Published: November 06, 2018 | Comments
As a Training Manager and Director in different companies over the years, I used to tell my team that they were the heart of the company. Why? Because we had to know systems and processes to train them, and when the change happened, we were an integral part of facilitating that change, and we touched every person in the company at one time or another. Training was the bridge to help new people enter fully into the company, as well as the assist for experienced employees adapting to change and growing in their skills and abilities. That put us at the heart of the company--as long as we stayed aligned to the company's overall goals and objectives.
But I bet people in IT would also say they are the heart of the company since technology enables all of the company to do its work. And HR touches all employees, too, and helps us thrive in our work. Let's not forget Finance who pays all our salaries and makes sure the company is acting responsibly with its money, which helps us all keep our jobs.
How about Marketing? Sales? And most of all, the Contact Center? Don't they pump lifeblood through the company just as the heart pumps blood through the body? Aren't they each the heart of the company?
The answer is YES, we are all the heart of the company. We are all contributing something unique that the company needs. The key is not which function is at the heart of the company, but the key is whether each function is pulling in the same direction. Are we all in touch with the company's overall strategic goals and objectives that then help us pull in the same direction even when doing this in different ways?
In so many companies, the goals and objectives seem to be a deep, dark secret - almost as if employees are the competition from which we have to protect ourselves! Our departments become siloed and compete with each other rather than pulling together. The heart starts leaking when we are trying to pump lifeblood in different directions, and it gets weaker and weaker.
Even when the strategy is not a deep, dark secret, it still may not be available to everyone. Managers or Directors think it is enough that they know the strategy themselves and that those below them don't need to know it. That leaves all the other employees with blinders on and without understanding the value they really bring to the company.
Some of you may be wondering why I talk about strategic goals and objectives rather than mission, vision, and values (MVV). MVV are primary and necessary predecessors to the strategy, but strategy puts legs on MVV and helps employees know how to support the MVV in meaningful and practical ways for how the company is expressing the MVV right now.
For all of us to truly be the heart of the company, pulling together in the same direction, and to understand the value we bring to the company, every employee needs to know the current company strategy that cascades into the division, department, and team strategies. We may not all need to know it in the same detail, but understanding the strategic focus of the company touches our work lives every day and enables us to be genuinely productive, creative, and valuable.
Many companies have been working on strategies for the new year and may already have them complete, cascading them down to the next levels for strategy development and working on budgets. Just make sure that every single employee knows and understands the company strategy so they can be supporting it in practical, real, everyday actions. Then we will all be at the heart of the company, pumping blood together to keep the company healthy. Do your contact center agents know and understand how their everyday actions and decisions directly support the company's strategic plan? If not, who knows in what direction they might be pulling.
Do you see the need to identify the contact center’s value contributions and effectively communicate them throughout your organization? Further developing your business acumen can help you do this more effectively. ICMI's Business Acumen for Contact Center Leaders course can help. Learn more.