The skills of ‘taking initiative and taking ownership’ are being evaluated on more performance reviews these days at all levels of responsibility. Some organizations nurture these skills and harness the results more than others. Agents, like all employees, generally like the excitement generated by innovative workplaces, and appreciate the opportunity to contribute to it.

Innovation and Involvement

5. Strongly Agree

4. Agree

3. Neither

2. Disagree

1. Strongly Disagree

Net Score
top 2 –

low 2

This organization is continuously searching for ways to do things better to raise the bar in the way we approach our work.

36.1%

43.6%

13.0%

4.1%

3.2%

72.3%

Creative thinking, risk-taking and tolerance of failure are part of the climate here.

35.5%

45.8%

13.0%

4.0%

1.7%

75.7%

Initiative is encouraged here. I don't have to receive permission to act to address a customer's concern.

23.3%

37.8%

25.6%

9.8%

3.6%

47.7%

When I take the initiative and it doesn't work out, I'm not punished.

29.2%

45.3%

15.5%

7.2%

2.8%

64.5%

Category Averages:

31.0%

43.1%

16.8%

6.3%

2.8%

65.0%

 

The first two questions in this category of survey questions perform quite well and indicate that the respondents generally see their employer as dedicated to continuous improvement (question 1) and creativity (question 2).

However, the response becomes more tentative in question four and is downright skittish in question 3, which has the lowest Net Score of this category.

 

Interpretation

The delta in results between the first two and the last two questions seem to reveal a difference between perceived policies of the organization (which score higher) and the application of those policies to the respondents themselves (which score lower).

Note that questions 3 and 4 include the word “I”. This seems to indicate that, when the respondents actually put themselves mentally in the position of taking risks (by not asking permission) or taking initiative (without fear of punishment), the response is more cautious. The very high “Neither” rating given to the third question reveals a significant ambivalence in the minds of one-fourth of the respondents.

This may be due to a combination of factors, but managers would do well to explore with their agents whether they personally feel enabled to take appropriate risks and initiative.

 

Innovation

Impact:

·      Agent Turnover

·      First Call Resolution

·      Service Recovery Processes

·      Coaching Processes

 

My Agent Voices blog posts are the result of research on over 5,000 agent surveys conducted in North America. - - Bruce Belfiore

Topics: Agent Voices, Agent Turnover, First Call Resolution, Service Recovery, Agent Coaching