9 Important Team Leader KPIs

Team Leader KPIs with wooden people and hand holding magnifying glass

Quick Overview

It can be a bit of a challenge to decide exactly what KPIs Team Leaders should be measured against, but there are some you should know about, including:

  1. Right First Time (RFT)
  2. Customer Satisfaction (C-SAT) Scores
  3. Average Handling Time (AHT)
  4. Hold Time

In this article, written by our Editor, Megan Jones, we explore which KPIs are important to team leaders and how to measure them.

Team Leader KPIs

As team leaders work so closely with frontline agents, and often even pick up some calls themselves, it can be a bit of a challenge to decide exactly what KPIs they should be measured against to positively assess their performance.

Note, there are some differences in what you might need, depending on the nature of the job. For example, a sales team will have metrics around revenue and deals closed, compared to a product leader who is more likely to rely on metrics around NPS scores, or a finance team leader who will have financial KPIs, and so on in other cross-functional departments.

That’s why we asked some contact centre managers and trainers what they thought the most important team leader KPIs were and why.

Here are nine of the KPIs that scale up well for a good indication of how the team leader and overall team is performing:

1. Right First Time (RFT)

One important team leader KPI is Right First Time (RFT) – also known as First Contact Resolution (FCR) – which is a high-level quality metric for assessing a team’s performance, and by default how well a team leader is managing and enabling their team to deliver. This can help management to better understand where there might be shortfalls too.

If you want to find out more about how you can improve First Contact Resolution, read our article: 20 Tried and Tested Tips to Improve First Call Resolution (FCR)

How Do I Measure It?

Right First Time (RFT) can be measured by taking the total number of calls resolved correctly on the first attempt and then dividing that number by the total number of calls over a given period.

To then scale this up for a team leader KPI, a Right First Time (RFT) score should be given to each agent (or team member) and an average taken across the team, which can then be compared against another team’s performance.

Note: The definition of Right First Time (RFT) will vary between contact centres and it’s at your discretion whether you feel it’s best to include escalated calls, callers who’ve contacted the wrong department and/ or calls abandoned in the IVR – among other influencing factors.

2. Customer Satisfaction (C-SAT) Scores

When striving to deliver an exceptional customer experience, scaling up C-SAT scores to reflect an overall team’s performance can help to give a clear indication of where teams are getting it right, and where a team leader might need some more support in enhancing their team’s performance.

How Do I Measure It?

A C-SAT score is captured by surveying your customers and asking them to rate their service experience on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is ‘very unsatisfied’ and 5 is ‘very satisfied’.

You then calculate the score by taking the number of satisfied customers (those who’ve scored 4s and 5s), dividing that number by the total number of responses, and then multiplying by 100.

This works well if you are able to capture feedback for every call (or almost every call). However, if this isn’t possible, you can work with the data you do capture by looking at the range average (the difference between the biggest and small number) for each agent.

Again, you can then calculate a (median) average to create a figure that reflects the overall performance of the team and in turn how well the team leader is doing.

For ways to improve customer satisfaction, read our article: 15 Inventive Strategies to Increase Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

3. Average Handling Time (AHT)

Short or long Average Handling Times across a team – particularly when compared against the contact centre’s overall average – can be a good indicator that something isn’t quite right, and can help to highlight the need for further training and support, both for the team leader and the struggling agent(s).

How Do I Measure It?

Average Handling Time (AHT) is calculated by dividing the total time spent on a call (including wrap time and hold time) by the number of calls handled.

To help measure a team leader’s performance, this can be calculated as a collective view of their team and then compared to other team leaders’ figures, as well as average handling times across the contact centre.

Our article 49 Tips for Reducing Average Handling Time (AHT) contains useful tips and advice to help you reduce the AHT in your contact centre.

4. Hold Time

Hold time is another KPI that can be looked at collectively across the agents the team leader manages and can highlight where there may be confidence issues or knowledge gaps that the team leader needs to address (or may need further management support to help correct).

How Do I Measure It?

This one should be automatically captured in your call handling system, and the focus here should be on the longer hold times. The mode average (most common number) can be helpful here in getting a sense of common hold times and where any outliers might be.

Here, looking at the collective performance of the team can give a good indicator of how well the team leader is managing this challenge.

However, individual agent performance should also be taken into account too. If everyone is struggling and has long hold times, it can be a reflection on the team leader, compared to if a single person (who might be new or in need of extra training) is temporarily dragging down the figures.

The distinction between what’s within a team leader’s control (i.e. overall team performance) and what’s not (i.e. a new starter still settling in and finding their feet) should be taken into consideration here.

5. Call Quality Scores

Team leaders will spend a significant amount of time each week on quality monitoring and coaching and will have a good understanding of how their individual team members are performing.

However, a scaled-up view of a team’s quality scores is also a good indicator of how well a team leader is coaching and managing their team – particularly when compared month on month, as well as across other teams and departments.

This can help to highlight any problem areas to upper management, as well as allow for best practice to be shared, and support and training offered to team leaders (as needs be) to help improve the overall performance of their agents.

To find out how to set up an effective quality assurance programme, read our article: Call Centre Quality Assurance: How to Create an Excellent QA Programme

How Do I Measure It?

This one will vary from contact centre to contact centre, but (as mentioned above) should be viewed collectively to reflect how well the team leader is doing.

You could try making use of a traffic light system – whereby a team leader needs to (ideally) have all agents performing in green, but at the bear minimum X performing in amber or red, to meet their targets.

6. People Development

It’s critical that team leaders have a vested interest in the long-term development and career progression of the agents that they manage, and so measuring them on people development too can help to make sure this doesn’t get overlooked on a busy floor.

Exactly how you track this will vary from contact centre to contact centre depending on the progression schemes and opportunities you have in place, but where you have a progression scheme in place for frontline agents, team leaders can be assessed on how far their agents have progressed and what they are doing to support them.

How Do I Measure It?

Consider attaching a points-based system to your progression scheme, so it’s easier to have sight of how people are progressing and in turn how this reflects on their team leader.

Team leaders can be assessed on how far their agents have progressed and what they are doing to support them.

For example, 2 points for completing an online learning module, 1 point for reviewing and/or creating a career path planner, and so on.

You could then target team leaders on making sure each of their team members achieves a minimum of 2 points per quarter.

7. Continuous Improvement

Whilst this one is harder to measure in figures, it’s a good one to have in place to encourage team leaders to always be thinking up new ways to improve their team’s performance.

How Do I Measure It?

One way to do this is to introduce a comments box for continuous improvement ideas as part of their 1-to-1s or appraisals, which can encourage team leaders to look for common themes in their quality scoring and areas that can be collectively worked on.

This approach can also support team leaders in recognizing where something is a one-off or an indication of an underlying problem with an individual – such as personal issues at home.

8. Fun and Team Engagement

Again, this one is harder to measure in figures, but a monthly conversation with a team leader about any creative ways they are engaging with their teams can help to capture how well they are helping to drive a culture of fun and engagement.

This could include producing a monthly newsletter email for their team, celebrating performance and “most improved”, organizing team lunches, bringing in sweets and treats, having a team “bake off”.

How Do I Measure It?

This could be added into a team leader’s 1-to-1 or appraisal with a simple Y/N question of “actively driving team engagement” and a supporting text box for jotting down some of the activities from the month.

You could also agree criteria (similar to essay-marking criteria) to give a team leader a score of 1-5 for their efforts.

For information on employee engagement scores, read our article: How to Calculate an Employee Engagement Score

9. Score Team Leaders on What Their Agents Have to Say About Them

Just like we encourage agents to have positive conversations with customers, team leaders need to be leading by example and having positive conversations with their agents. This encompasses support, development and engagement – and another significant indication of performance in this area comes down to what agents have to say about their team leaders.

The success of this approach and how well the team leader is doing can be measured by sending out surveys to agents to get their feedback.

Agents can answer questions on everything from how well they feel their team leader supports them in their coaching and performance, to how empowered their team leader makes them feel.

Team leaders need to be leading by example and having positive conversations with their agents.

Managers can then use these ratings and any additional comments provided to help shape their performance conversations with team leaders to help them be the best that they can be.

How Do I Measure It?

For this one, you need to run a dedicated survey – or add to the questions asked on any staff surveys that are already routinely circulated.

Team leaders can then be scored based on the percentage of team members who tick ‘yes’ to questions on whether they feel their team leader is actively driving team engagement, supporting them in their career progression, and so on.


Metrics Need to Be Complemented by KPIs Around Coaching, People Skills and Development

It’s equally important that team leaders are assessed on how well they are managing their team’s personalities and personal development. Everything from how engaged their team members are, to how positive they feel about their career opportunities, to how their coaching and development could be improved.

It’s important to remember that the overall goal here is find the right mix of KPIs that don’t just enable contact centre management teams to measure call performance, but that also empower team leaders to be the best that they can be, as Kristian Websdale, Delivery Training Professional comments:

“Whilst KPIs are typically in place to measure call handling performance and efficiency, choosing KPIs for team leaders is also about creating a positive atmosphere for teams to thrive in.

“By targeting team leaders on the way they manage their teams, they can also be encouraged to have more personal conversations with their team to support development and engagement.”


Always Scale Up the Frontline Metrics to Help Shape Team Leader KPIs

It’s vital that any key performance indicators for team leaders are aligned with their team’s KPIs. If they are being pulled in different directions, the team and general performance will be all over the place, as Mark McGill, Operations Manager at SSE Retail at Ovo Energy comments:

Thumbnail image of Mark McGill

Mark McGill

“KPIs are always extremely tough for management, particularly as a lot of contact centres expect their team leaders to form their own outlook on what their frontline teams are measured against.

“However, I find it is always best to have limited KPIs in place that offer the best opportunity for growth and service – without creating confusion.”

A good way to address this is by making sure, first and foremost, that any frontline metrics are scaled up into a collective view as part of the team leader’s objectives – for a bigger picture view that managers can compare across teams and departments.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of choice when it comes to picking team leader KPIs. However, a balance between scaled-up frontline metrics and a view of how well a team leader engages with their agents on a human level can create a well-rounded picture of a team leader’s performance.

Best practice also leans towards a “less is more” approach, offering opportunity for growth and delivering great customer service – without creating confusion or conflicting interests.

It’s also vital that choosing KPIs isn’t a one-off exercise and is regularly reviewed in line with business needs and priorities.

“Too often there is a fear factor around KPIs; that contact centre managers don’t dare to touch them and instead have a tendency to do things the way they’ve always been done.

It’s so important that KPIs are flexible and are regularly reviewed by senior management across the year, and with input from team leaders too – to make sure they are driving the right behaviours and monitoring what really matters.”

Elizabeth Murphy, Sales Centre Manager at AllClear Insurance Services

With thanks to Kristian Websdale, Delivery Training Professional; Elizabeth Murphy, Sales Centre Manager at AllClear Insurance Services; Mark McGill, Operations Manager at SSE Retail at Ovo Energy; and other contributors who wished to remain anonymous.

For more information on call centre KPIs and the role of team leaders, read our articles:

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