO TREAT ANOTHER PERSON THE WAY
YOU YOURSELF FEEL YOU DESERVE TO BE TREATED?
Bunton Says: "I want them to stop and think how they
would want to be treated if they were on the other end of the
phone. I explain that the culture on our campus is to serve.
If you can't serve other people, you can't work for me."
3. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A
PERSON'S LIFE BY DISCUSSING A DEBT WITH THEM?
Bunton Says: "We explain that consumers often feel
embarrassed or stressed about their debt. These are people
who want to do the right thing and are doing their best.
They didn't ask to get sick, they didn't ask to have a high
deductible. I want our collectors to listen to consumers
and treat them fairly so when they hang up the phone,
consumers feel good and want to pay their bills."
Do your employees understand how their
job contributes to the company's overall
mission? Do they even know what your
company's mission is? If not, the first step
is to present a clear, succinct picture of
your company's purpose and goals, and
directly connect this big-picture overview
to employees' work.
"Employees want to be involved in their
organization," said Beth Conklin, account
executive for State Collection Service. "If
their mission and values align with their
employer's mission and values, you've got a
great start for employee engagement."
Keep your mission short and sweet, and
use relatable language that's meaningful for
both clients and employees. The point is to
genuinely communicate your values in a
way that resonates with your employees and
encourages them to do their best work.
For example, the personal finance
company Credit Karma has a mission
"to make financial progress possible for
everyone." Slack, a messaging startup
company, expresses its mission through
several core values: "Empathy as expressed
through courtesy. Craftsmanship tempered
with playfulness. Thriving, both in ourselves
No matter how you word it, your mission
statement needs to live off the page.
"A mission or vision or purpose statement
alone is aspirational-it describes how the
organization wants to behave," said S. Chris
Edmonds, CEO of The Purposeful Culture
Group. "Only when a mission statement is
implemented-actually lived and modeled
by leaders, then coached by leaders-will
it have any positive impact on employee
Training plays a big part in this process,
clarifying your expectations for each
employee and giving them the tools they
need to meet those expectations. Think your
long-term employees might benefit from
more of a hands-off approach? Think again.