CHAPTER 11

Who, What, When, How?

It isn’t much of a secret what student employees at university call centers do; callers are tasked with phoning alumni and asking for donations. While some student employees appreciate the opportunity to raise money for their university and work alongside classmates on campus, the minimum wage job rarely has anything that provides substantial motivation, let alone engagement. Maybe a supervisor will bring in pizza one day or have a prize for the person who raises the most money one night, but in the end, that fails to keep employees inspired for long.

Such was the case at the University of Michigan Call Center, when a graduate student named Adam looked for ways to increase productivity in student employees. The ...

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