This is the second in an eight-part blog series about what makes Elevate Recoveries a different kind of collection agency. Instead of mission and vision statements, Elevate Recoveries employs a simple philosophy that we try to instill in our team. The second component of our philosophy is to “lead by example”.
Leading by example is not about leadership or management, but instead is about setting an example for those around you. This is especially important in the collection industry as turn-over is often high, with many companies having a core of long-term collection employees while the remainder of the staff seems to be a constant stream of new hires. While training is essential in establishing company policies and ensuring new hires are properly versed in FDCPA, TCPA, HIPAA and other state/federal regulations regarding the industry, the behavior of core employees is equally essential.
From an operations standpoint, leading by example is all about how collection agents (or at Elevate our Payment Advisors) engage with the consumer. As in most organizations, new hires will frequently emulate their fellow co-workers especially if that co-worker is a successful collector/payment advisor. A new hire may likely imitate a co-worker who is overly assertive yet successful versus a passive co-worker who is not as successful. While management is responsible for ensuring that all employees follow established policies and regulations, at Elevate we encourage our employees to monitor themselves, to lead by example, so that their fellow co-workers will mimic the correct – and legal – ways to engage the consumer. This engagement is not just limited to speaking with the consumer, but also includes ensuring the consumer’s account is properly notated and updated so the account information is accurate.
Aside from operations, leading by example can take on many forms but culminates in an employee taking pride in their organization. If an hourly employee observes a vice president taking out the trash or a director stocking paper towels in the restroom, it sends a clear message and sets the tone for other employees. This is common at Elevate not because we are a young, growing company, but because the executive team believes that managers should never ask their employees to do something they are not willing to do themselves. But the philosophy isn’t just top-down, it is bottom-up as well. Coming to work on time, cleaning up after one’s self in the break room, dressing appropriately…all are components of leading by example and each one can be executed by any level of employee.
Eric M. Damewood
Executive Vice President