Saturday, December 5, 2015
As exciting as it is to be part of a company in the digital marketing and technology space, the most rewarding aspect of the work I do takes place in our call center. Managing people isn't always easy. In fact, I think as a business leader, we have all had at least one challenging experience related to employee relations that we wish we had handled differently. Those are certainly the situations I've learned from the most and stick with me to this day.
However, what I have come to realize in recent years is the importance of mentoring and providing guidance to the young people that I work with. The entry level positions in our call center create an excellent opportunity for students and newly independent adults to gain experience in a professional environment, and we as managers, have a responsibility to lead by example.
As someone who describes himself as a "reformed mischief-maker", I understand the impact that a lack of mentorship and guidance can have on a young adult. Making mistakes is a part of growing up, however, most young people don't truly grasp the magnitude of how much the choices they make in their teens and early twenties will influence the direction their life moves in.
We have a responsibility as business leaders to create an environment and a culture that fosters creativity and provides the framework for which young people can identify their strengths and weaknesses and acquire the tools and resources to become productive adults.
The call center industry, for the longest time, has had a reputation as a high-pressure sales environment where people burn out and turnover frequently. For some it's a foot in the door and a stepping stone to management and other opportunities for growth within the company, but for most, the position is viewed as a way to make a living while pursuing school and other interests. Regardless of short or long-term goals, we view it as an opportunity to thrive in a structured, organized environment where interpersonal skills can be developed.
Learning to work within a diverse group, while setting goals and maintain quotas are all skills that employees can take with them long after their time at the company has come to an end and each organization should find ways to train and develop employees of all levels. Our people are our most valuable asset and we have to constantly be working to train and develop them and provide the mentorship and life skills that will last a lifetime.