The Call Centre – Different Strokes for Different Folks

The Call Centre – Different Strokes for Different Folks

MP910216392Amongst the jolly japes going on in this week’s episode of The Call Centre (organising Strictly Come Prancing, a piss up in a brewery and a football match against a rival Call Centre in Cardiff) we saw that the management of “Saving Britain Money” does have teeth.

The focus of this change of style was Chickenhead and his mate, Griff. Both have been superstars in the call centre, hitting bonus on a regular basis. But in this episode we see that Chickenhead in particular has “lost his Mojo” and is starting to drift. It was reassuring to see this dealt with in an appropriate way, as the Call Centre Manager is brought in to do a bit of Performance Management. his style, in contrast to the paternalistic Nev is much more business like. One can imagine that being called into a meeting with him is a warning in itself. Chickenhead takes his verbal warning on the chin, but it does not appear to make any difference.

This leads to an intervention from Nev.He uses his knowledge of Chickenhead to design an incentive to give him his Mojo back. He uses Chickenhead’s love of football to get him to organise a match with a rival call centre in Cardiff. Although his team loses, in a tight mstch decided by penalties, the process of organising such a prestige event so well seems to have the desired effect, At tleast in the short term.

It will be interesting to see how this classic use of away motivation (stick or in this case, the disciplinary process) and towards motivation (carrot or in this case, trust and recognition to organise the football team) works for Chickenhead. I guess we will finfd out over the next few weeks.

It was reassuring to see that the image of an anarchic organisation that makes up its own rules is not quite the full picture. Nev’s enthusiasm and unorthodox approach is coupled with a clear performance management policy and senior managers who are happy to use it. This is how it should be in every organisation. Individuals need to know what is expected from them and to be held to account to deliver those things.

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