Our CEO Paddy Coleman gave a keynote speech, at the UK’s leading best practice planning community, a few weeks ago and suggested that posters of dolphins on the contact centre’s wall will do little to motivate your team! Maybe relax them when they have idle time to notice them, but they won’t build a passionate group with shared values that strive to deliver the best results for the customer and the company.

His experience as a mining engineer in a Uranium mine in Namibia in the early 90s gave him insight into a team with a shared purpose. In his speech he shared with us their motivation for a shared purpose: Unsafe workers don’t go home to their families. A sobering thought.

The mining team had a shared purpose – to make the operation, everything they did, safe, whilst still mining uranium and meeting targets for the company. No-one would let any small thing go if they thought it could risk their safety. Everyone (understandably) bought into that shared purpose.

It’s the same in any organisation, if you have a purpose that is meaningful to everyone it will become a shared purpose that everyone wants to embrace.

For our industry, we need to be as passionate about customer service and agent empowerment as Paddy and his mining team were about safety. But the question is how do you do it in the contact centre industry? Is it any different from a mining organisation? Here are five steps to help find a shared purpose:

  1. Identify the passionate people in your organisation, they have an energy and excitement that will rub off on others. They are already doing great things and will have a passion for your customers or your staff.
  2. Find out what motivates them to the outstanding work they do. Their love of the job will make all the difference to their output. What is the “nugget” that gets them to skip into work every day and make a difference?
  3. Think about those nuggets and see if there is a way to apply them as a purpose for your team.
  4. Your customer service agent might love helping someone solve their problem, satisfied that they leave a customer happy with the call’s outcome. But it might not be about a “happy customer” for this agent. The nugget motivating the agent might be about reducing the stress in that customer’s life.
  5. The next step is to look at how to reduce stress for your customers in everything you do, because we know that this will lead to happier customers and it will give the team a shared purpose. Challenge your team with the “nuggets” and see where it leads you.

Finding a shared purpose that everyone is passionate about will create a passionate team, which in turn releases huge potential, individually and collectively. Passionate people are at the heart of any great success. Not dolphin posters.

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