“The majority of the workforce has more talent than they are able to use in their job” – Stephen Covey, author and world authority on leadership.
When I heard Stephen say this at a conference a while back, it struck me as most profound, so I developed the thought a bit for my own presentations. What he means, is that, for example, at the weekends many of your colleagues actually do more responsible and important, mind-involving, thought-provoking stuff than they perhaps do for you during the week. Some are treasurers or secretaries for sports teams, leisure groups and the like; others are proficient at computer work, languages or accountancy; and others of course are running their families and homes – management! They come to work for a rest!
Good organisations recognise this and, where possible, harness these talents. Recently though, I have been extending my thoughts to cover other things. Several of my good friends now store their precious photos, music and even confidential home material in the cloud. It's easy, secure, and reliable, and is already used by many thousands of people, perhaps even more.
So what do these people think then if they use this modern technology at home, but work in a contact centre and use old, slow, unreliable technology provided for them by their organisation? Of course one always hopes that employees are proud of the organisation they work for, praise it to others, and support its brand values. However, when asked to work with a system that they know from personal experience could be so much better and easier to use, doesn't this blunt the edge of their enthusiasm and pride a bit?Just a thought!
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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.