No matter how amazing you are as a call centre manager, you simply can’t succeed without an effective team supporting you and implementing your plans.
However, picking a winning team is not always as easy as it sounds, and there are many considerations to take into account as you allocate the top jobs.
So, whether you’ve inherited a team and need to evaluate (or replace!) them, or you’re picking your team from scratch, here are some of the things you may want to consider.
Although you won’t benefit from a team of people who are almost the same as each other, there are certain traits that are useful in all of your team.
All team members should have similar levels of ambition and drive. Without this, you will find that you’re spending all of your efforts trying to motivate and encourage some to achieve more, whilst hoping the more ambitious members don’t leave through frustration.
There are also some skills which all senior leaders need to have:
- The ability to listen
- Effective planning abilities
- Ability to set clear objectives
- The ability to give all types of feedback.
There are, of course, many other desirable skills. But without at least most of the above, each team member will struggle to be effective at this top level.
Conversely, you also need different skills and perspectives in your team, otherwise you’ll lose out on the necessary creative friction required to identify the best solutions – especially in tough times!
Whenever there’s a major opportunity, or threat, you will want a range of perspectives, ideas, and suggestions. If you all think the same, the chances are that the pool of ideas from which you are choosing will be very small and won’t contain the very best ideas.
At an extreme level, you are best served choosing the people least similar to you. They are the ones who will see solutions where you don’t (and vice versa). Between you, you will be best equipped to deal with the difficult and unexpected events thrown at you.
Another strong consideration is the experience of each team member and of the group as a whole.
It’s often hugely beneficial to have a team member with a proven track record of success, who has experience of many situations. They will be able to take a wider perspective and recall how things happened in similar situations previously.
Also, if a team member has proven experience of repeated success, there’s a good chance they will repeat it for you and that will be one part of the business that will require less of your attention, leaving you more time to focus on other critical issues.
But experience isn’t everything. Fill the team with people who are long in the tooth and have been round the block a few times, and you may suffer from:
- Jadedness, when people just don’t have the energy or enthusiasm for another challenge,
- Cynicism, when they’ve seen it all before and don’t think some things are worth trying, or
- A lack of creativity, when people simply call on old tactics that have worked in the past, rather than looking at each problem or opportunity creatively.
By bringing in new people who have never been at that level or in your industry, you’ll enjoy a huge range of new ideas and fresh insights that could give you the competitive edge.
Having picked the best team you can, you can now start the real job of uniting them and motivating them to exceed their targets and drive the business to greater success than ever!
Heather Foley is a consultant at etsplc.com, HR consultancy and software provider