There is no doubt that call centre agents have demanding jobs. From handling angry customers to answering many questions, to following complicated processes, agents face no shortage of day-to-day challenges.
As a result, industry turnover rates are high. 30-45% of call centre agents quit their jobs annually. Considering the cost of losing an employee can equal 1-2x their annual salary, contact centres need to keep their employees motivated, appreciated, and connected to their work. But how can call centre managers accomplish these goals?
One way is through the continuous pursuit of employee engagement.
Employee engagement is defined as the emotional mindset that inspires employees to do their very best work. It is the thread that keeps invested agents performing at their highest levels.
It is also the ticket to improving bottom lines, morale, and call centre success. Therefore, it is important that call centre managers recognize employee performance and demonstrate their appreciation for agents.
Why You Should Think About Recognizing Staff
Agents come and go. Absenteeism and turnover rates can be challenging. It is expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting to find new employees. That’s why it is so important to recognize call centre agents and celebrate their hard work.
While we focus on the numbers, there is also an increasing focus on the well-being and morale of agents.
The Benefits of Recognizing Call Centre Staff:
- Agents are more productive. 69% of employees will work harder when they feel appreciated, and engaged teams are 17% more productive than unengaged teams. Being engaged means they have a genuine commitment to their jobs, and therefore a genuine desire to do their best work.
- Agents spend more time on calls. Engaged call centre employees feel up to 3.3x more motivated to resolve customer issues and complaints. Motivated agents are more likely to be empathetic to customer needs and will work even harder to find a solution or resolution that works. This positively impacts bottom lines, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
- Uplift in customer experience. Engaged call centre agents feel a deeper connection with their work. This translates to a genuine interest in work with a lift to customer service.
- Improved morale. No matter our job title, being recognized for our work is something all of us want to experience. 37% of employees feel encouraged and motivated by personalized recognition. This goes a long way in improving morale and boosting the confidence of call centre employees.
- Better retention rates. Implementing an employee engagement program is imperative when recruiting top-tier talent. According to a Glassdoor survey, 53% of employees will stay longer at a job if they have more recognition from their supervisors. Better retention rates mean training and professional development stay within teams, bolstering skill sets and preparing agents for future success.
Now that you understand the importance of recognizing employees, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. Here are seven unique ways to celebrate and recognize call centre agents.
7 Creative Ways to Help You to Recognize Staff
1. Develop a Rewards or Employee Recognition System.
An employee recognition system reflects investment in employees and puts a focus on perfecting the skills of employees instead of hiring new agents. It is also a great way to build a healthy, thriving culture. When you are creating an employee recognition program, make sure to take the following steps:
- Outline performance criteria
- Choose your rewards
- Determine criteria
- Ask agents and employees for their feedback on the program
- Re-evaluate and adjust as needed
These reward programs can be used to celebrate individual agents or entire teams who worked on a certain project. Identifying performance goals and metrics will help you create an engagement program that employees will love.
2. Treat Employees Outside the Office.
Looking for an easy way to treat employees? Treat employees to an excursion outside the office. Offer to take the agent out for lunch or for a coffee as a reward for a small win. This also gives an agent the chance to discuss any other issues outside of the office environment.
3. Non-cash Rewards.
A gesture can go a long way to increasing morale. And they do not have to be expensive. Recognize employee achievements with physical tokens like the following:
- A trophy, plaque, or medal to show a job well done
- Gift cards or certificates
- Snack bags or gift baskets
- Journals or moleskin planners
- Fancy pens or stationery.
4. Encourage Peer Recognition.
Similar to LinkedIn’s kudos program, give your team an easy way to recognize each other’s achievements. Try to use company social media platforms or leaderboards to encourage sharing and promotion. This could be as simple as an employee of the week program.
5. Personalize the Recognition.
This is a great way to get to know your agents a bit better. If you know an agent is a great reader, give them a gift card to their favorite bookstore. If they are a foodie, treat them to a meal at their favorite restaurant.
Learning what they enjoy outside the office will help you personalize the recognition and make it even more meaningful.
6. Get Some Celebrity Shout-Outs.
You may have seen Cameo take off during times of COVID-19 lockdowns. These shout-outs make employee recognition even more special. There are several other websites that offer personalized messages from celebrities.
They can be personalized messages for individuals, or a pep talk for an entire team.
7. Surprise Time-Off.
Who doesn’t enjoy a day off? Sometimes, a break from the office is the perfect way to inspire motivation. If you can, surprise staff with a midweek day off or a long weekend to say thank you for their hard work.
You can either organize a company event, like a picnic or a trip to the fair, or just offer the time off. Either way, surprise time off is an appreciated gesture.
Incorporate Recognizing Staff Into Your Routine
By making employee recognition a part of your regular routine, you will start to bake it into the culture of the organization. A positive, healthy work environment will be an everyday reality, and others will begin to get involved. Here are a few other tips to consider when recognizing and celebrating staff:
- Make sure to recognize employees for more than measurable results, e.g., when handling a difficult call or situation.
- Encourage those who are struggling by offering positive feedback.
- Offer coaching and refined training processes to help employees overcome challenges and feel more secure.
- Incorporate positive language into everyday conversations, e.g., “Great work on that call today.”
- Acknowledge and applaud failure. The best way to learn is to embrace lessons from mistakes. Applauding mistakes encourages an environment where employees feel safe taking risks and asking for feedback and help.
Recognizing your employees is a simple, important way to improve workplace culture. Employee recognition, like a quality assurance program, is a great way to encourage long-term change. Above all, positivity begets more positivity.
Employee encouragement creates happy employees, which leads to happier customers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Scorebuddy – View the Original Article
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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.