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How do you keep a staff together when the work is this unsatisfying?

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Question: "At my job, 25% of our day is spent on administrative tasks, and 75% is spent making outbound sales calls to customers who are almost never happy to hear from us. Because of this, the staff is always stressed out and unhappy, and people quit all the time because of it, which makes it even harder on the rest of us. Since management isn't much help with trying to boost morale, what can we do amongst ourselves to make this job more tolerable?" - Jennifer, Customer Service Representative

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Joyce March 13, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Depends on personality of staff. We change things up (currently face yoga time). But there was a time when a certain song played on the radio it would be turned up and everyone would get up and dance to the song; once done everything quietly went back to normal. We might do a theme day (color, whatever), and take a fun group photo and pin to the bulletin board for all to see. Then there were mantra days, were people kept repeating “we do what’s right for the customer and the company.” Then there was silly puppy dog video days. These where all just moments in time to share with everyone on the team. Individuals were assigned the impromptu stretch session et al. for the day in which they may call an a.m. and p.m. couple-minute session for us to stop and get up to stretch. Even if the job isn’t the most exciting if you can pull together positive team spirit it makes things easier.


Tammi March 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Our group deals with similar type calls. We have an administrative assistant professional learning group and have done trainings together on different personality types and how to understand and work with those. We have also had trainings on dealing with difficult people. Both of these type trainings will help your team understand how and why people react and act they way they do and the best way to respond. It has been very helpful to our team of admins.


Cathy March 13, 2014 at 10:59 am

Wow! Sounds like management could care less about low morale and the employee turnover. You might want to have a potluck lunch once a week where everyone brings something in and you all eat lunch together and relax a little before tacking the phones again. Is there music allowed to be played softly over a speaker system? Music helps soothe stress and there are radio stations out there that play a variety of music that just about everyone could enjoy. Do you make some calls then jump over to admin tasks for a little while then back to making calls – breaks things up a little and gets you away from the stress of the calls. Everyone should also get up from their desks and phones every 30-40 minutes or so and take a 2-minute break from their tasks. It’s amazing how refreshing that little break can be. Hopefully, you all have comfortable chairs, space to call your own, and can add some small greenery on your desk. It’s rough when management won’t try to create an office environment that makes employee want to stay long-term. If all else fails, maybe the only option left is to alert someone higher on the company chain of command. GOOD LUCK!


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