Converting Ordinary people into Extraordinary Business Assets

TUANZ Contact Centres Conference and Awards 2007

It’s your job to help your people get:

  • a sense of achievement;
  • a future in the organisation; and
  • a sense of belonging to your company

Now, how would you do that?
And why would you do that?

Why would you do this?
Because people

  • Thrive at work when they have good relationships with those around them;
  • Know who to go to for what, and
  • Can solve customer problems quickly

Given this is so important, how do you do this?
First, accept that formal organisation relationships are not enough!
You have to develop the informal organisation as well:

  • Stimulate the people networks behind the formal organisation chart;
  • Make sure your people have conversations that matter; and
  • Ensure your people find out what they need to know to do the job expanding their own informal network

Your social atom consists of people who are emotionally significant to you enabling you to continue learning and be involved in work and alive

  • who are your key influencers?
  • who do you confide in when you stuff up?
  • who do you go to know what’s happening?
  • who do you listen to when there is a crisis?
  • Who makes work fun?
  • Who do you talk with when you feel uncertain about your future or the company’s future?

Young people now rely on connecting in cyberspace

  • Myspace
  • Bebo
  • Youtube
  • Blogs
  • Txt

Many young people have not learned to create face to face connections – its up to you to provide an environment where people can connect and have conversations that matter to them

Your social atom becomes depleted when..

  • Significant people move away, or when you move away from your significant people e.g. they or you change of location,
    • From school to work
    • From study to work
    • From home to work
    • From another country to NZ
  • Significant emotional connections are lost

For people to be spontaneous, learning and alive, they need to be in emotional relationship with others around them

Why is it important to produce these interactions?

  • Each person’s network directly affects their enjoyment and satisfaction at work;
  • People’s networks affect their willingness and capacity to contribute to the business;
  • Each person’s network directly affects how they interact with anyone they relate to;
  • So most importantly don’t be threatened by informal networks….learn to use them…..because you can do a lot to stimulate these networks and make them work for you

Reading the network maps: which person is the most central in this network?

Which person is the most central in this network?
Most chosen/sociometric star/person with highest ‘degrees in’ score

Discoveries: sociograms – a picture speaks a 1000 words

  • Identify where knowledge/stakeholder relationships will be lost with key players leaving or retiring;
  • Connecting and integrating people and divisions after a merger or restructure;
  • Explore the gaps: discover isolated or overburdened individuals or business units; and
  • See opportunities for key individuals to work together across divisions rather than restructuring.

A case study

A Global corporate services group with informal networks with business as usual –
Network criterion:

who are the three people I work with the most

The formal and informal structures of information flows

Displaying group results – who do you work with most?
Size of nodes set by number of incoming choices

Here you can see who is overloaded, who the key advisors are, and who is isolated

Here we can see the inter connections between subgroups – same criteria

So how are some ways you can do this?

  • Identify the informal leaders in your organisation;
  • Know who connects with them from your team;
  • Ensure each of your staff find someone that interests them in the organisation, have them go and find out what they do, and how it relates to what they do;
  • Get people to find out from others one thing your contact centre is doing well, and one thing you could do better, and have everyone bring that back to the next team meeting then choose 1 or 2 to implement;
  • Encourage your staff to network and find out how they are doing

Learn to stimulate and read the social networks in your team

  • Discover how information flows through your organisation: who the trusted advisors are, who the problem solvers are and how well that works for everyone including you;
  • Identify the key informal experts, the advisors, the leaders and who else these people might work with, learn to involve them;
  • Innovation: discover who is working with who, and who the fresh ideas come from, and who else they might come from;
  • Discover which managers, professionals or specialists are over chosen and over burdened;
  • Discover the trust networks in making and implementing decisions in your organisations, especially where there are silos, and sub groups and people who need to collaborate.

Your people producing extraordinary results for your company

  • Ensure everyone in your team has people they can go to, or who come to them for advice, counsel, problem solving, laughs
  • Encourage and produce interactions between people relevant to the culture of your team
  • Show people pathways for more exciting or challenging involving work
  • Create a sense of belonging in your organisation by ensuring people enjoy working with others

© Diana Jones