The call center industry has seen growth in the last 15 years. Companies want to adhere to their customer needs in an efficient manner. As a result, corporations set strict standards to capitalize on the multitasking skills of call center agents who are willing to enter this work environment.
The industry has become so diverse agents have the opportunity for telecommuting, offline work, and advancement in cross skills training. At first this seems like an ideal profession that is continually growing and always seeking ambitious individuals who want to grow within a corporation.
There are dangers in working in call centers that I have previously discussed is past blogs. It is easy to ignore the dangers to your own personal health and social well-being. It is also important to understand the benefits your company offers to endure your health.
Consider other fields of employment such as construction workers, bank tellers, or even police officers. Each of these fields ensure safety measures to ensure workers have a measure of safety provided. These measures are governed and ensured in most cases for the safety of the employee and the clients they assist.
Similarly call center agents enter dangerous environments that are deadly. Even with extensive training there is no way to prepare a human for:
In addition, to these life-threatening illnesses, there is also the variant pay scale. Call center agents can make anywhere as low as 7.50 per hour or as high as 30.00 per hour. The higher rate in pay the increase in danger to the individuals who choose this line of work. There are corporations who provide reasonable health insurance and other benefits to try to assist. However, considering the risks there is more that can be done that corporations are not willing to pay for. Some benefits to provide a safe work environment can include:
It seems like navigating through the corporate shield to protect your health and social well being is difficult. If anything, it is scary. There is a fear of losing employment trying to ensure your own protection. Therefore, it is imperative you are not afraid to ask the scary questions. Consult your supervisor to find out what is available to you. If your supervisor cannot help you, consult your H.R department.
At the end of the day of a company is not willing to provide you with what is needed to protect you from the dangers of the job they created for you may have, it may not be a good company to work for. Don’t give up without a fight and always take care of you first. You are your best investment and you are only marketable if you are alive and happy.
It’s hard to believe that we culminate from high school hoping to be around accepting professionals only to find out that you are either being bullied, or you are a bully. Company cultures establish villages and tribes like the clicks in high school. These villages and tribes determine your career and social status within the company. This can be damaging not only to current and future employment, but to one’s confidence to succeed.
It’s important to recognize that adult bullying is just as debilitating as childhood bullying. It is important to recognize when bullying is happening even if it is not happening to you. We can all take part in either controlling the environment and or consoling the person being bullied.
Since adult bullying is a little subtler and less obvious that childhood bullying, we must be a little more observant. Here are some things that are easy to miss:
Giving someone a nickname they are clearly uncomfortable hearing.
Taking possession of someone else’s property without them offering or you even asking.
Whispering about a person right in front of them thinking they can’t hear you.
Starting gossip within the office with purpose and intent to defame the character of another person.
Violating the personal space whether they are in the space or not.
Passive aggressive comments about someone’s family.
I know when you are reading this list you are thinking “I do this and I don’t consider this bullying”. Well you are wrong. Compare these behaviors to similar behaviors in school. The way it felt to watch someone being bullied or even be on either end of bullying. These attributes are the same and have the same effect on socialization and performance.
We can all take an opportunity to reflect on our personal and professional environments. Make sure that we are not the bully or they person being bullied. Even more important are you watching the behavior and doing nothing to stop it. We can’t be successful if we ignore even the smallest details that are preventing success. Bullying is one of those things.
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor