The Enemy of Engagement
Put an End to Workplace Frustration--and Get the Most from Your Employees
Authors: Mark Royal, Tom Agnew
Pub Date: October 2011
Print Edition: $21.95
Print ISBN: 9780814439081
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417966
Buy the book:
Frustration: The Silent Killer
The Bernette financial call center culture is the envy of the
industry. Turnover is low. Nearly every employee believes in
the mission: They’re helping people buy homes, helping busi-
nesses serve their communities, and helping families achieve
their dreams. Customer surveys invariably show that Bernette
customers are overall “very satisfied” with the help they get
when they call or e-mail. Questions get answered. Problems get
resolved. Customer service representatives are viewed as help-
ful, knowledgeable, and friendly.
By and large, Bernette call center employees are engaged and
committed to the success of the organization. But is engagement
enough? Let’s look at the situations faced by the employees
we’ve met so far.
Lauren made her mark on the call center by figuring out a
better way to forecast scheduling needs. She is self-motivated
to be efficient and effective. Solving a vexing problem is its own
reward for her. She wants to work in a challenging environment
that allows her to continue to be successful. If her current
employer doesn’t offer one, she is confident that another em-
Lauren’s boss, Beth, recently witnessed the departure of a
long-term, highly valued executive at the bank. And she knows
she might lose another valuable employee, Lauren, unless she
can open up the flow of information and get the resources that
Lauren and her direct reports need so that they can continue to
do their jobs well. Beth is also grappling with the situation
faced by Bob, the customer service rep with the highest custo-
mer satisfaction ratings but the slowest completion rate. She
is having trouble getting approval to transfer Bob to the mar-
keting department, where he’ll be a better fit and continue to
make a valuable contribution to Bernette.
Stacy is a long-term Bernette employee who is struggling
with scheduling issues. She isn’t getting the information she
needs from Lauren so that she can schedule reps for optimum
And Bob is in a job that doesn’t make the best use of his capa-
All these employees are motivated and want to succeed.
They all have a high regard for the bank’s leaders and believe
in the bank’s mission. They want to “do more with less” just as
they are being asked to do. But due to constraints in the work
environment, they can’t, and that has them feeling frustrated.
This isn’t a case of temperamental, indifferent, or intellectually
challenged management. Bernette has a well-earned reputation
for being a great place to work. Its executives are known as
competent and caring individuals. But the organization, like
many today, is undergoing change. It’s growing, organically and
through acquisition, and its senior leaders are focused on man-
aging expenditures at a time when the bank’s costs are increas-
ing faster than its revenues. As popular as they are with call cen-
ter employees, the bank’s senior executives might not sense the
frustration of the reps who can’t do their jobs without the right
tools, or of the supervisors who can’t manage the call center as
effectively as they once did.
The irony here is that the more loyal and engaged employees
are, the deeper their frustration will run in the face of obstacles.
Simply put, they are frustrated because they care.
This book is focused on employees who are engaged, motivated,
and loyal—who aren’t ready to give up—but who are
experiencing frustration on the job.
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