Change in the workplace is inevitable. When the powers that be decide they want us to do things differently, we have 2 choices: either comply or find another job. While some of us threaten to leave our current position, it’s not always as easy to move on or start over at a new place of business.
Here is an example of a huge change I received in a previous position, and how I used it to FLOURISH…
Early in my career, I was working in a call center for a bank. I answered various questions from balance inquiries, to "why is my account overdrawn again?" Basically, I interacted with hundreds of people per day, mostly answering basis banking questions for them. Because we were a call center, our calls were randomly recorded and monitored. They scored us on a number of criteria to determine the level of service we provided. Naturally, our scores were included in our mid-year and year end reviews.
One day, out of the blue (so it seemed to us), the powers that be decided that in addition to answering customer questions, we would also have to offer every customer a new product or service of the bank. We had to offer a new product or service that they did not currently have, before we ended the call. This new change was heavily weighted on our score card at 80% of the score. It also made it impossible to get a passing score, if we skipped this new requirement.
They wanted us to not just provide excellent customer service—they wanted us to sell too! As you can imagine, most of the customer service representatives were furious. Nobody wanted to sell a single thing! (Prior to this change, we did have referral goals, where we could receive bonuses, if we offered additional products and services. Those goals were not very high and we did not have to offer them to everyone we talked to.)
While everyone around me was busy complaining, I took a step back to process exactly what they were asking (I mean demanding) us to do. They wanted our help in generating more business for the company. They actually were not requiring us to sell products and services to every customer. They wanted us to suggest a new or different product that they did not currently have, to every customer. We were being scored on whether or not we offered a new product or service, not on whether or not the customer said yes to the product or service.
I realized this was my job, and if I wanted to keep this job, I needed to do what was being asked of me. I then came up with a plan to implement this change, that everyone else was complaining about. I knew most customers already had multiple products and services with us. To make sure that I didn’t miss anything, I made a list of every possible product and service that we offered. I wrote it on a small index card and taped it to the side of my computer screen. Towards the end of each call, as we were finishing up, I would quickly change my computer screen to their profile that listed all of their current products with us. Then I would do a quick cross reference against my list to see what products they didn’t already have.
Not only did I keep my scores up for my reviews, but since I was offering new products to everyone, I always exceeded closed referral goals and received nice bonus checks every quarter. Then I quickly rose to become one of the top performers in my department. I found a way to successfully implement a required workplace change, and I ended up getting a raise from it!
Here are the tips …
1. Have an open mind.
Many times, people automatically reject change at work, because they are set in their ways and don’t want to learn something new. Some people just want to keep doing what they have been doing, even if it isn’t working that well. By keeping an open mind, you allow yourself to see things differently. You may even recognize other areas that need improvement or change and make the appropriate suggestions for them.
2. Look for the silver lining.
Often times, the change might make your work life easier or benefit you in some way. The sooner you embrace the change, the sooner you will get to the benefit(s) of the change.
3. Don’t complain about the change with your colleagues.
Once you start speaking negatively about a change, you derail your efforts to comply with the change. Then you continue down that road, because you don’t want to lose face with the ones you were complaining with.
4. Take a step back and ask God how to proceed.
I did not come up with that idea to write down every product and service on my own. After I heard the new requirements, I stopped and I asked God what to do. He directed me, and I chose to follow His instructions. That was how I was able to be successful and FLOURISH.
Everything changes except God.
Change does not just occur in the workplace. Change is inevitable in every area of our lives. Everything changes except God. If you think about it, from birth, we are subjected to change, so why do we resist it so much in certain areas?
We learn to crawl, then to walk and run. We start off eating baby food and then solid food. We learn and grow as we get older, causing us to change schools, meet new people and leave others behind. Over the years, people we know and love pass away, while others are born into our lives and families. We move from place to place, job to job, city to city. We change careers, our hairstyles, the way we dress, the cars we drive, etc.
Maybe it’s easier to accept change when it’s a natural progression like moving on to the next grade level in school, or when we have decided it’s time for a change and switch jobs or move to a new city. The reality is, whether we initiate or agree with the change, change will come. As long as you have an open mind, look for the silver lining, chose not to complain, and ask God how to proceed, whenever you are faced with a new change, you my friend will FLOURISH!
What change do you need to accept and/or implement today?