WIIFM - Making the Whats In It for Me? Question Work for You

In the constantly changing world of Call Centers, asking agents to adapt to ever increasing demands, responsibilities and performance can be a challenge to even the most involved of managers. Being able to create buy in is always challenging, but if you can answer the WIIFM question you will be ahead of the game.

While some people may think that the WIIFM question is selfish and self serving, I want to challenge that notion. Very few of us are willing to be completely altruistic in our daily endeavors. We hold down jobs and invest in careers for diverse reasons but the bottom line is that the work we do provides us the means to live the way we choose. When we can no longer see the WIIFM because we are bogged down in the challenges of our daily tasks, we no longer feel compelled to perform those tasks.

So, let me ask you a few questions. Why do you work? Is the work you do important to you or is it just the means to a different end? Do your goals include continuing to do the job you are currently in or do you intend to make a career change? How does the job you're performing now fit into your goals? In other words "What's in it for you?"

Now that you have thought about your WIIFM answers how can you provide the WIIFM for the people that work for you? I know that in a busy Call Center getting to know every employee's hopes and aspirations can be difficult at best. However, giving them the tools to ask and answer their own WIIFM questions can lead to a happier and more productive agent. When discussing new policies, coaching for better performance, or talking about the direction of the organization?keep in mind "what is in it for me (them)." They may not know the answer or they may not be able to see it during the discussions. Giving them the opportunity to ask the question or giving them examples of the WIIFM can make accepting change, or receiving coaching easier.

Actually, WIIFM is just another way to motivate your people that may or may not consist of monetary goals. Not everyone in your employment is motivated by more money, or it may not be their primary motivator. For example, I am completely motivated by praise. I can go a long way on an "atta girl". If you get specific about why and where you think I am doing a good job, I will double my efforts to be valued, appreciated and praised. I will even ask for praise when I need it. However, when I work in a situation where I don't feel valued or appreciated, all the money in the bank won't keep me satisfied. Do you know what motivates your employees to perform? Can your employees answer that question for you?

When your employees see the WIIFM they can make informed decisions about their contributions. It provides focus and can create target goals to strive for. Answering the WIIFM question can alleviate fears and frustration, help employees navigate change and even provide a reason to excel. If you could help every employee ask and answer the "what's in it for me?" question would it make your job easier? Would it give you the tools you needed to provide better motivational messages, contests, and benefits? Could helping your employees understand "what's in it for me" improve productivity, retention, or employee satisfaction? WIIFM can work for you; all you have to do is ask the right questions.

If you are interest in leadership theory and practices then you need to visit: http://www.righttolead.com. Carole Sue Jones is a contributing writer and thinker for our organization. In addition, as a leader you may be interested in http://www.myleadershipsuccess.com.

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