Top problems for contact centres, #2: Employee commitment

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The commitment level of your employees has a huge influence on company culture, and as a result, it also influences the way your strategy is realized and, ultimately, the profitability of your business.

Research done by Aon shows, among other things, that a five per cent increase in employee commitment results in a three per cent growth in revenue the following year. In this article, I list seven ways of encouraging employees to commit to your organization’s success:

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Ways of strengthening the employees’ commitment

1. Motivating the employees

Allocate time for motivating the employees through various competitions and regular fun events. It is important that people enjoy their work and have some fun at work every now and then, as well. When set up correctly, various competitions can be extremely motivating. If you want to see a variety of competitions related to contact centres, click this link. The competitions do not always have to be connected to performance indicators; you can easily organize competitions that encourage excellent manners, high-quality customer service or getting to know one’s colleagues.

2. Coaching and mentoring

Coaching is probably one of the most important ways of inspiring commitment. After all, it is meant to give the employee the tools he or she needs to develop her skills and achieve better results. You can easily involve employees in the mentoring process by giving the most successful employees some additional responsibility; for instance, you can create a mentoring programme for your unit. Let the employees open up freely and be open and honest when talking with them. There is usually a reason for everything, so it is a good idea to go through these with your employees. What does handling time influence, why is the goal set at the current level, and so on. Explaining the reasons behind everything helps a lot in itself. In addition, it is a good idea to find out not only what each employee expects from themselves, but also the supervisor and the organization.

3. Evaluation and recognition

You get what you measure. This statement is well-known in many contact centres, and it is, indeed, very accurate. We often tend to focus on measuring performance indicators, such as contact handling times, the number of sales, post-handling times and so on. You should also measure at least quality; any why not include customer satisfaction, as well? These should, of course, be measured at the level of an individual employee in order to get the most useful results. Employees want to know how they are doing, both in terms of performance and quality. If you are still at the stage of planning your quality assurance process, you might benefit from reading our article on implementing quality assurance process.

4. Work shifts

Let your employees influence their own work schedule. If you are using some type of a shift planning system, many of them have a feature for including shift requests. You can also connect work shifts to the gamification rewards. You could use the right to partially plan one’s own shifts or to schedule one’s holidays freely as a reward.

5. Work shift change management

For contact centres, it is a good idea to have flexibility instructions for unusual situations. The most common arrangement might be having agreed flexitime arrangements for situations where the planned shifts and forecasts do not match. If the number of contacts significantly exceeds the expectations, it is nice to have practical instructions for what to do. Similar guidelines are needed for situations where there are much fewer contacts than anticipated.

6. Give the employees power

You should give the employees a chance to be heard in a way where you recognize and answer to their feedback. In general, it is a good idea to keep communication as regular and open as you can. It is good to arrange dedicated feedback channels for different topics and to direct the feedback to someone who has the power to do something about these things. If you give feedback to your supervisor on, for example, the calling system, and receive an answer saying “I forwarded your feedback”, it does not particularly encourage you to give more feedback or to help develop the operations.

7. Allow telecommuting

It is a good idea to allow telecommuting, aka remote working, as well. There may be some challenges linked to information security or the variety of CRM systems used. However, if you do manage to make telecommuting possible, it has a huge influence on your employees’ job satisfaction. At the same time, you are creating a flexible resource that can be activated more quickly and easily in a surprising or urgent situation.

By inspiring commitment, you get better results!

Committed employees do a better job in terms of providing both excellent customer experiences and significant business results. Happy employees take fewer sick leaves and change jobs less frequently. This, in turn, leads to much lower labour costs and automatic improvements in your revenue, thanks to efficient and happy employees.

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Ville Mikkonen

Ville Mikkonen

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