Increase Morale at Your Agency with These 2 Easy Methods

| Mary Shores

Note: Before you read this week's blog, make sure to register for my upcoming webinar with PDCflow all about healthcare collections. Reserve your spot for June 17 at 1 p.m. EDT. I can't wait to see you there! 

Have you ever wondered how your collection agency would benefit from a dose or two of positivity?

How would more positivity impact morale? How would it impact conversations with consumers? And, how would it affect the bottom line?

Let me tell you a quick story to show you exactly how powerful extra positivity can be.

When I first started my agency, I noticed a pattern: Collectors were having a lot of “water cooler” chats. These were mostly venting sessions about consumers the collectors had just spoken to.

I’m here to say that I completely understand how challenging calls with difficult consumers can be. The thing is, venting about it afterward is just causing collectors to ruminate on the negativity, which isn’t helping anyone move on from a challenging call.

Instead, when collectors ruminate by venting, they’re holding onto the negative feelings, such as anger or frustration, they feel toward the consumer, and they’re taking that with them to the next call and the next and the next.

And when they take that to the water cooler, they’re spreading it to their colleagues as well, who are, in turn, spreading it to the next consumers they talk to and the next and the next.

The result? The entire office is feeling that dose of negativity, which can linger for the entire workday and into the next.

Luckily, there’s a cure to this pattern. At my agency, we eliminated negative language with my Do-Not-Say List, which actually increased positivity overall. We also implemented my 3-step Communication Code, which also worked to keep our team happy and connected with each other and with clients and consumers.

Where can your agency begin to implement more positivity to see impacts on the bottom line? Here are a few quick and easy ways that will launch a more positive atmosphere and increase morale right away. When you’re done reading this blog post, go ahead and try a few of these methods out!

Method #1: Share the Wins!

What’s something good that happened to you or your team today? Did someone get a large payment? Did someone get a “thank you” from a consumer? These events matter, and when we focus on them instead of the negative, our brains slowly start to focus more on the positive overall and far less on the negative.

According to Psychology Today, when we're focusing on the negative (and engaging in that "water cooler" talk), we can get stuck in a negative thought loop. In other words, when we focus on the negative, such as consumers who yell at us, we’re creating an echo chamber of sorts in our brains that affirms the negative emotions we feel toward the situation. This can create an endless loop of negativity, which can be difficult to escape if we’re not intentionally trying to.

Here’s a personal example from my life:

For years, I wanted to write a book. It was a huge goal of mine to be a published author, and I thought I would get there eventually through my own determination. After all, I had already started a successful debt collection agency. The problem was, I was stuck in that negative thought cycle, which I like to call the feedback loop. Let me explain why.

Each time I told myself I wanted to write a book, I followed up that thought by saying to myself, “But I’m not a writer.” So, even though I had the ambition and drive needed to write a book, my own negativity was stopping me from actually doing it because I believed what I was telling myself, which successfully put a roadblock in my path toward writing. That’s how powerful negativity can actually be!

I’m happy to report that today, I do have a published book, and it’s published by my dream publishing company, Hay House (and I talk about this exact concept in my book!). I made this happen by changing my own negative thought loop and implementing positive self-talk instead.

And that’s exactly why sharing the wins is so powerful and important at our agencies. As soon as we make it a common practice to focus on the good things that happen at work, morale will increase, and how we treat consumers will actually improve as well!

Here’s my challenge for you:

This week, make it a point to ask each of your employees to email you 3 wins that happened to them each day. Watch the positivity grow!

Now, if you’re ready for some even more advanced techniques to increase morale and positivity, move onto method #2.

Method #2: Add Some Fun to the Workday with a Collector Challenge

At my office, we often implement fun, educational challenges to boost morale and positivity on the collection floor. I also have challenge worksheets for my Collection Advantage students to make sure they have intentional, positive goals to focus on as they go through the program.Challenges are actually beneficial in multiple ways. They increase morale, and they teach collectors new

skills. They also help collectors embrace goal-setting, which can truly impact your bottom line. Think about it: If your collector is completing a challenge about increasing payment arrangements, they'll bring in higher payments each month, all because they had a tangible goal to inspire them.

What Is a Challenge?

A challenge is any activity assigned to your collectors that pushes them to meet a certain goal, learn something new, or both. A successful challenge will have clear directions and a facilitator who can hold the team accountable.

At my office, our manager Roxie will create and execute collector challenges. If the team wants to meet a specific goal, she may write out challenge directions to motivate the team to meet that goal. Or, if the team needs to learn a new strategy, she may write challenge directions that specifically teach that new strategy to give collectors practice executing that strategy.

You can hear more about how Roxie creates and executes challenges by watching her Training Bytes episode here.

The Impact of Collector Challenges

Ultimately, challenges are amazing fuel for positive intentions at the office. Instead of negativity at the water cooler, you’ll hear excited chatter about the current challenge. People feel better about their everyday work because they have tangible goals to work toward, and they're having fun.

And, at the end of the challenges, you can have team meetings to share the wins. As a result, your team will have a positive feedback loop that you can continue to feed with fun challenges, new educational opportunities, and any other ideas that make the work exciting and encourage business growth.

Use Positivity and Morale Boosters Right Away!

The great thing about positivity is that you can use it right away to impact your bottom line and your company culture.

Do you want a strategy with made-for-you challenges and empathetic communication that can help your agency's company culture and morale right away? If so, I’d love to chat about your company’s current training needs. Book a call with me today.

Are you an individual collector looking for a strategic communication approach? Then The Communication Code for Collectors is right for you! Make sure to click the link to learn more.

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Join me on June 17th at 1 p.m. eastern for a webinar all about compassionate healthcare collections. Register now to reserve your spot.

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