Forums

Hi
I manage a relationship call centre for a medium size (but growing) charity. There have been a number of times so far this year where I've been keep out of the loop on various issues ranging from, new projects and resource offers (which my team have to deal with any responses), internal procedures and systems thought to not being told that this morning we would be with out lighting for the first hour and half while new light fittings are put in our room (not great to have engineers banging round when we are taking incoming calls).

I’m feeling a little frustrated and marginalised in my role (I’ve been the team manager since Sept 2002). We are in the process of a change over in Senior Management, which is a massive thing for us but at the same time I and my team still need to deliver the org services to our constituency. It doesn’t make us look very good when we hear about things from a constituent.

Am I right to be concerned?

Anyone got any ideas on how I can approach this issue beyond having to address/chase up each issue when it happens (which have been doing by the way).

The podcasts are fantastic, I’m a first line, manager with aspirations to develop through middle to senior management and leadership the casts are really helping me focus. I only stumbled across them when I was looking for something else. Keep up the amazing work your both doing.

thaGUma's picture

[quote]We are in the process of a change over in Senior Management[/quote] This is where the bosses' time is being spent.

Rule 7. How You Feel is Your Fault:
Don't be concerned yet. You are feeling marginalised. You need to be pushing communications and strengthening relationships. Do not expect or assume others will include you. Be aware that your needs and concerns may be pushed out by higher level things going on and be prepared to give more in order to be in the company of those who can keep you in the loop. Water cooler chats are important.

Stronger relationships and good quality frequent communications will reduce time out of the loop and increase opportunites for you to add more to the business.

It is a stressful time for you but it will improve and any communication gains you make will pay dividends later.

Chris

mtuggs's picture

Thank, that's helpful an outside view helps re-focus.

mark

PierG's picture

Mark,
I think Chris is write in quoting Rule #7.

My question is: OK I feel better now :) but is there something more I can do?

I think the answer is: ask! At least you'll receive an answer (that can also be <>) to let you be prepared for the future.

PierG

mtuggs's picture

Yeh that is also helpful. I do need ask more, I do feel I ask a lot already but more is probably needed during this time of change for us.

Sorry by the way! can someone pst the link for the list of rules...?

thaGUma's picture

1. It's All About People
2. More Communication is Better
3. You're Not that Smart; They're Not that Dumb
4. Control is an Illusion
5. The River is Wide, the Currents are Messy, but all the Water Ends up in the Ocean
6. There are No Secrets
7. How You Feel is Your Fault
8. The "Other" Way Often Works Just Fine

8)

sklosky's picture

mtuggs,

It sounds like your relationships "up the ladder" need to be stronger. I suggest you take steps to build stronger relationships in this area.

There are some casts about building relationships. If you can't find them, I'm sure some of the forum-dwellers can point them out. :)

Regards,
Steve

mtuggs's picture

Great thanks Steve, I'll look those out!

PattiBarcroft's picture

mtuggs

You may want to look at the kind of questions you are asking if you feel you "ask a lot". Perhaps you can identify general topics for which you could generate standard questions - per your example "do you know of any maintenance items that may impact our work area in the next week?" Are there peers you can create an information network with in other departments that can then keep you in the loop? Maybe you could get copies of various meeting notes and any items that reach your radar ask about.

It is certainly a challenge to be on the tail end of the information line when you are on the front line to the constituents. Have you expressed your concerns and requests, with consequences, with your supervisor?

Good Luck.
Patti

Mark's picture

Good advice all around.

You can safely assume that for the vast majority of call center managers are left holding the bag as you are. You're marginalized because your leadership doesn't think about you very much, and predominantly do so from a cost perspective.

While I'd be interested to know what kind of reports the senior team get about your center, right now I recommend communicating clearly, and including comments about the impacts of late notification in those reports/communications...ALL with pleasantness and no negativity.

Mark

mtuggs's picture

Thanks all for the input on this issue, it has been really helpful.

Mark, with regard to reporting. Senior management get a monthly thru-put report from me cover amount of calls, post, emails in plus break down of what item is (event booking, resource order, general enquiry etc.) I also do produce some more detailed reports on special projects. This is the only reporting I get asked for so thinking about it I probably do need to review the my reports to include some feedback on late notification implications that would work really well and could be done pleasantly.

By the way – we’re all off to the annual staff retreat this week, and guess who got completely missed of the small group workshop lists… that’ll be me! :roll:

Thanks again!
mtuggs

vinnie2k's picture

[quote="mtuggs"]Thanks all for the input on this issue, it has been really helpful.

Mark, with regard to reporting. Senior management get a monthly thru-put report from me cover amount of calls, post, emails in plus break down of what item is (event booking, resource order, general enquiry etc.) I also do produce some more detailed reports on special projects. This is the only reporting I get asked for so thinking about it I probably do need to review the my reports to include some feedback on late notification implications that would work really well and could be done pleasantly.

By the way – we’re all off to the annual staff retreat this week, and guess who got completely missed of the small group workshop lists… that’ll be me! :roll:

Thanks again!
mtuggs[/quote]
Has your situation improved? Were you able to put some of this advice to work?

mtuggs's picture

Hi Yeh!

I have been able to put some of this into practice, I'm working on building stonger relationships with senior managers at the moment, but I'm taking care not too look like I'm sucking up. Which is more about the time we are as an org (in the middle of a org review). It is working though, I am starting to be passed information earlier in the process, so that I'm able to brief my team.

A work in progress I think is the term!
Thanks for asking!
mtuggs