The best organizations are the ones that have the confidence to loosen their power structure in favor of nurturing and encouraging the talent among their staff. Management and agents work as an effective team to grow and move the company in a positive direction. Teamwork is partnership working.
Involvement leads to stronger, better decisions regarding the daily operations. No one knows better how to improve business than those who are in the trenches every day. When bumps arise in the system, who is first to recognize the problem and think of a solution? Who knows better the weaknesses and the needs in an organization than the agents?
Being open to the suggestions made by agents to make improvements and changes can lead to a more efficient operation. Soliciting agent input should not only take place when a major change is proposed, but throughout ongoing planning—inviting input not just in the consideration of a proposal, but in the development of the proposal. One of the benefits of involving agents is the diversity of ideas and a fresh perspective.
There are several approaches which might encourage agent involvement:
1. Be open-minded to suggestions. If agents’ opinions are discounted or they are made to feel foolish, they probably won’t risk participating more than once.
2. If an agent has a special strength or knowledge, ask him or her to share, teach,or assist other agents.
3. If an agent makes a suggestion, follow up with the disposition of his or her suggestion. Let the agent know if the suggestion is going to be incorporated into the company. Feedback validates respect for others opinions.
4. Listen. Don’t be impatient or formulating a response in your mind instead of focusing on what is being said.
5. A simple “thank you” for their participation or opinion goes a long way to encourage future offerings.
6. The old scenario about the reason why we have “two ears and one mouth” should be remembered. Listen more than you talk. Restate and question what an agent says to make sure you have a clear understanding of what they mean and why.
Agent involvement leads to a better company for the whole team, stronger customer service, increased productivity, commitment to the company and improved retention.