Good Jobs Transformation at Quest Diagnostics
In 2013, Quest Diagnostics kicked off a transformation of company operations called the Quest Management System. One of the biggest challenges the company had identified was in the National Customer Service organization, which had over 850 call center reps and over 50 supervisors. This organization had recently been consolidated from 20 locations to two locations, with over 250 of the reps working remotely. Turnover was high (60% of reps left within a year, resulting in up to $10.5 million annually in direct turnover costs) and operational issues were leading to frustrated reps, frustrated customers, and poor performance. In 2015, under new leadership, the company launched a Good Jobs Transformation to improve the performance and lives of the workers.
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Stabilize the Operations Through Investing in People
Scott Jeffers (Corporate Vice President, Lab Operations) and MaryAnn Camacho (Executive Director, National Customer Service) felt that the best way to improve was to invest in people and make other Good Jobs Strategy choices to create operational excellence.
Phase One: Stabilize. Invest more in reps and fund that investment through Focus & Simplify. Changes included:
- Higher starting wages and step-based pay
- Creating a clear career path
Effect on Customers
- Call center reps given more autonomy to get the customers what they wanted
- A reduction in call volume—and therefore in waiting time— by improving self-serve options for questions that didn’t really need a rep
Effect on Employees
- A 3x increase in the promotion rate
- An increase in the number of skill and wage increases
Effect on Quest Diagnostics
- Empowering employees to have a “voice” in changes and improvements
- Better cross-functional coordination
The good jobs strategy’s impact on our employees has been profound – our promotions rate has tripled, our attrition rate has been cut in half, and the amount of skill and wage increases that we have made have changed lives for the better – we have people on our team that never thought they would be part of a process improvement, or what we call our quest management team, and now they are, we have people that never thought they would be a technical lead, and now they are. We had people that wanted an opportunity to work in the commercial organization and now they can. But I think what’s more important is you see people smiling every day at work.
– MaryAnn Camacho (Executive Director, National Customer Service)