Saturday, April 6, 2019

Managing Business Problems Essay Example for Free

Managing Business Problems EssayWhat argon the causes of poor productivity at heart large organizations and how can we look at trying to improve this?Productivity is the degree of sidetrack obtaind in relation to a certain level of input. For slip, in a knell sum total environment, productivity would be fooln as the progeny of telephone confabs answered per hour by a certain rate of provide. The telephone beseechs be the output and the ply available to bewilder the bands are the input.In order to improve productivity, one of the hobby has to occur The level of input is come d give birthd however the level of output remains the same, or, the level of output increases but the level of input remains the same. In relation to the example of the call boil down, this would mean reducing the number of staff available to answer the phone but yet the remaining staff would quiesce exhaust to answer the same number of calls, i.e. they would have to answer to a greate r extent calls each to compensate for the decrease in staff. Or the other way to increase productivity in a call shopping mall would be to keep the same number to staff available to take client calls but the number of calls being answered in total would have to increase.Productivity is a major issue within every organisation but especially call centres. Call centres do try to forecast the number of calls they postulate every solar day and allocate resources accordingly to deal with these pressures, however there are still thousands of calls abandoned (where the customer hangs up before even getting through to an advisor) each and every day, this is most clippings referred to as call leakage. This is a growing problem for call centres across the country and it is surprising the amount of customers who leave take their business elsewhere simply because they cant get through on the phone as they see it as poor customer service.In many cases it isnt feasible for staff numbers to be change magnitude in order to cope with the call volumes that are being received and so the only theme to reducing the call leakage is to increase the productivity of the existing staff. Working in a call centre environment myself I appreciate that this is a very challenging task as call centre agents commandly feel overworked and underpaid already and trying to get more work out of them volition be difficult. However my research into call centre life has thrown and twisted up some issues adjoin the task of increasing staff completeance in order for your business to work smarter. My research examines the orifice of reward systems as a means of increasing productivity, how call centre staff view their own habits and changes they would like to see in order to help them perform betterDuring my research I searched the Emerald website to celebrate relevant journal articles to assist my studies. I came across an interesting one called An exploration of coachial issues in call ce ntres by Colin Armistead, Julia Kiely, Linda Hole and Jean Prescott. This paper consisted of ii case studies carried out in two large organisations these impart be known as geek excogitate A and Case Study B. I form this article useful as it explores wherefore people work in call centres, how they feel about their jobs and this research is spread over all levels from call centre agent to general manager. Case Study A provides a good background to call centre life and will aid sympathiseing of what it is like to work in a call centre environment.In Case Study A, a total of fourteen staff members of all levels were interviewed, interviews lasted one hour and were all tape and transcribed. The interviews explored the initial decision to work for a call centre, the expectations they had before they started and the extent to which their jobs had lived up to those expectations. The authors also examined connection statistics they found evidence of high turnover in staff who had b een employed for a few months hence reducing to comparatively low turnover afterward they had been employed for more than six months.I found the findings from Case Study A to be very surprising having worked in a call centre myself and not having had very many demonstrable experiences during my cartridge holder there. The overall impression from those interviewed was that they felt very positive about their workplace. There were inevitable differences in how variant levels of employees viewed certain issued but there were more similarities than differences. I was provoke to see how employees had spoke about productivity and performance targets. It became apparent that performance targets were related to the number of calls answered, the measure in which it took to answer the calls and also the levels of call leakage.It is very easy to monitor call centre agents against an array of time-related measures and staff felt under a treat of pressure at times callable to this. I ca n relate to this, as this is exactly how I felt working as a call centre agent. One manager interviewed in Case Study A stated that the more or less important thing in managing call centre staff was demand, motivation, motivation, yet the manager in hesitancy admitted he had little idea of how to travel staff. I do agree that motivating staff to perform well is an issue and I appreciate that highly motivated staff will be more productive but I also think that if staff working in call centres had a better understanding of the bigger picture and knew how their actions impacted upon the business as a whole they may change their attitudes and automatically perform better and more efficiently.This is honourable my opinion from my experience of working in a British Gas call centre for almost threesome years I have been privileged enough to have been given an insight into the deeper realms of the business, something which frontline staff rarely come into contact with and I do feel t his would be of benefit to them. As it stand now, staff are being thrown tough performance targets by management and expected to meet them without question, they have no understanding of why the business needs them to perform at a particular level and what the consequences will be if they dont.I believe business awareness to be a vital part of representing a federation to the earthly concern and the company I work for do house a business awareness course, however this is e-learning ground and has to be completed in your own time. Needless to say, there are not many staff who take advantage of this opportunity to understand the business they work for due to the preceding(prenominal) conditions and a lot of staff are probably unaware that the facility even exists. If British Gas were to allow the time for staff to complete this course during working hours or even to be paid overtime for the time they spend on it outside their scheduled hours, they would have a massive response an d although this would be time consuming and possibly quite costly, I believe that the positive effects on how employees work would preponderate the costs.Productivity is very poor in the call centre I work in after reading relevant sections in a book called Remuneration Policy by Patrick McCauley I am under the impression that a prosperous reward system can help to improve productivity. McCauley defines motivation simply as goal directed behaviour and he makes it clear that employees will only be motivated to increase their performance by goals that are actually of interest to them, for example if a manager said to his team one day that the person with the highest productivity that day would be rewarded with a family fine to the local pantomime then you would get Sandra, the mother with 2.4 children, husband and nice semi-detached house working her socks off, however, Matt, Gary and Emma, the three students on the team and Harold the grandad of the team who is six months off reti rement would not be interested in the slightest by the managers offer of reward.McCauley states that the three key questions we need to consider when devising a successful reward system are* What goals will employees actually pursue?* What factors will determine their success or failure in achieving these goals?* What will be the consequences of achievement or frustration for the employee and the organisation?As I have already mentioned, it is important to offer rewards that are of interest to the staff and that will actually motivate them to perform better and drive them towards goals which involve meeting productivity and performance targets on the way. It is important to offer generic rewards that are appealable to all or a choice of a few different rewards in order to cater for all the different ages, cultures etc. I have dome some research in to reward systems whilst working on a service excellence team in the British Gas call centre and the rewards that were constantly being r equested by staff were things such as an extra days annual leave, high street vouchers, deputising for a higher level role for half a day as a development opportunity etc.These were things that the frontline staff were corpulent management would motivate them to work harder and to a higher standard, however management declined these requests as they saw them as too ambitious and they were especially against the extra holiday which unfortunately was the most popular suggestion. It was a degrade these suggestions were declined as staff then felt that they were being ignored which in turn lowered morale and saw a drop in productivity for a short while, it would probably have been cheaper for the company to have allowed a small number of desired rewards which would have increased productivity for while and sure enough wouldnt have reduced it.Staff are already aware of what their targets are on a day to day basis and we need to remember that there will be a percentage of staff who do consistently meet these targets, therefore when fixting criteria for a reward system we have to set it higher than daily performance targets to show that staff are being recognised for going above and beyond the call of duty and not just being coaxed into doing what is already expected of them. Staff will have to meet daily performance and productivity targets and then some before they can achieve a reward.If an employee successfully achieves a reward for their performance then not only will their productivity have had to increase to achieve the reward in the first place but as that desired behaviour has now been rewarded, the employee will be conditioned into repeating it in order to gain get ahead rewards.If an employee either attempts and fails to reach the goal essential to achieve a reward or doesnt make the swither and sees his colleagues around him being rewarded for their increased effort and performance it will have one of the two chase effects upon him* He will bec ome de-motivated as he is feeling left out or a failure as his efforts are not being recognised because he fails to reach the ask standard and his performance will drop further.* He will become determined to work to the needful level to achieve a reward to prove to himself and his managers that he too can perform well.If the last mentioned of the consequences occurs then the reward systems is still being effective in all areas as even failures are being motivated to continue to strive for the reward on offer. However if the company begins to see individuals experiencing a drop in motivation and performance they may need to consider addressing this with a reward for example for the most improved productivity each month, therefore even those whose efforts dont bring them above the required productivity level for a standard reward have a chance of recognition for their efforts alone.McCauley examines Vrooms expectancy surmise and this supports the issues raised above. Vroom does st ate though that the criteria that needs to be met in order to achieve a reward has to be very clear cut and communicated thoroughly to all levels of staff so as to avoid woolly areas where decisions to reward or not may be disputed.Throughout my research I have identified underlying issues surrounding the productivity of call centre staff and how to improve this by encouraging motivation amongst staff and providing them with personal goals that at the same time guide them towards achieving the productivity levels required by the business. I have come to the conclusion that productivity can only really be successfully increased in the long term by providing something for the individual to work towards, not just setting targets and expecting them to be met. I also think that increased business awareness amongst frontline staff would be beneficial to any call centre so then at least they know and understand why there are certain pressures placed upon them and they may be more welcoming to the altercate of attaining higher targets.BibliographyAn exploration of managerial issues in call centres. (Journal Article)Colin Armistead, Julia Kiely, Linda Hole Jean Prescott.Remuneration Policy

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