Colgate-Palmolive and Indianapolis Power and Light logos

Colgate-Palmolive and Indianapolis Power and Light: Motivating the Team with Quality Assessment Forms

Motivated company associates and customer service representatives (CSRs) have positive and powerful interactions with customers. So the more you can motivate your CSRs, the more you can improve your customer relations. Why is it, then, that I come across company after company that have Quality Assessment Forms that actually de-motivate employees?

Unfortunately, many of these forms contribute to a culture of monitoring employees when they could be contributing to motivating them.

Think about the word monitoring for a moment. It means, “To keep close watch over; to keep track of systematically.” Who wants to be monitored? No one I know. Bank accounts need to be monitored, checked and corrected. Our server at Communico needs to be monitored and our technology consultant, Craig, keeps an eye on the files, error codes, and memory.

Those who view Quality Assessment Forms as a monitoring device approach people like a computer server or car: something that needs to be calibrated and fixed. But people are not machines. People need support, guidance, direction, coaching, recognition, and development. Not an oil and filter change.

When customer service representatives are only approached because they did something that needs to be corrected, they feel like Big Brother is watching. Big Brother is not the best motivator in the world. With Big Brother as a coach, it’s no surprise that CSRs often only do well enough to just get by.

However, if you think of your Quality Assessment as a Motivating Form, you shift the approach from improving machines to improving human performance. Discussions based on a Motivating Form tend to be about education, development of knowledge, and improvement of skills through coaching.

Once CSRs understand that motivation and increased success are the purposes of the form, they are more comfortable, confident and, yes, motivated. They have greater trust that the managers and leaders care about them and they are more willing to take extra effort to serve the customer and the organization.

Here are just a few examples of how we at Communico have helped our clients use their assessment forms to motivate employees and improve focus on the customer.

  • A Strategic Form Brings Vision into Reality
  • While working with Indianapolis Power and Light Company, I created a MAGIC® Form tailored to their organization and vision. When I met with the senior executive he looked at the MAGIC Form and said, “This is great. I was looking to create a document that would bring our lofty vision into concrete reality. This is it. This is our vision alignment document.” Yes, that’s right. The MAGIC Form became the ‘vision alignment document’.
  • The MAGIC Form (or vision alignment document) serves three main purposes at Indianapolis Power and Light Company:
    1. Makes the vision practical by clarifying what behaviors align with the company vision.
    2. Brings the vision to the front line in a meaningful way.
    3. Gives the front line associates a way to measure their contribution to the business vision.
  • Altogether, these lead to greater employee motivation and shared organization vision, thereby creating a stronger, customer-focused culture.
  • Human Dimensions Affect Associates’ Perceptions of the Form
  • Colgate-Palmolive‘s HR Call Center vision was a shared one, (not always the case in Corporate America). It read: “To become a caring resource totally dedicated to the personal and professional needs of Colgate people.” The leader of the company decided to display this vision on the front of their MAGIC assessment form and refer to it in every conversation about quality improvement.
  • The inclusion of the statement in the MAGIC assessment form immediately improved the feel of the document and associates’ perceptions of its purpose. It added a human dimension that eased associates’ fears and concerns about being monitored.

Drive Vision and Strategy through Your Form

How can you help associates feel less anxious about your Quality Assessment Form and more inspired to deliver exceptional service in every interaction? Here are a just a few suggestions for your form that will help to motivate your employees:

Put your vision or mission statement on your form.

  • Drive vision and strategy through your form. Make it come alive with strategic links to the vision.
  • Use it. Refer to it as the real purpose for all coaching and development meetings.
  • Encourage your coaches and team leaders to use the form as a developmental tool, rather than a punitive or evaluative one.
  • Emphasize that every associate plays a vital role in the achievement of the vision.

Making your Quality Assessment Form more MAGIC can have a dramatic and positive affect on your culture. So make it MAGIC, and you’ll move from monitoring to motivating. Everyone will notice the difference, including your customers.

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