The department I chose to study is the customer care department of a wireless carrier located in Michigan. This is a call center environment and the company employs 250+ representatives at this particular location. In the customer care department there are representatives, supervisors, four associate directors and one head director of the overall department. Each supervisor has 12-15 representatives that they must oversee. The duties of each representative consist of retaining customer business by renewing contracts, present data solutions, offer accessories, demonstrate equipment functions and network capability and answer customer billing questions. The supervisors' job is to monitor daily team results to ensure performance, retention and objective compliance, complete monthly reporting, provide effective feedback, supervise, educate and motivate their team to exceed all performance measures.
I have worked for this same wireless carrier for 4 years and I currently work in their financial service department but I have a few close friends who work in the customer care department who don't be satisfied with their jobs. I found this quite interesting because we all worked for the same company but there seemed to be a huge difference in job satisfaction from department to department. In order to find out what this difference is from our department to theirs I did an hour of side by sides with some of the customer care representatives and gave my friends from the department a survey to fill out that dealt with job satisfaction.
Most of the feedback I received from the employees in this department is that management spends a lot of time micromanaging its employees. The employees do not feel empowered to make decisions because they feel that they will be reprimanded later for their decision. The number of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and STD (Short Term Disability) claims are extremely high according to management which the employees say are due to stress. Some of the employees in the department take leaves to avoid losing their jobs and others are so dissatisfied that they just quit or allow the company to fire them so that they can file for unemployment. Some other interesting feedback I received from these employees is that they feel as if they are in jail, they have to follow a strict schedule which barely allows them time to take a restroom break. The biggest concern I got from these employees is the fact that management always seems to be on their back every few minutes, the employee's state that they are being micromanaged which makes them feel like children. These issues seem to have a major impact on the productiveness of the customer care department and the job satisfaction of its frontline employees. What can management do to increase the job satisfaction of the customer care representatives?
It seems to be a lot of different issues that play a factor in the low job satisfaction of these employees to determine exactly what the root of the problems are I conducted some research. According to our textbook Organizational Behavior, 10th Edition, "job satisfaction is the degree to which individuals feel positively or negatively about their jobs. It is an attitude or emotional response to one's tasks as well as to the physical and social conditions of the workplace "(p. 70). I always thought that job satisfaction was just as simple as a yes or no whether a person was satisfied with their job or not. The issues related to job satisfaction is a little more complicated than I ever thought. In an article titled "Job Satisfaction" http://managementhelp.org/prsn_wll/job_stfy.htm the author who is unknown states that "job satisfaction can be influenced by a variety of factors, eg, the quality of one's relationship with their supervisor, the quality of the physical environment in which they work, degree of fulfillment in their work, etc." These examples of what may cause job dissatisfaction sound similar to some of things that the representatives in the customer care department have mentioned like the relationship with management, not being empowered or having any control over their work or ideas. This author further quoted that "To my knowledge, there is no strong acceptance among researchers, consultants, etc., that increased job satisfaction produces improve job performance -- in fact, improved job satisfaction can sometimes decrease job performance."