Emotional Labor Implications Essay

Pages: 10 (3259 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Women were also found seeking flexibility in work in most cases more than working men as mothers of infants and school going children need more time to manage their life. (Barbara, 2011). Taking the example of Korean firms where a study showed that Family-friendly workplaces do not always benefit the business. In presence of high performance work system (HPWS) and teams providing employees with too much flexibility and family friendly management can have negative impact on firm and consequently its turnover, labor productivity and labor relations (Jong-Sung., 2010). In relation to call center industry one cannot disregard the fact that work hours depend mostly on time zones where customers reside for example a call center agent in India offering services to a customer in USA would have to work in a night shift so he can pitch his services during day time in United States of America.

It is also important to understand that most of the call centers are not unionized and the need to unionize such institutions would never be felt if there are changes in labor policies, a deregulated and individual approach to employee relations and increasing employer interest in strategic human resource management. A conducive corporate culture, effective reward system and engaged employees can reduce chances of employees to form a union no matter how much the employee strength increases.( Dianne, 1997)

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Promoting equality amongst the workforce is very important in the industry of call centers as there is no face-to-face interaction with the customers there should be no preference given to how an employee looks like or the "right look" as implied by Peter Waring in his journal of industrial relations. Discrimination on the basis of one's appearance should be discouraged in this industry and flexibility in wearing casual clothing is a norm due to long hours and no interactivity with the customers. This promotes a friendly and equal environment although in promoting employees manager's preference to better looking employees remains a debatable topic. (Peter., 2011).

Essay on Emotional Labor Implications on a Assignment

Taking the call center industry under consideration one can see that this business is either based on selling products directly to the customers by calling them on their cell phones or landlines (Outbound calls) and providing customer support services (Inbound calls) to calling customers after sales or for handling their general queries.

In general it is found that both types of call center services have negative consequences on employees related to low wages, not a long-term career, industry in infancy, long work hours, work hours based on customer availability (different time zones), no formal education or degrees to support the profession, repetitive task with same responses or pitch, strict performance monitoring and reward based on sales and the most influential factor is behavior of customers on phone.

For comparison purpose we can categorize call center markets and group them in three.

1. Social Market Economies, having strong labor market and strict regulations. Countries include Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

2. Liberal market economies, with more relaxed labor market regulations and less influential labor institutions. Countries include Canada, Ireland, UK and USA.

3. Recently industrialized or transitional economies, Countries included in this category are Brazil, India, Poland, South Africa and South Korea.

We find that in social market economies there are better jobs with lower attrition rate with low wages as compared to call centers in liberal markets while recently industrialized economies are in worst state using weak market regulations to their advantage and sub-contracting outsourced work which results in lower quality and de-motivated employees due to lowest wages and ineffective reward structures.

Besides these apparent differences other major differences in call centers that effect the emotional labor are;

1. Low Job Discretion: Job discretion is generally low throughout the industry but social and liberal markets have comparatively better job discretion then recently industrialized economies. For example In India alone 75% call centers have low job discretion.

2. Performance Monitoring: The methodology of monitoring performance differs widely. Recently industrialized economies are more concerned with monitoring hence they appraise performance on a weekly basis, monthly in social markets and fortnightly in liberal markets. It is found that monitoring activities in Asian call centers are most intense.

3. Teams: The practice of having self-directed teams is very low across the industry.

4. Union and CBA: A collective representation and unionized structure is present in social and liberal economies but recently industrialized economies have very low percentage of call centers having collective representation.

5. Total Attrition Rate: A typical call center has an attrition rate of 20% per year. Although there is a difference of attrition in all three economies with 15% in social economies, 25% in liberal economies and 23% in industrialized economies. India has the highest attrition rate amongst all countries with 40%.

6. Workforce Tenure: Due to no career progression in most of the call centers, individuals who turn to call centers are either working part time or studying to get a better job. Due to inevitable factors employees tend to have early burnouts and leave this industry for better jobs. The study shows that most individuals don't even complete one year in this industry. Although this tenure differs in the three economies with 16% in social markets, 21% in liberal markets and 38% in industrializing economies. India stands out the most with 60% of employees leaving their call center jobs before completing their first year.

7. Cost of Turnover: The Cost of turnover in this market is very high as the new incumbent is trained and leaving employees result in loss of productivity. It is reported that replacing an employee takes at least three to four months of his salary as an additional cost.

Holman, Batt, and Holtgrewe 2007, Report of the Global Call Centre Network

Above statistics show that call center industry has a lot to do in comparison to other industries. Employee-customer interaction has definite affects on both parties; as customer creates a perspective based on the interaction with the employee and on the other hand a bad behavior from customer can ruin the day for the call center agent. The job itself is rewarding if commissions based on sales are achieved although most employee tend to weigh satisfaction more than money. The job of a call center agent pitching sales is more frustrating than after sales services, as more than 10% of the customers tend to disconnect the call if they sense a sales pitch for service they do not want. (Holtgrewe, 2007).

In industrializing economies most sales agent jobs start from telling a lie which is usually a fake name and a fake location stressing on customer who is aware of this fake identity as recognize the accent. There is very less or no career progression in most of the call center jobs while no support is provided by educational institutes.

The emotional labor is deeply effected in this industry and has enormous negative consequences sometimes classified as inhumane by individuals who leave there jobs for a better career opportunity. In this job the agent is required to maintain a courteous attitude with the customer in any situation and no matter what customer says; which deeply distresses an employee not only leaving him mentally stressed but also has its physical consequences.

In conclusion the emotional factor and negative consequences in this industry are inevitable although employers can motivate and keep the employees happy by adopting best practices in the market. First of all personality assessment can be a very good measurement in assessing employee suitability for the job. The incumbent should be patient friendly and realizes the importance of a customer to business and self. The basics of management and reward system should be in place; the norm of rewarding upon sales made should be discouraged rather rewards should be disbursed on making quality conversations and maintaining customer relationships. Flexibility in work hours and family friendly management can help in promoting a happy environment at the workplace. Friendly and professional relationships should be encouraged and regular breaks can also help. Besides monetary benefits employer should provide intangible benefits such as facilities at work like masseuse, salon and dining out etc., Employees can be motivated by recognition programs that result in competitive environment. In order to maintain better standards Quality Assurance and Human Resource department can play an active role. The Quality Assurance department along with the Human Resource Department should counsel and train employees to do their jobs more effectively. While Human Resources can also play a part in planning and executing outbreaks and events such as picnic, meals and other team activities. Better infrastructures, health plans, office ambiance, individual workstations can play a part in keep the employees motivated. In promoting a healthy and competitive structure the agents should know their role and contribution to organization's mission and values. In this context recently industrializing economies have a lot to do as all indicators show that their industry has the highest… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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