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Question: “Employees in the customer service department I supervise are catching flak from other departments for issues the other departments create. Because we’re customer service, we get to do “damage control” with the customers. The other departments don’t seem to appreciate the binds they sometimes put us in. My employees are frustrated by having to clean up the messes the other departments create. Last week, a nasty e-mail made its way through the office in which blame was handed out by another department. They tried to throw one of our CSRs under the bus. I called a meeting with my team and tried to calm things down. The problem is, trust has been lost with the other department. I can’t say I blame my employees for feeling defensive and even angry. I’m concerned that this situation will continue to spiral out of control unless I do something. Do you have any advice?”

Answer: You did the right thing by holding a meeting with your team. You need to help your team get a hold of this situation and change the way it interacts with other work areas. In this column, I will outline some steps to clarify expectations moving forward.

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About the Author

Daniel A. Schroeder, Ph.D. is president of Brookfield based Organization Development Consultants Inc. ( He can be reached at 262-827-1901 or Read More »

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