Picture this: A company moves from a crowded office to a custom built office across town. Staff knows when it will happen and they prepare, some by moving closer to the new office, others by changing rides, looking at new bus routes, etc.. They get information in trickle-form, a little at a time but overall everyone trusts that the new office will be a better working space. They’re looking forward to it.
Roll ahead a few months and the staff is told that the full move to the new building will take place over a weekend. A weekend that at least half the staff usually work. Those people will not be paid even though it is not their fault the office is closed. The move is feeling a little less special but everyone wants to get on with it so that they can settle into their new space.
Monday comes and everyone arrives for work. The design is great, there is a really nice kitchen for coffee breaks and lunch, the furniture is very nice and the chairs are even custom-covered in the company’s colours. Wonderful, right? Wait. Let’s walk out the door and up the outside stairs then inside again and to the back of the second floor to a former classroom where the customer service department will work.
Company colours? Small fridge or coffee maker for the 30 people who get one 30-minute lunch a day? Nope, they’re “too messy.” (Yes, you’re right, that is demeaning.) How about custom, ergonomically correct chairs? No. Here a basic chair, out of sync with the height of the phone tables, is the norm. Again, you’re right…it sounds like an ergo-no-no.
With all this change, the head of the company hasn’t been present or available to describe or discuss the changes. The supervisors may want to do a good job but it turns out they’re not very skilled at how to deliver information nobody wants to hear. Result? It’s day ONE at the new office and the entire customer service staff feel humiliated, degraded, frustrated and insecure about their future with the company. In management terms, this is called an “epic fail.”
If you truly believe alienating and demeaning an entire department in your company is a good idea, you may be from another planet, because being positively involved in all departments is Management 101 stuff all over the world.
Change of the Day: Look into writing a call centre management article addressing respect and productivity. And, hope it makes a difference to the industry.