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I read the basis of this post a while ago, made a note of it, and expanded on it over time. I would like to share it with you, as it moves, and angers me.

Take a keen, passionate, dedicated, caring and compassionate person. Recruit them to your organisation and do the following:

  • Undervalue and ignore them – never ask for their opinion
  • Regularly point out to them everything they have done wrong, whether it is their fault or not
  • Always do this in front of their colleagues
  • Never notice, or compliment them for, anything they have done right
  • Ignore their hard work and effort
  • Turn a blind eye to all those missed lunches and their working well over their paid hours, or taking work home
  • Ridicule them whenever they speak well of your organisation to others
  • Ignore any help they give to colleagues, especially new recruits
  • Take no interest in their personal life, interests and families
  • Deprive them of any development and training
  • Get them to do the job of 2, then 3, people
  • Set arbitrary targets, that change over time once hit
  • Ensure that blame always falls on the staff, never management, and especially senior management
  • Regularly have redundancy programmes, and arbitrary cost cutting, without explaining why
  • Operate with computer systems that are an antique compared to those they have in their own homes
  • Emphasise discrimination, like allocated parking spaces, separate entrances for senior staff, perks, bonuses and the like
  • Ensure that you have processes and procedures that can humiliate, such as rules on when one can go to the toilet and telephone usage

Now fast forward two years. Still keen, passionate, dedicated, caring and compassionate? Still there? No I thought not.

The biggest problem for efficiency and productivity in many contact centres is excessively high levels of headcount turnover.

I wonder why?!

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About Paul Cooper

Until March 2009, Paul had been a director, and one of early team, of the Institute of Customer Service from 1998. During this time, he was responsible at various times for sales, marketing, PR and media. He spent much of his time speaking at conferences and in the media about all aspects of customer service, in the UK and internationally.

Since leaving ICS, Paul continues to carry out speaking engagements, and has become a director of Customer Plus, a UK consultancy led by Richard Beevers, based in Duffield, specialising in customer service and marketing.

In 2011, Paul was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Call Centre & Customer Service awards.

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