Collector - August 2017 - 22
"Often you get this wealth of training and
coaching when you have a new hire but as
that person gets acclimated you kind of step
back a bit," Conklin said.
She said while new and seasoned
employees certainly need different types of
training, it should be continuous throughout
their tenure with your company in order to
keep them connected to your policies and
procedures as well as your broader goals.
Your training sessions should also
mention how your employees' efforts
positively impact their community (helping
people get a handle on their finances) and
the national economy as a whole (keeping
the cost of goods and services down).
PROMOTE CAMARADERIE AND
Humans are social creatures-even
introverts want to feel like they belong.
A Gallup study found that call centers
with employees who believed it was very
important that they "have a best friend
at work" were more productive than
companies whose employees didn't have
that. In fact, call center agents with the
strongest preference for close coworker
relationships answered .73 more calls per
hour than their peers.
You can't force people to be friends, but
one simple way to help employees build a
social network is to offer opportunities for
them to connect with their co-workers and
have some fun throughout the day. These
can be relatively simple things, like friendly
competitions to meet company goals, office
pools or team lunches.
"We have monthly trainings that are
either company-wide or department-specific
and we bring snacks and drinks to them,
which make them a little bit more fun,"
said Cortney Fleming, hiring and training
manager and junior compliance officer for
Wilber & Associates P.C. "We also introduce
any new team members at these meetings.
As companies grow, it's easy to miss who the
new people are."
Edmonds encouraged companies to not
only formally define exactly how everyone is
to be treated in the workplace-respectfully,
kindly-but to also ensure leaders coach
these behaviors in managers. "Leaders must
no longer tolerate misaligned behavior
from anyone," he said. "Quashing poor
behavior will go a long way towards boosting
Volunteerism efforts bring coworkers
together too, strengthening relationships as
people work side-by-side planting trees or
assembling care packages.
"One thing I love about where I work now
is the staff 's commitment to community
involvement and charity work," Conklin said.
"It can be something as simple as everybody
coming together to buy raffle tickets, and
then donating the money won to a homeless
shelter. Or it can be something more formal
like a food drive. All the different fundraisers
we have help us give back and keep staff
engaged. That's what people want: to be part
of a company that does good things."
As with every other business initiative,
employee engagement is a top-down
project. The way your executives treat
your management affects the way your
management treats their team members,
which affects the whole tone of your company.
Let's say it's time to implement a big
change in your organization. Maybe you're
replacing your collection software or
reconfiguring your management team. How
do you roll out that change? Should you
unveil it dramatically in an all-staff email
to head-off any presumed grumbling and
let everyone know at once, or invest some
time in gaining employee buy-in through
management briefings and team meetings?
While the former may be appealing for its
efficiency, the latter will ultimately help ward
off negativity and stress.
Study after study drives home one
clear point: employees value leaders who
are transparent and demonstrate respect
for staff. Open communication is key to
"I definitely think that sometimes
managers get caught up in emails and
OF EMPLOYEES SAY THEY
FEEL MOST ENGAGED
WHEN SENIOR LEADERSHIP
STRATEGIES TO THE STAFF.
Source: Harvard Business Review
meetings and forget that individuals need
that personal touch," Fleming said. "If
employees don't feel comfortable going to
their boss with a problem, they are going to
leave the job."
Your managers should not only be
continually communicating corporate
goals, but also tying them to specific
actions employees at all levels take every
day. This sounds simple enough but can be
deceptively tricky, especially for those new
to management positions. Middle managers
participating in a Grovo survey reported that
more than two out of five of their company's
managers were unprepared for the
management role when they took the job.
"I think we tend to forget about training
our management team and leaders,"
Conklin said. "A lot of companies lose good
people because they don't invest time and