November 18, 2010
Principles of Management Team 1
Mountain West Health Plans, Inc
Customer Service Department
We’d like to go over some key leadership issues that lie within Mountain West Health Plans, Inc’s Customer Service Department. We’d to review the overall performance of Mountain West Health Plans, Inc’s new hire Erik Rasmussen. We will also compare the leadership style of your current hire with that of recent retiree Evelyn Gustafson identifying strengths and weaknesses of each individuals leadership styles. In addition, we will identify the primary issues with Mr. Rasmussen’s leadership style and provide specific recommendations as to how to address these issues. We firmly believe that the Customer Service Department will operate more effectively and efficiently if our recommendations are taken into consideration. Here are the issues:
After Erik Rasmussen acquired his new position, he was challenged by upper-level management to increase efficiency and lower costs in the Customer Service department. To address these concerns, Mr. Rasmussen, made it priority to increase the number of calls per hour that each representative handled. In contrast of Mrs. Gustafson’s “open door policy,” Mr. Rasmussen’s “No-nonsense” approach was put into effect. For the first time ever, the company measured the representatives’ performance against statistical standards that emphasized speed, recorded the customer-service calls, and used software that generated automated work schedules based on historical information and projected need. Efficient, non flexible scheduling was the goal. In addition, the company cut back on training. Indeed, Mr. Rasmussen reached his goal. The calls per hour have increased dramatically. Although Rasmussen’s primary goal was to control the increasing costs of the labor-intensive department, it should have been done so more effectively and with regards to the overall well-being of the company. The results prove to increase in quantity however the quality seems to have decreased drastically. Due this we recommend the following midcourse corrections for Mr. Rasmussen:
Rasmussen should talk with the past director of customer service, Evelyn Gustafson, to get an insight on how she was so successful in gaining and retaining employee satisfaction. Rasmussen can take some ideas from Ms. Gustafson and include them in his individual approaches to reach a median. This will relax his “no-nonsense” approach and make it easier for employees to work with him thus increasing company morale.
Rasmussen should increase training opportunities. Many of the customers’ complaints were about receiving inaccurate information from inexperienced representatives. Increasing training opportunities will allow the employees to be better informed on the products, in turn providing the correct information to subscribers. However, to avoid high cost he can do the training approximately twice a month.
We suggest that Mr. Rasmussen allow employees to take periodic breaks throughout the day similarly to that of Evelyn Gustafson. However, we suggest that breaks are taken alternately so that someone is on the phone at all times. This will give employees time to refresh themselves and clear there mind for a brief moment. This will increase company morale tremendously.
We recommend that Mr. Rasmussen began offering incentives to employees based on their performance. This will encourage employees to operate more effectively while still providing quality service. This will also give Mr. Rasmussen more interaction with employees on a softer approach.
We will now go further into detail as to why we suggest the above recommendations. Evelyn Gustafson, retired director of customer service for Mountain West Health Plans, Inc. was an Interactive Leader. Interactive Leadership indicates that the leader favors a consensual and collaborative process, and influence derives from relationships rather...
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