By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Some healthcare contact centers go from day to day, month to month, and year to year without ever giving a thought to the often incapacitating evolution around them. Things get squeezed in here, hooked up there, and stacked on top of, until routine work becomes an illogical series of unneeded steps or wasted activity. Agents’ work becomes harder, but change seems harder still; taking time out to make things more efficient is an inconceivable consideration. This produces a ripple effect that needs to be avoided.
There is another kind of ripple effect that is far more important. It’s the ripple effect we produce by the words we use and the things we do. These ripples affect others. Sometimes our ripples are positive; other times they are not. Some people have no ripples at all.
We’ve all been around and known people who are chronic complainers; they’re negative and their apparent goal is to bring others down to their level of pessimism. They have a negative ripple effect; the ripples they generate produce an undertow.
Sadly, some people produce no ripples. They have no impact on others, whether good or bad, positive or negative. There is no movement, no influence, nothing. They inanely move from call to call, project to project, and from day to day, seemingly on autopilot.
Other individuals make positive ripples. They motivate, encourage, inspire, and support. We all know agents – and call centers – like that, too. They are the ones with smiling people on the other end of the phone, the ones who inspire others to achieve more as they spread their ripples in all directions and for the benefit of all.