Finding ways to increase staff motivation will boost the work-rate and productivity of your employees. Here are a few tips on how to motivate staff in the contact centre.
1. Happy work force = happy customers
Provide a great environment to work in and look after your staff the way you expect them to look after your customers.
Why should they be nice to customers if they are getting a raw deal at work themselves? Keep employees happy by providing what they need in terms of training (soft skills as well as technical knowledge) and genuine support with positive messages where appropriate and constructive feedback where development is needed.
2. Senior manager feedback
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your staff feel motivated and valued. Quite often a telephone call from a senior manager congratulating a team member on a ‘good week’ is equally as effective as an offer of a training course or gift voucher. You can’t be seen to be withdrawing from investing in your people. Of course, you may have to make decisions to protect the profitability of your business that may not be popular so the messages you communicate are extremely important. We must continue to celebrate success, coach people on specific challenges and address any difficult issues they face.
3. A positive attitude
It is vital that recruitment team managers realign their expectations and take into consideration the economic climate when setting targets and objectives. Whilst I don’t believe it is all doom and gloom out there, it is definitely tougher to convert leads into sales and there are fewer opportunities. That said, team leaders must encourage their staff to raise their game and sell themselves out of the credit crunch.
4. The right tools and skills for the job
Regardless of whether you are operating during a credit crunch or not – staff motivation is influenced by the following factors: having the right person in the job who is capable of doing it; equipping them to do the job by giving them the right tools and support and finally setting realistic targets that they believe can be achieved. We have continued to invest in sales and marketing during these difficult times and have launched a number of new product lines. This shows our staff that we are responding to the challenges of the marketplace and supporting them in every way we can.
5. Don’t be tempted to carry anyone who is not up to the job
Leadership skills are ever more important during a credit crunch and you must lead from the front and inspire the team. Concentrate on how to motivate your best staff and don’t be tempted to carry anyone who is not up to the job – this can be highly demotivating for the rest of the team.
6. Keep things fresh
As obvious as it may sound, the key to motivating your staff is to keep things fresh. Any job, however much you enjoy it, can become monotonous. This is even more true for the call centre environment.
7. Small ‘quick fix’ prizes
Monthly bonuses and incentive schemes are always useful, but what will keep them motivated throughout the month is the small ‘quick fix’ stuff, the here and now, if you like. The little prizes they can take away with them as soon as they win them (or hit target).
8. Training is always good, it keeps people up to date and focused on the job
Regular, effective and relevant training is massively important and a great motivator. If you want them to perform properly and consistently then you have to give them the tools to do so. Training is always good, it keeps people up to date and focused on the job at hand, it keeps their skills at the forefront and it will show them that management are obviously concerned with how well they do their job, etc.
If they are given good quality training that covers the topics and issues they are faced with then they will respond and to a certain extent motivate themselves to stick with what they learn.
9. Offer a nice clean working environment
You need to make sure that the environment they are working in is conducive to good performance. Everyone likes to work somewhere nice, clean carpets, working computers and phones, a couple of nice plants.
Consider this, which team do you think would give the best performance, the one who works in a scruffy office where the equipment only works half of the time and the managers never offer any support, or the team that works in a clean, friendly office where everything works properly and managers spend their day patting you on the back?
I appreciate that I’ve given an extreme example but the fact remains that if your call centre is clean and welcoming then your team will want to be there and motivation is much easier to come by.
10. We all like to be rewarded or praised for doing it well
A good reward scheme is a great way to motivate staff, especially if your team are conducting outbound calls. Human nature dictates that no matter what job we do we all like to be rewarded or praised for doing it well. Sales people live by that, generally because the better they do the more money they get.What you have to do is have more than one programme running at any given time – immediate, daily, weekly, monthly – it doesn’t really matter what timescales are involved – the key is to run a programme that suits all members of the team. Basically, the thing that might motivate the top sales person won’t necessarily work with an average performer and vice versa. So if you have different options then you should be able to give all of them something to aim for.
11. Use both sides of the brain
We support people by using the NBI Brain Profile. Through listening to callers’ word patterns (usually borrowers) you can establish how best to deal with them, e.g. if a caller wants to tell you their story it probably means they are more of a right-brain thinker. This is important for them to know you understand their situation and if later in the call you want to obtain a commitment from them this will increase your probability of success.
12. Using temporary workers
The benefit of having temporary workers is that the customers can flex up and down depending on their requirement. So unsurprisingly over the past few months we have seen a decrease in demand for temporary workers across a number of our customers. Naturally companies are also reticent to commit to permanent recruitment and are even subject to headcount freezes.
13. Listening to your team
We have found that the simple yet very effective “secret” to motivating a call centre team effectively comes through how one views motivation. We run with the premise that it is impossible to impose motivation upon people, you need to create an environment within which they can (and will) motivate themselves.
This environment comes through really listening to your team, and understanding the call centre from their perspective. You do not need to agree with everything they are thinking but you do need to understand why they feel this way. Understand what problems/worries they are encountering, what opportunities they see, what is important to them.
14. What does success look like?
One area (often overlooked) is providing absolute clarity in “what success looks like” – all employees must be able to understand their goals and determine whether or not they are achieving these goals.
15. Positive immediate consequences
Rewards that come at the end of the period are too late to produce ongoing change. “Well done” at the end of the week has a short-term impact. Sustained change in behaviour comes when agents are told right through their shift … every minute of the day … precisely how they are performing and being rewarded for that performance.
When they see the positive and immediate consequences of what they do, the do it better; faster; more often.
16. A team huddle at the start of the shift
A bit of fun can go a long way towards motivating staff and helps to energise. At the start of shifts a quick ‘huddle’, not only to pass on bits of key information but to also share a topical joke or ‘vote’ on a true/false, can really wake people up! Far more effective than email bulletins that are rarely read!
17. Be careful promoting people into management roles
One of the most common mistakes, one which I have never understood, is moving consistent, well-performing call centre staff into management roles and away from the front line of customer service. Often when these top performers are promoted to managing others, they are replaced by less talented individuals. But many good call centre staff are wilfully independent workers, so can find management roles stressful and demotivating. Ultimately, the result is the business loses out on two fronts.
18. Get the systems right
The best way to motivate contact centre staff is to ask for their direct input. A key area for consultation is the re-evaluation of the area where agents spend all of their time: the desktop.
Agents frequently cite dissatisfaction with systems as being a major source of low morale.
19. Sort out the headaches
Having to navigate accurately across multiple desktop applications while trying to deal effectively with impatient customers can be incredibly unproductive and stressful for agents. The sheer volume of copying and pasting across different systems requires intense concentration and can lead to headaches and repetitive strain injuries.
Ironically, deploying integration and automation technology to tackle these issues can genuinely humanise highly repetitive, manual and error-prone processes for call centre agents.
20. Rewards to share with the family
Motivation and reward schemes need to have a high satisfaction level and appeal.
We are finding more and more that staff want rewards that they can share with their family and that give them a sense of well-being.
21. Find out what makes staff ‘tick’
Find out what motivates each employee, and make each individual feel that they have a part to play in the overallsuccess of the business. An annual employee satisfaction survey won’t even scratch the surface.
To find out what makes staff ‘tick’ on an ongoing basis you need to measure employee attitude at ‘key moments of truth’ for each employee.
The best way to do this is to use employee feedback software which can provide a regular opportunity for employees to ‘air their thoughts’ in a non-confrontational way. And to provide that information to team leaders so that they always have an up-to-date picture about how an employee feels.
22. Reward good work
When someone does a good job it’s important to recognise their achievements. Offering commission on sales targets or promotions based on performance gives staff something to strive for and also shows you will commend good work.
23. Regular review sessions
In every role people want to develop their skills to help them progress. All members of the team should have regular review sessions which help staff and employers to identify both areas of strength and skills gaps. At the end of each of these sessions, targets are set for the employee to work towards, helping them develop in their career.
24. Encourage staff to dress smartly
Even though customers rarely come face to face with call centre staff, it is important for them to act and look professional at all times. All our staff must dress smartly. Putting on smart clothes for work puts you in a professional mindset which can also boost your business confidence and motivation.
25. Introduce colour in the work space
Inspire your staff to work hard and strive for success. Call centres can be bland, so you can create a more vibrant atmosphere by introducing colour in the work space, using motivational images and pictures to brighten the area. These little, low-cost improvements can make a significant impact on your workforce.
You know your staff better than anyone else; if you have new motivational ideas for your call centre workforce don’t be afraid to try them. Sometimes the simplest of changes can make a significant impact on employees’ working culture and attitude.
- Tricia Jephcott, Pelican People
- Melissa Carslake, right4staff
- Stuart Pearce, PRG Solutions
- Neil France, Genesis Business Services
- Stephen Ferrey, MoCo Development Ltd
- David Brown, Agent00 Limited
- Carolyn Blunt, Real Results Training Ltd
- Harry Eastman, Easynet Connect
- David Davies, Corizon
- Francis Carden, OpenSpan
- David Butler, National Garden Gift Vouchers
- Gary Schwartz, Confirmit
- Chris Earle, Unicom
These are great motivational tips! Thank you for posting them. I really like how you positioned training as motivation, because so many times people think of training as just a job requirement, when it really can be motivational to help enhance skill sets.
As a training professional, this speaks volumes to me.
it is realy good ideas but we need to know what is the realation between staff motivation & budget,.
No. 17 is all very well but if you don’t promote call centre staff into management positions they are likely to seek opportunities elsewhere so you’ve lost them anyway. However much they may enjoy their job and however good they are if their career aspirations are not met they will become more UNhappy. And I speak from personal experience on this issue.
these are very good ideas/tips, bu i would like you, if it is possible that is, to send me how to motivate senior level staff. otherwise thank you for posting the tips.
Really good tips and I have already passed these to my team. The only one that really doesn’t make sense is point 17 I’m not sure why this person has come with such a pointless comment and to call this a tip is a complete joke. You should always promote your best workers to keep them motivated otherwise another company will snap them up.
Realy helpfull this site.
I need some small role plays motivating role plays for staff. which make them enjoy and with a moral too.
Thats a job well done. thank you so much for these tips, am sure this will go a long way for any call centre. staffs motivation is very important, it encourages csr and makes them go the extra mile.
David Gorton’s comment on tip no.17…..
He needs to do a little more reading and work on his business awareness somewhat.
My dear fellow, have you not observed or heard of the ‘Peter Syndrome’ where as often the case in government departments, people are promoted to their level of incompetance.
A devestating outcome for productivity and individual!
Catch up David.
the way to motivate your staff just smile on thier faces and let them feel that they are a part of you
I would like to give comment on what Rubbleco said to David.. What is the significance of peter syndrome to his comment to tip # 17??.. It seems that you have to do the some better reading by yourself..
Thank you all coming from someone who works on a call centre Sam.
Incentive bonus may be a good result on staff motivation, isn’t it?
Due to the intense emotional demand, I think an extra break would motivate call center employees better. From a call center employee.
Hey Guys..Good Ideas…Will implement it in my team and let you know the improvement.
thank lot, nice work but is necessary for staff member to dress similar clothes
The part I like the most about a new job is that I’m always very motivated to do good work, but it definitely gets harder over time. I bet you could come up with some simple training programs that incorporated motivational tools such as the ones you mentioned above. I love the idea of adding color in the workplace! What colors would you say are good for a workplace without being too much?
I love the guidance. Good stuff discussed. Thank you.
Excellent ideas and a really positive step has been taken by my team in accessing customers and retaining business through energetic staff. Thanks
This is awesome thank you. one always need coaching themselves especially in management by becoming good Managers, therefore learning new ideas and implementing them will definately make a healthy productive working environment.
regards for a step forward. am much obliged
23. Regular review sessions
In every role people want to develop their skills to help them progress. All members of the team should have regular review sessions which help staff and employers to identify both areas of strength and skills gaps. At the end of each of these sessions, targets are set for the employee to work towards, helping them develop in their career
Great tips, i, ll try them my new role.
Thanks, everyone wants a great day at work and this all helps!
#17 can work but needs a great deal of coaching from Sr. Management. I have seen this succeed and fail. Usually, unfortunately, it falls on the other managers to pick up the slack.
Most great tips here.
A few bad ones though
They are so great tips! as a manager i almost knew them but it’s good to read them more and more and remind them.Thank you
How to motivate team if company not give salary on time and vouchers also against travelling to attend sites for company works
In every role people want to develop their skills to help them progress. All members of the team should have regular review sessions which help staff and employers to identify both areas of strength and skills gaps. At the end of each of these sessions, targets are set for the employee to work
towards, helping them develop in their career The part I like the most about a new job is that I’m always very motivated to do good work, but it definitely gets harder over time. I bet you could come up with some simple training programs that incorporated motivational tools such as the ones you mentioned above. I love the idea of adding color in the workplace! What colors would you say are good for a workplace without being too much?
No1. Resist the corporate tide of sycophantic cowardice. Bravely but respectfully push for improvement from those above.
No2. Never be a jerk.
No3. Treat all people with respect. Always,
Push issues/escalations up rather than down. Be honest with your staff and push hard and transparently to get inefficient processes and systems FIXED. FAST.
Never fixate on individuals. Address the team instead. Always bring up matters relating to an individual in private with the individual.
11. We all like to be rewarded or praised for doing it well – This is a big statement and a fact! A recent report by magazineHR said that the most common complaint towards employers is that they do not get recognised enough for their work.