From Collector: Responding to a Mistake

How to prevent future occurrences when an employee violates your policies and procedures.

4/12/2019 9:00 AM

NewsCollector Magazine
From Collector: Responding to a Mistake

Your employee handbook and compliance policy manual, no matter if they are one big document or separate files, contain a multitude of rules you expect your employees to follow.

These rules are in place to protect your company, your clients and the consumers you communicate with every day, Collector magazine managing editor Anne Rosso May reports in the April issue.

Despite this, mistakes can happen. Maybe an employee stopped giving the Mini-Miranda on calls or started coming to work late. No matter what the violation, unchecked behavior like this can have big consequences. Promptly addressing the error is key to helping to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

What’s the best way to address a collector’s mistake?

First, consider the source.

No matter how you flag the mistake—picking it out of the account notes or hearing about it from another employee—you’ll want to get to the root of the problem as quickly as possible, Rosso May reports. Is it a one-off, collector-specific error or a chronic problem that calls for comprehensive retraining?

Depending on the situation, your actions will be largely determined by what you find when you talk to the employee.

Next, document everything.

Each year you probably require staff to sign on the dotted line that they’ve read and understood your policies, but it may be helpful to go a step beyond this and explain why these policies were established in the first place.

When employees understand the purpose of the rules they’re supposed to follow, they’ll be more likely to do so.

Make sure your incident handling policies and procedures have kept pace with regulatory and legislative changes, and they are properly communicated to your workforce, Rosso May reports.

Discipline may be needed as a result of an employee’s mistake, and as such your progressive discipline policy should be clearly outlined in your employee handbook. This helps employees understand the consequences of their actions and managers understand what to do when a situation occurs so they’re not making up their response as they go.

Read more on responding to an employee’s mistake and how to move forward, including first-hand examples from ACA International members, in the April issue of Collector magazine.

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