Collector - August 2017 - 24
"If you have a morale problem,
where is it showing up? What are
employees saying and can you
identify any trends that highlight
which problems are the biggest
priority to solve? If you don't
know where to start, consider
asking your employees for
feedback on internal surveys or
external platforms like Glassdoor.
Next, developing a plan to
address those problems
involves more than an execution
approach; your communication
strategy is incredibly important
too. If employees don't know
you're trying to fix the problem,
you're missing a major
opportunity to start mending
morale along the way."
manager at Glassdoor
money in their managers. One of the first
companies I worked at sent us to a Dale
Carnegie course on leadership. It was an
eight-week class, so you had to make a
commitment to it, but it turned out to be
one of the most informative, professionbuilding courses I've ever taken."
Internal management training programs
can also be a tremendous boost to employee
morale. Fleming said while her company
believes in internally promoting employees,
"we can't expect them to just automatically
know how to engage team members when
they are promoted, so we show them. We
have trainings on how to work with different
team members as well as how to have
Fleming recalled watching a newly minted
team lead engage with her staff in a meeting,
and realizing from the tone of her voice and
the expressions on employees' faces that the
team lead needed additional coaching on her
"She didn't realize how she was coming
off, and we had to have a conversation with
her about how to engage with employees
in a way that's motivating and positive,"
While managers will be the people
interacting with employees on day-today basis, your C-suite needs to focus
on engagement tactics as well. "It's not
good enough for them to have a monthly
meeting or send out an all-staff email,"
Fleming said. "Executives need to be
actively out there making sure employees
know who they are-not just as someone
who sits at the end of the hallway with a
In fact, every morning Wilber &
Associates, P.C. CEO Michael Cale and
President Kenneth Wilber make it a point
to walk the office hallways and chat with
employees. "They want to make sure they
know everybody in the office-that the
person isn't just someone doing production
work-they actually have a face and name
that they know."
These personal interactions, while small,
can go a long way toward making employees
QUALITY OF LIFE
Money is important, but as the saying
goes it can't buy happiness. So yes, pay
your employees what they are worth and
offer them rewards for going above and
beyond, but consider other recognition
opportunities that can help boost their job
In a training seminar Conklin and
Fleming presented at ACA International's
Spring Forum and Expo last March, an
audience member asked for advice on
engaging a particular employee.
"They said this collector had been with
their company for years and she was a top
producer, but she's always negative," Conklin
said. "They really didn't know why she was
so negative or how to get her to be a more
positive person about her job."
Eventually, the two ACA Certified
Instructors sussed out the problem: the
employee thrived on challenges, which as a
longtime collector she was no longer getting.
"So when they gave her a special project
or something new to focus on, her attitude
would change," Conklin said. "But once she
accomplished the task, the negativity would
come out again. It's really a matter of giving
those employees continuous challenges,
like an hourly or right-party contact goal or
asking them to come up with talk-offs for a
new client. It gives them something new to
tackle and keeps them engaged."
Offering employees professional
development and advancement
opportunities can help reinvigorate them
as well. But be careful you don't push
employees past reasonable expectations.
Forty-six percent of human resources leaders
say burnout is responsible for up to half of
their annual workforce turnover, according
to a Kronos survey.
"People in the workforce today want more
compassionate leadership," Conklin said.
"They want leaders who recognize that you
are a human being with a life outside of the
Flexible schedules and wellness programs
help employees balance work/life stress,
contributing to a higher quality of life.