Any Ideas to Help Boost Agent Morale?

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We were asked…

“I am a Team Lead for an inbound call center. There are 2 of us and we are looking to divide our agents into two groups. Each group would consist of 25 agents.

We are looking to boost morale but get the agents involved. The idea is to get some competition going. The end results is to improve average handling time, boost conversions and so on. We are the same as all other call centers that struggle in these areas as well as absenteeism.

Do you have any suggestions on games that we can use to compete our two groups that could be fun for the agents and improve stats?”

Work competitions are a great way to boost motivation, morale and productivity.
Here are our call centre contest ideas and games, for both inbound and outbound calls.

Have Metrics that all your Agents Accept

First thing is you have to have metrics that all your agents accept – then you measure one team against the other – beware though there are pitfalls in this approach, particularly around knowledge sharing.

If you do go ahead, you really need to pick your metric carefully as obviously if the teams reguarly work different hours ie. one a day and one a night shift, they will by default receive different kinds of, and also volumes of calls.

From the description of your operation you’ve provided, you may find your best comparison metric to be conversions as a percentage of calls received.

Thanks to Doug

Competition of ‘Battleships’ Against Two Teams

For attendance: I’ve had a great competition of ‘battleships’ against two teams. Each team plots their ships, TMs or senior staff moderate, each 100% attendance day qualifies for an attempt on the other teams board. Play it over 3 months, with the winning team been best out of the three.

Do lots of games like this, adapting popular board games. I’ve done Monopoly (great for within the team), scrabble etc. So many games can be adapted for Call Centre use, adjusting to make them the theme of your business/targets etc.

Thanks to Chris

A Few Ideas

  1. Assign tasks to individuals within your team
  2. Have some extra curricular activities
  3. Close interaction with team members, assigning goals and weekly targets for improvement
  4. Weekly sessions and discussion how to improve KPI achievement performance
  5. Have competition among your team members

Thanks to Nauman

Plastic Ball Game

I have just run a competition for my team last month. We moved from 5th position the previous month to 1st.
All I did was purchase a bag of plastic balls from Asda/Walmart. (You will need more for two teams). The competition ran daily where there was a focus on our key target areas (weighted by how many balls they were able to collect out of the ball pit (which was a flip top waste bin… again from Asda. Each ball was marked with indelible ink with a value. When ever they achieved a conversion/sale they could ‘blindly’ collect a ball/balls depending on the weighting. Each member of staff would build their own ball collection. The person with the highest total score won themselves a FREE break scheduled into their rota the following day. In addition I would throw in Bargain Bonus balls which would have a surprise value (ie tea & Biscuits served by manager.)
You could extend this to involve the total amount of points per team. … with the opposing team serving tea/coffee for their opponents the following day.
Regarding handling time… you could have a ‘penalty’ deduction clause that they lose an amount of points if they exceed your Handling time target.

Thanks to Carol.

Organise a Team Meeting

Best way to assess your morale level to create a baseline is quite simple.
Organise a team meeting ( preferably 15 – 17 agents ) draw a simple line starting with 0 – 10 ( ten being high morale).
Give each agent a sticky note (no names). – leave the room while this is done – approx. 2 min.

Re enter the room.

If the majority is high – ask the staff why is the morale high, what do we do as a team that is great ?

If it’s in the middle then ask the team how can we improve it to 10 and the same if the result is low.
List down all their concerns. (at this stage do not solve the problems just write them down)

After every team has been completed the exercise get the leadership team to break down their concerns and ideas into:

  • Short Term Fixes – Completed within 7 days
  • Medium Term Fixes – completed within 45 days
  • Long Term Fixes – Completed 12 – 18 months

(Remember to share your successes)

The idea is to solve the short term fast and get back to your staff. This will give your agents the confidence to express their ideas as these concerns are quickly dealt with. You’ll be surprised the positive feedback you receive from your teams )
Medium and long term fixes – update your staff on a weekly or fortnightly or even monthly .

Some of the simple things create high attrition / UPA’s. It’s not all about the money.

I regularly conduct these sessions with my staff on a quarterly basis and I know what morale level is on a regular basis.

Also I find that when we do conduct staff surveys there are no surprises.

My attrition has been 3 agents YTD with the total FTE of 92. My UPA (unplanned absences are under 2.1%) – when first stepping into the role the figures were attrition of 7 per month and UPA of 29%.

Thanks to PDinys.

Reward and Recognition

I also work in a call center and what has worked for us are two things

  1. Recognition: By posting who is the top performer for the line and then make a raffle and send a communication to the whole line of business
  2. Rewards for excellent performance: They are given a card with points on it. they can exchange the points for prizes after a while. Prizes are certificates for fast food restaurants etc

Thanks to Priscila B.

Even more Ideas

  1. Offer Training Tools To Expand Skills, Then After Time Identify The Driven Agents
  2. Make it Easy for Agents to Share Feedback, Then Encourage Their Input
  3. Build Agent Experience Just Like You Build Customer Experience
  4. Change How You Teach Communication Skills
  5. Identify Faster System Fixes
  6. Transform Agents to Cross-Department Assets

Thanks to Call

Author: Jo Robinson

Published On: 20th Mar 2009 - Last modified: 12th Apr 2022
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