In this digital and one-click-away world of email, instant messaging, pokes and likes how can one really say “well done” or “thank you”, better? Perhaps a bigger question is asking whether you are in fact recognizing your staff or colleagues at all…
“Babies cry for it…and grown men die for it“….. – an old saying which holds as true today as ever before. Human beings crave recognition, and the more personal the touch, the more impactful it is to the recipient. Not everyone needs public recognition, often tending to be in the form of an award, although certainly appreciated by those for whom status is a driver though!
But a deliberate walk to the desk by the boss giving someone a little squeeze on the shoulder or a whispered but sincere “well done”, can leave people motivated for years! You see it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. A hand-written note trumps an email all day and everyday. If not done with heartfelt sincerity though, it will probably be seen for what it is – cheap manipulation.
Take the time and make the effort. It’s not always about a shout-out on the company intranet which makes one feel appreciated.
What makes some people persevere and not quit when the going gets tough? Is this the paradigm of nature versus nurture, or is there something else which can be a predictor of future success?
In the endless search for quality call center agents, one guide or lead indicator for perseverance is the nail-in-the-shoe test. As this career is often very repetitive and not always well received by the prospect, it takes a special kind of person to stay long enough to at least get 500 hours under the belt. We’re not talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 genius hours here, but enough that the agent gets sufficient experience and confidence to take it to the next level.
Otherwise known as having a story-of-struggle, it’s important to try and unpack whether there have been trying times in their past. Now 99% of people you’ll encounter will tick this box, but the important differentiator is finding out whether they rose above it. What did they learn and take from that particular experience or time period? Are they still using this as an excuse of “poor old me” and holding them back, or has this been an ignition point of motivation for them?
By using this as one of your arrows in your quiver, you may well improve your hit rate of finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
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So much of toi-toi-ing lately. Great dance moves guys, but seriously what's the point? "We want jobs! We want jobs!" they chant. - Cool, here are some.... which shock!horror! require you to sit on your bum all day and chat to people on the phone :-) .....
Crk crk crk (cricket sounds to the uninitiated)
Government screams out that we require job creation to kick-start the production engine of South Africa. Sadly the youth give these jobs-on-a-platter the "finger" and continue to bemoan the lack of opportunities post-Matric.
The problem is not the problem. Generation X – Y – Millennials….call them what you want, right now they are draining our ailing economy. I’m constantly puzzled at the sheer volume of opportunities in my area - the contact center space, and looking at the number of job seekers and bpo’s advertising every day is proof of this. Ironically, there seems to be just a niche of the population that responds and pitches for interviews. Is it that being an “agent” (bloody!) is a title below our youth? Have we continued to perpetuate a Euro-centric attitude that only the BIG 5 careers will satisfy our parents? Doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant & architect!! All popular career choices, but sadly cost an absolute fortune to study IF you can even get into the right university!
So what’s left for Joe Average who has just matriculated and doesn’t have the funds to further their studies? Unfortunely career counselors don’t really push the option of working in contact centers, which is a real pity.
The perpetuation of status-oriented jobs which are way beyond the other 98% of matriculants is becoming a big problem. As an employer, I can’t find for love or money enough hard-working, competent and reliable job-seekers who are prepared to get onto the dialler and work! Regardless of the fact that in time there is the ability to earn in the top 20 percentile of the earning populace of this country.
Parents…teachers…society – please help South Africa by teaching our youngsters that with hard work and persistence, there are plenty of job opportunities! The days of high status jobs being both accessible and available have long gone. It’s time to kick the laaitie off the couch playing games and sucking the lifeblood out of your wallets! South Africa is about to boom with offshore opportunities who love our neutral accents.
Mumbai and Manila – watch out! Our young guys are throwing away their Wi’s and are coming for you!
Pavlov’s experiment with dogs around positive reinforcement all those years ago, still hold true to us mere mortals years later.
People would still rather operate in a towards state rather than away state(otherwise known as flight or fright.)
As leaders it’s a vital component that we focus far more on catching your team members doing the right things and giving recognition to them for this.
So many old school authoritarian style leaders (insert: manager here) spend a good two thirds’ of their time abusing their teams mostly because that’s how they were misled! When you promote and reinforce good behavior, attitudes and performance through reward and acknowledgement, you start to pay the good stuff forward. Regardless of age, when you experience verbal abuse or focused attention on the negatives or the things you’re doing wrong, you end up hating what you do and often hating yourself. Nobody deserves this. Stop the cycle and flip things on the head. Within days of a conscious decision to reward and recognize achievements and improvements, you will see the tide starting to turn.
It’s never too late. At first, those who have learnt to live with the abuse (like battered spouses) will appear cynical and very weary of this change in leadership style. And who can blame them? When you’re used to the master beating you every day and suddenly he’s feeding you chocolate treats….well, anyone would be suspicious!
Wide ranging research has shown that during performance reviews, over 75% of managers focus on areas of development and only 25% on identifying how one can build on strengths! Over time, this shows up as a fear-based and destructive environment. Creativity, fun and organizational spirit can’t thrive let alone survive in this type of environment. Like a pot plant needs water, nutrients and sunshine, it also needs love and attention.
To truly unleash human potential, leaders of today need to take stock of how they are showing up in the workplace. What is their way of being? Are they the type you can picture beating their children or spouses at home, or are they nurturing and supportive? How you show up outside of a working environment is more often than not a clear indicator of what happens during office hours.
Be cool. Be positive. Be a successful leader. SIT!