Collector - October 2017 - 37
It was great because the focus was singularly
on the topic at hand; there were no
distractions from the normal, everyday office
environment. And then after the meeting, we
all went out to dinner.
How do you implement changes
uniformly across departments?
We use change request forms.
When we need to create or change
a process, the request is submitted-as
well as an explanation of why the change
is needed-to all departments. This
was created after we started using it
for letter changes and determined how
helpful it was. When we need to create
or change a letter based on regulation
requirements, client requests, etc., all
letters are submitted to three department
heads for review, and a signature
approving the change is required prior to
How do you build bonds
between employees at different
At any given moment, you can
find an executive visiting one of
our additional locations. This helps
immensely with keeping the lines of
We do fun things too. For example, last
year we ran a contest for agents in our
Portland and Jacksonville offices to swap
places for a week. It was based on their
overall performance for the company over
about a six-month period. We paid for the
winners' hotel and travel. While they were
at the other office they would work, but
they also got to experience life in the city
and state. We took the agents out to lunch
and showed them around a bit. Each
agent conveyed that it was an experience
The different sites continue to always
challenge each other. Whether it's who
can collect the most money or who
can decorate their office the best for
seasonal holidays, DCI continues to push
competition through fun and interactive
Have you seen positive results from
all these changes?
Yes, without a doubt. We find that
agents appreciate that they are more
aware of what's happening in the company.
In years past, management would make a
decision and either send an email or call
the supervisors together quickly for a short
meeting, and the supervisors would go back
to the agents and relay the information.
We found that the message was not
necessarily being delivered as intended
(much like the telephone game). The
further down the line you go, the more
misconstrued the message becomes until it's
no longer what you started with. It could go
from "We're no longer leaving messages on
voicemail" to "You can leave messages on
voicemail but you can't say this..."
With the changes we've made, we find that
even if the message was misunderstood by
agents in the supervisor meeting, when we
have the monthly meeting they understand
what's happening because it's covered again.
Do you have any tips for companies
struggling with corporate
Start with your own department
first. Make changes there to build
communication before you expand your
efforts to other departments. You have to
see what will work for one team before you
test anything out on the rest of the company.
Ensure that all players are involved.
Anne Rosso May is editor of Collector
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