The summer has hit us. We have had a number of hot days where the temperature has risen and motivation will flag.
So how do we keep motivation up during the summer months? Here are a baker’s dozen tips to get you started.
1. Relax the dress code
One thing’s for sure, wearing suits and long-sleeved shirts in hot weather can be very uncomfortable, so relaxing the dress code over the summer can be very well received – as can extra recognition for great performance, like ice-creams and cold drinks at lunchtime.
2. Flexible schedules for family events
Another way to motivate staff is to offer employees the benefit of a flexible schedule so that they can adjust their shifts to attend family events or other activities. When you show your employees you value their time with their families and their enjoyment of the summer, they’ll feel you respect them as much as they respect you. You could also give office-based staff the opportunity to work from home, cutting their commuting time and allowing them to work around summer events, like the children being home.
Nicola Brookes, NewVoiceMedia
3. Customer visits and training days
We try and arrange customer visits and training days for the summer months. Our clients are usually happy to get out of their own offices on a hot day and it gives the team something other to focus on than the heat.
4. Team-building exercise in the car park
One financial services client arrived with a set of branded ‘racing’ space hoppers for some team-building exercises in the car park. Everyone got even sweatier than they would have done sitting at their desks but the buzz afterwards in the call centre kept everyone motivated for the rest of their shift.
5. The ice cream van
A tried and tested favourite is ice creams in the staff room. This is usually heralded by the chimes of ‘Greensleeves’ on the business park.
Tracey Limbert, head of Outsourced Services, mplcontact
6. Bring in extra air conditioning
Ensure air conditioning is available as and when needed. If your centre does not have fixed units, then hire portable units. This is not just a nice-to-have, it really can affect productivity.
7. Summer competitions
Run competitions and incentive schemes that reward good performance with summer-themed prizes. How about: ice lollies, holiday items, tickets to events, vouchers for holiday clothes, or family days out. Tailor the prizes to each winner depending on their hobbies and interests and give them something they really want.
8. Water cooler moments
Ensure there are plenty of accessible water coolers around the office. Change the drinks and snacks in the vending machines frequently so no one gets bored. Introduce the sale of ice creams in the café.
9. Hold meetings outside
Where possible, hold meetings outside. Maybe even arrange a relaxed picnic or outdoor sports day one evening each month that will be fun and help to build the team and improve communication.
10. Play music during quiet periods
Play music during the quieter periods of the day to help keep spirits high; allow employees to make requests if you have a wide choice available. But always ensure that the music can’t be heard by customers on the other end of the phone!
11. Watch the hay fever
Remind employees who suffer with hay fever to keep a supply of antihistamines, tissues and water at their desks. Try to be as accommodating to those individuals as possible.
12. Summer survival kits
Encourage your call centre team leaders to keep a supply of deodorant, mints and tissues for their staff should they need it.
Michael Gray, Marketing Director of Ultra Communications.
13. Allow agent home working
To help agents remain cool with customers, some might think air conditioning could be the answer, but this is not only expensive and noisy, but the chances are that few will agree on what an ideal temperature is. Instead, it is worth considering giving agents the freedom and resources to work remotely from home.
And with fewer people in the contact centre, there is less heat being generated for those agents who remain on-premises.
Given a broadband connection, agents working from home can be given exactly the same tools as they would have at their station in the contact centre. With voice over IP telephony, call quality can be maintained and so too can all the control and management functionality. Calls can be forwarded and monitored, response times tracked and downtime checked.
Dave Paulding, Regional Sales Director UK, Middle East & Africa, at Interactive Intelligence