Bringing out the best in your CS team

Coaching and Developing concept in word tag cloudWho is really responsible for employee development?

Sara Chick, Team Manager at Blizzard Entertainment explores the positive impact of employee development on good customer service.

A recent article published by McKinsey & Company titled - Bringing out the best in people' states:

"Providing good service has never been easy. Meeting rising customer expectations requires companies focus on building the capabilities their people need to make full use of their talents".

After reading this article, the question still at the forefront of my mind was "Who is really responsible for employee development?" Consider a fairly standard Customer Service organisation with a structure of a Team Manager responsible for a team of CS representatives. When looking to hire a new Team Manager in to a vacant position quite often the interested candidates show a flurry of activity from getting their CV in shape, arranging some mock interviews for practise and generally attempting to expose their abilities to whomever may be looking their way. When I see this type of behaviour in one of my direct reports I ask myself the following:

"What have I done for this person prior to the desired role becoming available to ensure they are on the right path and job ready?"

I am sure we have all experienced a situation where a candidate secured a role from one level to the next simply due to the fact that they were excellent in their current role and as we know, it does not always follow suit that a promotion up a level within the same structure will be a successful move. The theory that an excellent Customer Service Agent will be an excellent manager of people is a common flaw, which many Customer Service Organisations have realised and have now adapted their recruitment strategy accordingly. As a manager of people I feel it is my responsibility to work with them to help build a strong development framework which will help guide them in their career choices. This can often include open and honest conversations if the candidate feels that they are 'job ready' where I may have a different opinion and it is part of my role to ensure that my employee works steadily towards their career aspirations by supporting their development and managing their expectations. I am sure that most people would agree that motivation to individual development comes from within and whilst in the majority of larger organisations there are is a strong support structure to aid capability building of employees such Training Departments and Human Resource Departments, as the person who has the majority of interaction with employees on a day to day basis, I do believe that the direct manager holds the key to unlock the potential within - but do we all understand that we are the key holder? View the McKinsey & Company article. Opinions presented in this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily those of CCMA. This blog was kindly submitted by Sara Chick, Team Manager at Blizzard Entertainment