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Fragmented team

Author Mondie
#1 | Posted: 22 Nov 2007 10:57 
I need some advice on how to deal with my CS team.

They are all relatively new to the job (less than 8 months) and they are having trouble 'getting along' with each other.

it is a stressful and busy environment and I understand that this in itself can lead to snapping at each other, but i want to nip it in thbud before it gets out of hand.

Depite being a manager for 5 years, i have never had a team that didn't get along together and I find it disconcerting as I don't know the best way to deal with it!

I've spoke to the 2 girls concerned and they each say that the other one is at fault...any advice as I'm confused!

Author wendyb
#2 | Posted: 23 Nov 2007 02:57 
Hi Mondie

What a horrible situation! I did have a similar issue once where everyone was bickering - they all got along usually however the stress of the job caused tempers to run high. I did not try and fix the problem though, instead when the team meeting arose I calmly advised everyone what I had witnessed. I spoke to them about the respect I held for each one - actually made a personal comment about each person here to drive this home..... told them what I thought their strengths were - I then told them how I felt and how the bickering had caused "our team" to lose vision of the puspose for us being here. Once finished I told them I was leaving the room for the remainder of the meeting. I asked them to think for a moment and decide if they were committed to the role, the company and the team. If they were as a team they had to come to me with the solution to the problem............. it worked!!!!!!! if you decide to do this really plan what you are going to say. Good luck! wendy

Author glath
#3 | Posted: 23 Nov 2007 07:08 

It sounds like you know exactly who the trouble makers are. So, If were you I would inform these two employees of how their behavior is effecting the performance of your team. I would issue both with a verbal warning and give them a timeframe to work to your standard (which could be something like "work as a team, treat others with respect and communicate politely).

Follow up with a meeting with each one of them after the time agreed and review their performance. If the situation has been resolved and they meet your standard, great. If not, move onto the next stage - a written warning. If there is no improvement after the next period of time...fire them.

Bottom line is you cannot afford to have bad apples on your team. If you take decisive action now I believe you will set an excellent example of the standards of performance you require of your team.

Good luck.

Author ayaree
#4 | Posted: 24 Nov 2007 19:27 
Mondie, what I have seen so far as reactions both look good. The message they need to hear is that there is no place in the mission of the dept/company for their personal issues, and they need to begin to demonstrate that they invest in others in the team as worthwhile teammates that contribute to a shared success. If they cannot provide evidence of that kind of interactive skill, then out on their duffs they ought to go.

Author mwachirake
#5 | Posted: 26 Nov 2007 04:22 
I would hate to be in your situation. To me those girls are behaving like kids where they blame each other whenever they do something wrong.I also get the impression that you are soft on them.You need to be a little bit firm on them because if the girls go on like that it may affect work in a negative way.They need to respect their work. I agree with wendyb. Call a meeting and give a verbal warning.If it doesnt work, give them a warning letter. If the written warning letter doesnt work then you have no choice but to let them go.Their differences may cost the company a lot and we dont want to reach that point.
All the best.

Author pdarden
#6 | Posted: 26 Nov 2007 08:30 

I just recently went through the exact thing. I have a small CSR team of 5 that work very well together. All of a sudden the 2 dominating personalities stopped speaking to each other. I spoke with each person separately, only to hear them both say the same thing (it's the other persons fault, etc.). I made a bold move and got them both together in the same room to talk about what was going on and how it's changing the dynamics of the call center. After a few intense moments, they were told to work it out. I am pleased to report that they worked it out. Everyone is back communicating and providing great service to our customers.

I must admit that if they could not have worked it out, I would have taken the next step . . . verbal, written warning and then onto termination.

Good luck to you.

Author Mondie
#7 | Posted: 3 Dec 2007 07:23 
Thank you for all your advice, will let you all know how I get on!!

Author wendyb
#8 | Posted: 19 Dec 2007 20:24 
Hi Mondie

How did you go? has the issue been resolved? I'd love to hear about it.


Author swanstory
#9 | Posted: 21 Dec 2007 23:51 
HI Mondie

compared with you, i think i am too lucky. we have 8 CS staffs totally. in my eyes, they are all very responsible, and show their professional side on work.
sometimes i also think IF i had a tought staff, what could i do? I am a nice person, have very mild temper, don't know how to shout at people to show my toughness. people always say DON'T BE TOO NICE TO YOUR STAFF, OTHERWISE YOU WOULD FEEL DIFFICULT TO HANDLE. i just 50% agree, i still believe we need to show differnt attitude to different people but always with respect.

for your two difficult staff, i agree with the three steps, verbal, written warning and then onto termination.

looking forward to hearing from you soon! :-)

Author sekharpothuri
#10 | Posted: 24 Dec 2007 02:06 
Hi Mondie,

How did it go, what was the response . Hope the situation is resolved now.

Well i cudnt agree more on what wendyb has posted. I have come across similar situations in my career and i did some what similar to what wendyb has done. And most of the times this has worked for me.
The team came out from the room rejuvinated and with a fresh spirit. Ofcourse i have always followed up these kind if situations with some team building exercises. A simple team lunch or an outing away from the workplace where they get to interact at personal level and get to know each other has helped a lot. (The team outings used with a condition that "no shop talk" ).

Sekhar Pothuri

Author Mondie
#11 | Posted: 14 Jan 2008 08:10 
Hi Guys

I thought the people within my team had settled into a comfortable working relationship, but whilst I was out of the office last week, the same issues arose.

2 of the woman had a stand up argument over what appears to be nothing and I have walked in to a barrage of accussations today!

It seems that both woman feel that they are spoken to is a demeaning way and so I spoke to them both today together and told them that I find it unacceptable that they can not be professional enough to get on with the work they are paid to do.

one girl is a bit of a 'victim' everyone is always picking on her and she accepts no responsibility for her part in the arguments. The other is child like and whines that she is the only one who pulls her weight. It's all very exhausting for me.!

I have arranged a meeting with them tomorrow to calmly talk through what each other does that upsets the other etc...don;t think it will be successful though as they are both stubborn....Performance wise they both are good at what they do and wiuld hate to lose either over what is fundementally a personality clash.

Ahhhhh!!! Help!


Author johnny458
#12 | Posted: 17 Jan 2008 06:58 
Hello Mondie,

It's nice to note that you are being completely neutral here. However, whatever you do, one or both of them is going to feel you are taking sides with the other person. I agree with you that it would not be a good idea to fire any of them over a purely personal issue and more so, since they happen to be good workers.

I guess, you could work out a "code of conduct" for both of them and tell them that anything any of them did that disturbed the working atmosphere, would start attracting penalties or negative points. And when they accumulate a certain number of negative points, they would lose a certain amount of shift allowance - or something like that. Maybe that would get them working on keeping the negative points down ! Conversely, you could also offer an incentive to both of them if they earn positive points ! You could tell them they might start getting surprise gifts if they really behaved well !

Good luck !


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