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Service vocation: an ally against rotation at the contact centers?

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The term vocation, according to the Spanish definition provided by the RAE, derives from Latin and denotes the action of calling: “inspiration through which God summons some state”.

This is because during the old age vocation was kept for rather few people: only those who possessed very high positions like priests, physicians and Supreme Court judges.

However, there has been an important change of sense, so nowadays any job may turn into vocation and any vocation into a job, which is great news, since it means that everyone may accomplish this.

Vocation implies a passionate commitment to work, since people who have it consider that they contribute to common good, something that transcends them, which confirms RAE’s definition. Given that our industry’s mission is to provide service to customers through different channels, the fact of having the vocation of wanting to do it gains essential value.

Whether through teleshopping, reception of complaints or payment management, we are always providing a service. To understand this concept and to transmit it to the collaborators allows us to give sense to work. Through the sense, the tasks, and so the work itself, are provided with a purpose, an aim, which transcends the numerical objectives and the profitability that every company seek to achieve. It is then when vocation develops and is expressed: when we understand that we are doing a task that transcends us because it will help others.

How many people will be willing to give up a job which represents their vocation? The question puts rotation on the bench: there are less people willing to quit their vocation than those who would quit a job, especially within the Y generation.

Vocation transcends the job and the service even more. It is possible to cultivate it; the first step is to help people understanding in what way they are involved in what they are doing, in what way they contribute to the team and the clients. This is the seed for motivation, the sense of belonging, and accordingly, the service vocation development: understanding what we are doing, why and what we are doing it for.

The challenge that appears at the moment of its building is the way of communicating the objectives so that the collaborators feel part of a more important project: to contribute to other’s welfare, either by providing them with a product useful for them, or by settling a claim.

Let us work in this direction so that the service vocation ‘gen’ prevails in this industry’s ‘genetic map’.

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Written by Elsa Basile. Learning Goals, Issues Debates, Case Studies on Human Capital, Technology, Operations and Management