Collector – November 2018 - 40


Do You Have an Inclusive Workplace?
Teach your employees to have positive conversations with each other.
By Ronna Denny


ow do we create
an enjoyable
atmosphere on
the collection floor
when faced with
different genders, belief
systems and
Research indicates that the best places
to work are those where team members
get along well. These teams are more
productive and members report having
greater levels of job satisfaction. One of
the biggest challenges to harmony can be
communication, especially during casual
conversations that happen among teams on
the floor. Staff members have a higher level
of engagement and morale when these daily
interactions are cordial and respectful.
It's imperative that we define appropriate
communication to assist in preventing staff
from having a discussion that might offend
someone and cause distress between coworkers. Consider holding a team discussion
to outline what appropriate communication
looks like. Here are some ideas:
* Acknowledge that a difference of
opinion is OK, but team members
should resist arguing. Arguments
are often emotional and can result
in personal attacks. Team members
should know that an immediate
response is not necessary; they can
take time to consider the issue and
respond when they are able to set their
emotions aside.
* No complaining allowed! Legitimate
concerns need to be presented to the
people who can affect change.
* Conversations must be gender neutral.
* Think about who is listening and who is
within earshot before sharing.
* Consider: Is there a purpose for
sharing this information? Will it benefit


your career or the quality of your
relationships with team members?
* Know when the conversation is over
and move on.
* Ask if what you are about to
share might bother your team
members. Topics like romantic
relationships, religious convictions
and medical problems may feel like
a violation of emotional space and
could evoke painful memories that
a coworker would prefer not to
revisit at the office.
Relationships within your team have a
significant impact on employees' productivity
and job satisfaction. Encourage your
employees to recognize each other for a
job well done. Acknowledge that casual
conversations are what build relationships
within your team and can assist in reaching

goals, then define appropriate communication
to ensure these conversations don't have the
opposite effect.
Ronna Denny is the senior vice president of
legal for CollectionCenter Inc.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – November 2018