By Angela Garfinkel, President
According to recently published studies from the Gallup Organization, only 3 out of 10 employees are engaged in their work. I was surprised by this number because I think that we have at least 9 out of 10 employees actively engaged in their work at QCS.
What does it mean to be engaged?
According to Gallup, engagement is defined by the different emotional states employees are in. There are three stages of engagement.
Engaged: Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the corporation forward.
Not Engaged: Not Engaged employees are essentially “checked out”. They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time-but not energy or passion-into their work.
Actively Disengaged: Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work, they are busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day these employees undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.
Why is employee engagement important?
No one wants to work in an organization where people don’t care. Even worse, where people are actively dis-engaged. Everyone wants to be part of a team that makes a real difference and does a great job. Everyone wants to win. It is human nature. Great leaders find a way to harness the talents and passions of their team members and help the team generate a “win”. Even if the main role that a person has at a company isn’t exciting, maybe there is an added responsibility that can be given that leverages the employee’s passion.
A personal story about my experience in telemarketing services and employee engagement
Many years ago, I was running a telemarketing services (call center) organization in central Nebraska. We had an amazing team and some great clients. But we had one problem. Our attendance rate for our front-line call center agent team was only about 88%. This was a problem because we were inconsistent with achieving client goals when people were not in attendance and it made planning very difficult. Also, when a team sees that not all team members are equally committed, it can breed discontent with how things are going and potential lack of discipline in the organization. On the flip side, we had lots of moms that worked for us full-time but if their kids were sick or needed them, their priority was their family, so we needed to find a way to strike a balance between our employees’ family needs and the needs of our business.
One of the best ways to engage a team of people to work towards solving a problem is to share information with them. Share the problem, why it’s a problem and ask for help in solving the problem. We did that. One front line team member stepped forward and asked if he could become the attendance leader. He would ask the front office every day to give him the previous day’s attendance figures and he would take responsibility for sharing the results with the entire telemarketing services team during our daily pre-shift meeting. Jim Garfield is his name. He is a great guy. Jim was energized by his additional role and I saw increased engagement from Jim. Note that Jim took on the additional responsibility with no increase in pay or benefit to himself.
Every day Jim shared with the team the attendance results. Within a few months, we were averaging 98% attendance and the team had a new-found pride in the hitting and achieving that number. I can still remember Jim’s big voice. He’ would start each pre-shift meeting with “What’s our attendance goal?”. The team would shout back in unison, “100%”. Then Jim would say, “But we’ll settle for a measly 94%” and it wasn’t long before that last bit was said in unison by the entire team, reinforcing team unity and pride in their ability to take control of coming to work or making up their hours at a different time if they needed to be gone from work.
While I often say that Outbound Marketing and Telemarketing Services is a difficult industry to work in, the flip side is that we often get to work with some very interesting clients. And one of the key things we try to do is to make sure the client programs are “worthwhile work” which I think is a key ingredient for ensuring engagement. If the work isn’t worthwhile, then why would an employee care?
Want to learn more about why QCS is a special place to work? Or maybe you need a Telemarketing Services organization to help you achieve your outbound marketing, inbound marketing, or customer contact goals? Send me an email at [email protected] or give me a call (516) 656-5118.
Angela Garfinkel is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization with a telemanagement model. Angela has the pleasure of leading a talented and highly engaged team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours on a daily basis. Angela can be reached at [email protected] or 516.656.5118.