Awesome Teams Care For One Another

Photo credit: http://my.cmconnect.org/profile/CraigJutila

Photo credit: http://my.cmconnect.org/profile/CraigJutila

The way I am wired, I spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not members of my team are happy.  As a customer service leader, I’m not only responsible for their wellbeing but I’m also responsible for maintaining proper staffing to ensure the wellbeing of our customers.  Any amount of employee turnover or frequent absence poses a significant challenge.

One misconception of leadership is that the leader needs to shoulder the load and do it all.  Taking care of your staff is no exception.  It’s a proven fact that happy, healthy customer service representatives will take infinitely better care of your customers.  That responsibility however, should not rest solely on the leader!

We recently had a situation where one of our customer service representatives had an illness in her family that she had to attend to.  Another agent was in a car accident that left him unable to work for about a week.  As a leader who cares for his team members, my inclination is that need to make sure they are taken care of.  It was at this point that I learned a valuable lesson about leadership and teamwork.

Before I could do anything, members of my team sprang into action.  Before the employees returned to work, my team decorated their desks with cards, notes, candy, and other gifts.  Gestures like this show others that they are cared for, they are not alone, and that they matter.  This is so powerful in building community in a workplace.

The beautiful part of it is that I did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING other than write a few notes.  I didn’t have to get my team to begrudgingly sign a few cards.  They cared for each other and I got to be a participant.

Yes, this is indeed a valuable lesson about leadership and teamwork and a key to building just about any AWESOME team.  As leaders we get to sit back and feel a sense of humility that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and pride at the way in which the team works together!

I leave you with this fantastic quote:

“None of us is as smart as all of us”– From High Five by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

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Jeremy Watkin is a Product Marketing Manager at 8x8. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

One comment

  • So very true Jeremy, you have assembled a great team. It’s so very important to emphasize putting the right people in place is the best way have a great team. If you hire the right people they will instinctively know the “RIGHT” thing to do 9 out of 10 times. Great post my brother. xo

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