Collector - January 2018 - 35
can get hung up on compensation as a main
driver of employee retention.
"I think it's a major piece, a foundational
piece, but if you don't have a high level of
engagement with employees, I think retention
will suffer despite your compensation," he said.
Employees who feel they have a stake
in the company's future are more likely to
produce more-and less likely to quit-so
take some time to nail down your company's
specific engagement formula.
Gallup, which released a report last
year showing that engaged business units
get a 17 percent boost in productivity
and 21 percent boost in profitability,
suggests companies look at what kind of
training and professional development
opportunities they offer, how they promote
positive co-worker friendships and how
often managers give employees feedback
on their performance.
IC System takes a multi-pronged approach
to engagement, giving its 575 employees
opportunities to do community service
work, incentives for meeting goals and
monthly awards for demonstrating the
company's core values, for instance.
"We also have a committee called The
Icebreakers, and its sole purpose is to create
opportunities for fun," Erickson said. "So
they plan things like a costume contest at
Halloween, a holiday luncheon in December
and other fun things throughout the year that
get people together and engaged and laughing."
Leslie Engle, IFCCE, MCE, vice president
of Team Recovery, believes your benefits
package should speak to the wants and needs
of your current workforce.
But how can you know what your
"You have to stay in touch with your staff,"
she advised. "I'm not a huge fan of using only
surveys; I also believe it is important to have
face-to-face conversations. You have to have
your finger on the pulse of your staff, and
always be open to offering things that appeal
to all generations."
Creating efficiencies in other areas
of your company can also help offset
rising compensation costs. For example,
call analytics, audits, scorecards and
propensity to pay modules can help
boost call quality and revenue. Optimize
your workflow to reduce redundancies
and streamline your process, but
be thoughtful about implementing
new policies and even technology.
Viggiano said Simon's Agency looks to
make changes that will yield a tenfold
improvement on each current process.
Take a critical look at all your expenses
and get creative when considering costsaving measures. Ray-Graham said Valley
Credit Service found an opportunity
to create efficiencies after the company
conducted an analysis of its vendors last year.
"We adjusted our costs by renegotiating
contracts with our vendors," she explained.
"For about 30 percent of our vendors, we were
able to negotiate some kind of rebate or price
decrease. It was really helpful, and that's one
thing I'd recommend for other businesses.
You'd be surprised what you can get."
IC System created a report to keep tabs on
collector efficiencies and it closely monitors
client projects to determine how to make the
best use of internal resources.
"If we have a number of clients that
serve a like market, maybe we can pool
our resources and put representatives on
multiple portfolios to try to maximize our
efficiencies," Erickson said.
Payroll costs will continue to rise in the
coming years, but the way you respond to
them can determine how, or if, you survive.
"Invest in your people, and challenge
yourselves to make sure you understand
your environment and the current
landscape," Viggiano said. "Make sure you
go through continual process improvement
across your organization. Organizations
that follow this with strong leadership will
continue to move forward in our changing
landscape of rules, regulations and
Anne Rosso May is editor of Collector
As the minimum wage
increases in many states
and cities, ACA members
often must work to keep
their hourly pay above that
Employees who feel
they have a stake in the
company's future are more
likely to produce more, so
focus on boosting employee
Be creative when
measures. For example,
have you renegotiated your
vendor contracts lately?