34: Managing Performance Issues with Brittany Naylor

34: Managing Performance Issues with Brittany Naylor

Brittany Naylor has a great story of turning around a team member that was previously on a Performance Improvement Plan. 

I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward  0:13  

Hello, and welcome to the customer support leaders podcast. This is Episode 34. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is managing performance so stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today I’d like to welcome Brittany Naylor. Brittany, would you like to introduce yourself?

Brittany Naylor  0:38  

Hi. Yes, thank you so much for having me, Charlotte. My name is Brittany. I’m currently working right now at Evernote managing the support team here. I’ve been in the customer support industry for over eight years. And prior to that, I got my start and my love for customers in the hospitality industry. So that’s kind of a little bit bit of background on me, but I’m really happy to be here speaking on the podcast today. 

Charlotte Ward  1:03  

So Brittany, the topic for this week is managing performance. And I’d love to hear any words of wisdom or any horror stories or even any lovely stories that you have, I’d be happy with either, frankly, how do you feel and how do you approach managing performance?

Brittany Naylor  1:17  

Yeah, um, when we’re talking about performance issues in customer support it is so different than in sales. In sales, you just get fired. If you’re not performing, you’re done. You’re cut off, you know, I don’t want to cut you off. I’ve invested in you, I’ve hired you. I’ve trained you, I want you to succeed. Genuinely, you know, I kind of feel like a parent in a lot of ways. It’s just like, I love you. I want what’s best for you. And really kind of how I like to tackle it is with performance improvement programmes. So we really just try to identify the metrics and the or the KPIs for the team member, that’s just not meeting the expectations that we’ve set out for them. And it’s been consistent. This isn’t something where it’s the first time they’ve never not met that metric. And trying to come up with a way to let them kind of create their own path forward. If you want to continue working here, what is it you think you need to do to improve? And how can I help you with that? So then we sit down together and we make some goals. What I really value out of this particular process is setting hard dates. By February 28, you will have done X, Y, and Z. And you will have met this performance or this KPI for four out of the five weeks or something like that. 

Charlotte Ward  2:40  

You quite specifically said that in the case of the KPI you would, as an example expected to be hit four out of five weeks. So you’re still allowing I mean, failure is not necessarily the right word, but you’re still allowing them to be human right? I mean, even if you’re expecting a significant uplift, it’s like you don’t expect immediate and you wouldn’t expect that from Anyone anyway, right? You don’t expect 100% record because nobody can do that. Right. So you’re setting expectations, but they’re still kind of realistic. 

Brittany Naylor  3:09  

Yeah. And really the key part of letting them set their goals is you’re giving them a say in their development. There’s something about them getting to say what they’re going to do to fix it, that really motivates them to do it.

Charlotte Ward  3:25  

Do you encounter any kind of resistance in that goal setting because I know I have in those scenarios where the KPI is 100 and you’re currently achieving 30 consistently, we need to move you to more towards 100 What can you realistically achieve and they say 31 how do you have that conversation? How do you take them on the journey that is actually a stretch for them? 

Brittany Naylor  3:50  

It is really a motivational factor. If I get resistance, I have been known to point-blank say why are you working here, if you don’t think you can meet the metrics that are not just your goal they’re everybody’s goals. And if you don’t think that you can rise to the occasion, do you think that this is the right job for you? And that’s an honest question, because I feel like everyone in their career has had a job where they weren’t happy. And that affects their performance.

Charlotte Ward  4:27  

If really at the conclusion is it’s not the right role. How do you explore other opportunities with them? 

Brittany Naylor  4:32  

You know, I like to start with the vision, where do you see yourself in five years, I do have a really successful story. I had a particular individual that was just, you could really tell that the motivation just wasn’t there. They didn’t see the point. I am a very fluffy person. I love customers. And so sometimes I’m like, well, the point is to love the customer. I have to take a step back and say, Well, what matters to This particular rap, and what mattered was money. And it’s okay. It’s okay that that is sometimes your motivation. I wanted to move my personal life to the next level, I want to buy a house and getting a job or getting a promotion is crucial, not knowing that there was a promotion available, I think was stalling some of his motivation and his performance, I was actually able to identify that and say, Okay, well actually, this is something that we’re currently working on. We’re working on building out a levelling plan and each of those different levels will have different pay bands. So if this is something that is a factor for you, performance is the root of that and you need to be performing well now to be considered for promotions in the future. Being able to tell him well there is an opportunity he was like, instantly like, Oh my gosh, and oh man, if he is not one of my top performing agents now he’s definitely being considered for that promotion, because he’s had consistent performance for a long time now. So really proud of that turnaround. And, you know, I think that I really liked that story because it’s not fluffy. It’s real, you know, people who care about money, and people care about their job and their livelihoods. And that’s probably a lot of people in the customer support industry. They’re here to have a job at first. Yeah. And it’s our job as customer support leaders, to engage them in that job and engage them in a career that makes them want to not only stay, but stay and do well.

Charlotte Ward  6:40  

That’s it for today, go to customersupportleaders.com/34 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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