A Fortune 50 financial services organization had serious issues within its retail telephone customer service organization. Customer service levels had fallen dangerously low and employee morale was equally depressed following years of cost cutting and non-useful leadership practices. Employee turnover was excessive due to poor job satisfaction, contributing to disproportionate costs for hiring and training, which drove inferior quality service.
While the culture was not ideal, there were several positive traits of the organization. People excelled at the execution of tasks—especially in crisis mode, leaders were results driven, and there were many skilled and talented employees with strong work ethics.
With over 6000 employees, the new leader of the division was charged with quickly addressing the main business concern: improving customer service quality while controlling operational costs and eliminating regulatory exposure.
The enterprise information technology division of the large commercial bank was a strong and vital resource to the organization. They were solid business partners with the retail, commercial and wholesale sides of the bank, maintaining and improving their sound technology platforms.
The bank was in the early stages of instilling new corporate values via an organization-wide campaign but was experiencing slow progress. While the IT division had consistent emphasis on the new corporate values from their Senior Leadership Team, there was a need to connect and relate the concepts to day-to-day operations throughout the organization; front line employees viewed the value campaign as another program that would fade with time.
Overall, the IT organization exhibited many positive traits that contributed to a relatively healthy and efficient work environment. Among these were the knowledge, technical competence, and integrity of the team members, along with recent efforts to improve communication, teamwork, and leadership. While there was effective collaboration in crisis mode and around specific tasks or projects, there was a need for improved proactive and creative teamwork.