Dr. Adam Grant, creator of Optimize Hire, was recently featured in a New York Times Magazine cover story, “Is giving the secret to getting ahead?“. The article highlights one of Dr. Grant’s groundbreaking research projects on improving call center employee’s performance.
At universities across the U.S., student representatives call alumni to ask for donations to the school. Some of the money raised goes directly to student scholarships. Dr. Grant attempted to improve university fundraiser performance by connecting the outbound callers to the scholarship recipients.
In the experiment, Dr. Grant arranged for scholarship recipients to come into the call center and tell the callers how much their lives had been impacted by receiving the scholarship—that they wouldn’t be here without their efforts. Then, Dr. Grant tracked the number of calls and the total dollars raised after the intervention.
The results were dramatic. The New York Times Magazine article states, “The results were surprising even to Grant. A month after the testimonial, the workers were spending 142 percent more time on the phone and bringing in 171 percent more revenue, even though they were using the same script. In a subsequent study, the revenues soared by more than 400 percent.”
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