Contact centre managers who inspire their workforce are most likely to maintain respect and dedication from their team. However, in an industry where some of the staff are probably just doing the job to pay the bills, driving engagement and maximising performance can be a struggle.
Contact centres can be engaging places to work…
With the average adult spending more than two-thirds of their life at work, call centre managers should strive to create an inspiring and appreciative environment, as this is fundamental to productivity.
When looking for a solution to raise employees’ performance, the essential question a manager must consider on behalf of staff is:
What’s in it for me?
And the reply must be something that they will happily work hard to receive in recognition of their efforts. It is worth addressing.
Recognising and showing appreciation to staff for a job well done and consistently high quality performance boosts staff morale and, ultimately, supports the business’s overall success.
The facts to consider are that, for example, 80% of employees who feel appreciated at work are happy to stay in their current role; 78% of employees would work harder if they received regular praise, whilst research shows that 65% of all lost customers can be traced back to a disengaged employee.
Recognition in action
British Gas provides an example of how to address this – to reinforce the delivery of excellent customer service and increase call quality, in 2009 the company implemented the ‘Golden Ticket’ scheme which proved popular with the Cardiff based call centre staff (and the rest of the organisation).
Divided into two sections – ‘Golden Call’ and ‘Golden League’ – they focused on qualitative and quantitative performance criteria respectively, with a goal to recognise individual customer service agents, team and customer service group performance. Ultimately, the key objective was to recognise and reward good customer service.
Keeping an eye on the prize
Rewards are a powerful motivator and, in this case, British Gas enjoyed success by integrating a range of both high impact rewards on a less frequent basis, interspersed with smaller prizes awarded weekly and monthly.
The prizes should be aspirational and varied to maintain relevance. For example, British Gas offered a variety of vouchers and merchandise, team activities, golden spot prizes, dream holidays. A place on a coveted end of event also motivates disengaged teams.
Well planned communication is essential to maintain employees’ awareness. Utilising physical props such as dream holiday boards and golden league tombolas, and using powerful branding which is consistently communicated within the call centre through holiday boards, posters and tent cards keeps the scheme at the forefront of employees’ minds.
New for 2013
The power of the web
The internet helps to maintain engagement; a bespoke website displaying weekly and monthly leagues to encourage and drive performance, latest news and winner details – along with pictures of their holiday and printable leagues and team posters – is an effective tool to boost uptake.
Weekly motivational messages and updates on their league position to each individual is inspirational and adds an element of healthy competition.
British Gas’ Golden Ticket scheme enabled the organisation to meet its objectives in several ways. This included the provision of a direct ‘what’s in it for me’ reinforcement and also awarding 78% of staff with an impressive total of 1874 prizes. Employees were extremely engaged with 89% of staff actively participating.
Those contact centre managers who endeavour to inspire staff by showing appreciation will create a breeding ground for engaged and productive employees.
John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.