Incorporating the SUMO(Shut Up Move On) message under license from Paul McGee
Stress within the contact centre is not only widespread, but costly. Stress causes half of all absenteeism and 25% of all voluntary turnover within the industry . With an average staff turnover rate of anywhere between 20-40% and a cost of turnover at around £5,000-£10,000 per agent, contact centres that don’t address workplace stress can be setting themselves up for a vicious cycle of failure.
If ever you have experienced working in a front line role you will know from experience how demanding it can be. At times, contact centre work can be like a box of chocolates, you never know what (or who!) you are going to get! This unknown is stressful in itself, and if our contact centre is multi-skilled and/or handling different call types then this is exacerbated.
When a traumatic, negative or argumentative call is completed it can be challenging not to take the defensiveness, annoyance or down-right defeated exhaustion into the next call. This can cause a downward spiral of negative calls to occur, with the adviser oblivious to the part they play, simply complaining ‘why am I getting all the xxxx calls today!’
Instead, we can use a bit of SUMO wisdom to learn to ‘Shut Up’ our faulty thinking and ‘Move On’ to creating a better call in the next one. This doesn’t happen by magic or Californian ‘happy clappy’ voodoo. This is Mancunian Motivation – which has 3 key principles.
No Bull. Tell it like it is. Let’s be really practical.
In this sessions we explore that it’s ok to feel mad, bad or sad. Indeed in SUMO it’s what we call ‘hippo time’. A short wallow is fine, but it’s when you get stuck there that we have a problem. In this workshop we focus on practical strategies to enable delegates to know how to quickly recover and try again. The 7 Questions pictured above are just one of the toolsets provided and explored to create a practical action plan to apply after the training.
When teams of advisers go through this training together something special happens. The organisation adopts the SUMO lingo and the shift becomes culturally visible. Advisers start to help one another move out of hippo time. They stop ‘joining in’ with the ‘Martyr Syndrome’ and start to think about what they can control (i.e. themselves) rather than what they can’t. They also find the thinking and techniques helpful in all areas of life!