HOW DOES ADAPTABILITY SHAPE THE FUTURE OF WORK ?
“ At J . D . Power , we view adaptability as a key-success criteria for the future leader . From workplace dynamics changing from a brick-and-mortar environment to hybrid and full-virtual , that change alone shifts massive amounts of pressure to the frontline leader , and those who support them .
“ This change in how people want to work and will work , will necessitate leaders to think and work differently in the near , medium , and long-term future .
“ Add in AI [ artificial intelligence ] -enabled applications and true blended channel interactions that will eventually fulfill promises of better , more proactive , personalized , and seamless service delivery across all channels , the leader will be forced to adapt over-and-over again to a changing environment .” With such challenges in the marketplace , Mark continues to share his insights on Adaptability and the impact on the EX .
HOW DOES BEING AN ADAPTIVE LEADER IMPACT THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE ( ATTRACTION AND RETENTION ).
“ At J . D . Power , we still see some reticence by leaders to get on board with the notion that work-from-anywhere is here to stay .
“ Though there are undoubtedly advantages to a traditional contact center environment that many of us grew up in , ( notably camaraderie , support infrastructure , culture creation and maintenance , etc .) the reality is that the vast majority of our contact center frontline workforce today doesn ’ t want to work in that environment .
“ This means that unless there is some super-prevailing force that overcomes the benefits of working from home in the minds of our workforce , we have to recruit and retain our team members in a hybrid or fully virtual environment .
22 CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE
“ Once we have accepted this operational state , we must start looking to link an individual ’ s purpose with the job if we hope to find and retain engaged and committed employees .
“ In other words , there must be meaning derived from work that transcends a paycheck or a pleasant working environment , and the adaptive leader will ensure that the environment provides an opportunity to get true meaning from the role the frontline is playing now and into the future .
“ One key to this in a focus on the frontline leader , so we advise our clients to over-index on your frontline management team and invest heavily to give them the additional time , and skills of a life coach , which are required to facilitate a more meaningful experience for their employees .
“ The frontline leader must be able to overcome the physical distance they are managing within by working with their new hires ( even before they start , ideally ) and agents on a personal level to facilitate the expression of unique skills and talents that create an emotional benefit to the customers their agents serve .
HOW WILL YOU ADAPT YOUR BELIEFS AND PERSPECTIVES TO BE MORE ADAPTABLE ?
“ Combine these new skills and the intentional reduction of barriers to meaningful work ( grind ) in the workplace , and the adaptive leader , from the executive down to the frontline , will succeed where others struggle .”
Another challenge that many companies are facing is retention of agents during times of change . I had the honour of interviewing a contact center leader that successfully managed to engage and empower his teams during times of stress and challenges out of their control .
I asked Keith MacKinnon , Director , Installed Base & Customer Care , Medtronic Canada this question .
How has being adaptable and resilient helped you and your team manage through challenging times ?
“ We are currently undergoing a number of supply chain challenges as a company . As a leader I feel it is important that I am as transparent as possible with the team . This ensures the team is part of the process and are empowered to share alternative solutions .
“ This Groupthink allows us to come up with best solutions possible and ensure everyone is part of the solution . As we adapted , we were able to provide the team alternatives to products to offer our customers . We have found ‘ choice ’ is the best way to handle these situations , so whenever we can give the customer a choice , we offer it .”
Adaptability Insight : this is a great example of how making a pivot to adapt quickly enabled Keith and his team to continue to deliver a meaningful CX during challenging times . Empowering the team , helping them be more resilient to the challenges allows him to retain top-tiered staff !
LEADERSHIP REFLECTION 3
Looking at the current work trends and then planning for the future of work , how will you ensure the future is focused on thriving and not just surviving ? How will you adapt your beliefs and perspectives to be more adaptable ?
CONSIDER : 1 . Recruitment and onboarding 2 . Inclusion and diversity 3 . Retention strategies
4 . Development / upskilling / reskilling of your team members
I hope this three-part series was of value to each of you . Wish you continued success in your own personal and professional development journey .
In gratitude , Sangeeta .
Sangeeta Bhatnagar is Founder of the boutique Human Capital firm SB Global
, which focuses on talent acquisition and training ( live and virtually ) for top-tiered contact center and CX / EX professionals . With an emphasis on human behavior , Sangeeta helps companies to attract , retain and develop emotionally intelligent and adaptable teams . Sangeeta has co-authored four Best-selling books including the Amazon # 1 best-selling anthology “ Called to Action ,” and she is Chair of the Greater Toronto Area Contact Centre Association
. Sangeeta is a an ICMI top 25 . Twitter @ sbhatnagar212 • LinkedIn