Employee motivation is one of the most intense challenges faced by contact centers today. With Millennials now the largest living population, they will represent 75% of the workforce by 2030. This up-and-coming generation is having a major impact on contact center growth and is driving an evolution in company culture, especially around the concept of employee motivation.
Here are 10 ways contact centers of all sizes can up your game to increase employee motivation, Millenial or otherwise:
- Hire the right people: The focus on employee motivation should start during the hiring process. Know your ideal employee profile and clearly communicate expectations, recognition, and support from the get-go.
- Offer flexibility: In a contact center, a Workforce Management (WFM) solution delivers scheduling flexibility craved by Millenials who seek to maintain a work/life balance.
- Provide continuous feedback: Millennials, especially, seek open, honest and frequent feedback from management. Employees are more engaged when they know management cares about them and recognizes good performance. Workforce Optimization (WFO) solutions provide agents with real-time feedback right from the agent’s desktop.
- Motivate without the wait: Received a positive customer survey? Get an “on the spot badge”. Hit a 1st call resolution target? Pick a gift from the grab bag. Quick-fix prizes, gamification and recognition methods appease the Millenial’s need for instant gratification, recognition and feedback.
- Prioritize fun: Let’s be honest, taking inbound calls from sometimes angry call center customers can demotivate the most positive of employees. I recall a prior employer used theme weeks in their call center to keep employees motivated. Everything during a given week, from the morning briefings to lunch to rewards was based on a common “Around the World” theme. During one Mexico-themed week, there was a nacho bar for lunch and throughout the week call center employees earned turns at a Piñata which held cash prizes in addition to fun gifts like headphones and gift cards. The week ended with a margarita and sangria happy hour at a local restaurant.
- Invest in agent training: A thorough training program helps agents acquire new skills and hone the old ones, so agents can feel competent and empowered. Start with a new hire training program, add then coaching and continuous eLearning to help agents master their jobs.
- Set clear paths for career progression: Employee motivation results when agents realize their potential and a clear route to career growth through defined professional and developmental goals. Promote from within and empower agents to train their replacements.
- Communicate: Schedule regular team “huddles” and host forums where agents can offer process improvement ideas, give peer-to-peer recognition and even try their hand at coaching others. Utilize internal company meetings to recognize exceptional agents with a broader company-wide audience.
- Provide the right tools: From phones to computers to chairs to software, agents need working, and innovative, tools to be successful. A cloud experience platform can deliver a seamless experience for customers and employees, reducing agent onboarding time and improving agent performance.
- Be consistent with employee motivation – As Leslie O’Flahavan and Jenny Dempsey (CustomerServiceLife.com blogger) have found through their #FreeToHelp movement survey, consistent support from management is motivating; random support is not.
When call center employee motivation is elevated, agents have higher sense of ownership in the success of the organization and the customer experience. With the right training, incentives, recognition and communication you can dramatically improve employee motivation within your own call center.