35 Tips for Successful Performance Management


We asked our panel for their advice on performance management.

1.    Never assume you know the answers

The key to engaging your agents is understanding the exact reasons why they are disengaged.

Never assume you know the answers.

With thanks to Dominika   

2.    Find a reason to give praise often

Find a reason to give praise often.

With thanks to Paul   

3.    Create a Voice of Agents (VOA) box

One of the best ways to understand what may be affecting performance is to create a Voice of Agents (VOA) box.

Agents can then drop in anonymous notes expressing their concerns.

With thanks to Riddhi  

4.    Be open and honest from the start to avoid having disillusioned staff

Be open and honest when you are recruiting, from the advert right through to interview.

While it may make your recruitment pond smaller, it will save time on managing disillusioned staff.

With thanks to Ian   

5.    Share all positive feedback with the entire team

We share all positive feedback directly sent by the customers with the entire team.

With thanks to Bianca   

6.    Supervisors and agents should listen to calls together

We have the supervisor and the agent listen to a call while filling out the evaluation form separately.

Then they get together and compare their perception of the call. This helps to manage the agent’s perception of what is expected.

With thanks to Kris   

7.    Allow staff to participate in the process of strategy creation

Allowing staff to participate in strategy creation, process improvements and KPI selection makes them feel important. You should also let them speak, listen to their feedback and implement their ideas.

This improves overall engagement, as agents know they play important role in the plan delivery.

With thanks to Dominika   

8.    Walk the floor early in the working day

I engage with my agents early in the working day.

When I get into the office I will spend my first hour walking the floor, and talking and listening to all my staff.

With thanks to Dean

9.    Reassess your recruitment processes to prevent staff becoming disengaged

When agents are disengaged, it’s normally too late to save them.

It is best to let them go, and then reassess your management and recruitment processes to stop future staff becoming disengaged.

With thanks to Danny   

10.     Clearly define each individual’s role within the team

Performance management can be improved by clearly defining each individual’s role within the team.

After all, if you don’t know what you are doing, you can’t do it.

With thanks to Sandra   

11.     Performance management is not a one-off event

We measure our guiding principles against a rating system to monitor ongoing commitment.

This stops performance management from just being a one-off event.

With thanks to Jodie

12.     Hold customer forums to drive agents to achieve customer goals

We find that regular customer forums on our performance really helps drive our people to achieve the customer goals, as well as steer our business goals.

With thanks to Danny   

13.     Support and develop your staff by coaching and mentoring

Support and develop your staff by coaching and mentoring them to achieve their full potential.

Also, involve them in projects that help them and the business to grow.

With thanks to Matt   

14.     Silently monitor calls to improve overall quality

On a daily basis, we silently monitor live calls and correct behaviour on the spot. It is somewhat like secret shopping.

Our agents now expect that we are listening, even when we are not around, and this has had a positive impact on overall quality.

With thanks to Kris   

15.     Reward performance with quarterly bonuses

We reward team and individual performance with quarterly bonuses.

With thanks to Phil   

16.     A manager who genuinely cares will get the best out of their team

If you have a contact centre manager who genuinely cares about people then, in my experience, they will get the best out of their team, whatever performance management infrastructure sits around them.

With thanks to Nerys   

17.     Make your metrics customer led

We’ve worked hard on designing our measures around customer purpose.

We regularly check back with customers that our measures meet their desires, by listening into customer demand.

With thanks to Jodie   

18.     Look after the procedures that work in your environment

Look after the procedures that work in your environment and the goals will look after themselves.

With thanks to Vivian   

19.     Introduce an exceptional performance payment

We’ve recently introduced an exceptional performance payment.

This is linked to contribution to our business plan objectives.

With thanks to Jodie   

20.     Have multiple meetings to try and get to the root cause

Have multiple meetings with disengaged agents to try and get to the root cause of their dissatisfaction.

I have found that the first few things they say are usually not the root cause.

With thanks to Kris   

21.     Focus on the people more than the SLAs

Managers need to focus more on people than Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

This is because the SLAs are most likely to be achieved when staff are happy.

With thanks to Robert   

22.     Coaching can go a long way in re-engaging agents

You don’t have to let a disengaged agent go.

Coaching can help a lot. Also, giving them ownership of some projects can bring them back on the right track; often they feel they can do much more than they are asked to.

With thanks to Dominika   

23.     Get to know your people and what makes them tick

You should talk to your teams about things other than work, as it helps you to understand what makes them tick.

It also helps your agents to see you as an individual rather than just their manager.

With thanks to Harj   

24.     Use the ‘Gober method’ to help highlight behaviours

We use the ‘Gober method’ (a training methodology which equips people with the capability to deliver an optimal service and sales experience) to help highlight behaviours and encourage agents to recognise their behaviour and the impact it has.

We then give them tips on how to turn this around.

With thanks to Jodie   

25.     Don’t be too hasty to let poor-performing agents go

Don’t be too hasty to let poor performing agents go. Often the issue is a simple misunderstanding.

With thanks to Kris   

26.     Celebrate outstanding performance with a “BRAVO” pin board

We have a pin board in the middle of our call centre where we place “BRAVO” cards when we catch agents doing something outstanding.

At the end of the month, we place them in a bowl and draw a card for a gift award. This has created a great atmosphere.

With thanks to Kris   

27.     Listen in on live calls and provide real-time feedback

It is important to listen in on live calls, as this allows you to generate real-time feedback.

I find this has the best impact on agent performance.

With thanks to Dominika   

28.     Offer commission based on the customer’s experience

We offer monthly commission based on the customer’s experience and the quality of service delivered.

In addition, agents can earn annual salary increases dependant on their consistent achievement of good performance.

With thanks to Harj   

29.     Keep agents up to date with the customer feedback they receive

Show agents the quality forms, vision and matrix, and allow them to score their own calls.

Also, keep them up to date with the customer feedback they receive.

With thanks to Rebecca

30.     Base your bonus scheme on productivity, quality and attendance

We have a bonus scheme based on three aspects of work – productivity, quality and attendance.

With thanks to Renu   

31.     Managing by metrics should not be done in isolation

Managing by metrics is necessary but should not be done in isolation.

Bring the figures to the meeting as a starting point to focus on the individual’s great performance, areas they could improve or where they are massively underperforming.

With thanks to Sandra   

32.     Hold collaboration sessions with all employees

We have collaboration sessions with all of our team. This includes our agents, quality coach, team managers and trainers.

This way we share ideas and best practice across the business.

With thanks to Tony   

33.     The level of monitoring should vary between high and low performers

The intensity with which we monitor our agents varies depending on their individual performance.

We monitor 1 call if the agent scored well the previous month, 2 calls if they fell into the ‘amber’ category and 3 calls if they scored ‘red’.

If they remain in the ‘red’ category for a rolling 3 months, we instigate PIP.

With thanks to Aimee   

34.     Move advisors around so they receive additional coaching from colleagues

We use a competency framework, and I use the scores across the team to help move advisors’ locations around so they can receive additional coaching from colleagues, always trying to balance advisors so they’re sitting in the best location for learning.

With thanks to Jodie

35.     Encourage staff to challenge behaviour and performance

Develop a culture where any member of staff is happy to challenge behaviour and performance.

That way, things won’t be left for the first-line supervisor to spot and deal with, and the company’s performance and brand will ‘belong’ to everyone.

With thanks to Liz   

For more ideas to improve contact centre performance management and coaching, read our articles:

Author: Megan Jones

Published On: 2nd Apr 2014 - Last modified: 10th Nov 2020
Read more about - Customer Service Strategy, ,

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