15 Surprises for Boosting Agent Morale

Boosting Agent Morale written on colourful notepad

Are you tired of using the same old games and prizes?

Then look no further as we have put together some fresh ideas to help boost agent morale in your contact centre – recommended by our consultants panel of industry experts.

1. Wash Your Agents’ Cars

Shep Hyken, CAO (Chief Amazement Officer) at Shepard Presentations LLC
Shep Hyken

Don’t underestimate the power of your contact centre leaders making time for your frontline agents. Why not ask leaders to spend a day rewarding agents by washing their cars? Or taking them out for lunch?

Over the years, this has been a fun way for many organizations to show gratitude to employees during National Customer Service Week celebrations, but it could happen any day of the year to help boost morale and help show agents they’re appreciated.

2. Make Time for Fun and Laughter With ‘Humour Resources’

Keep up regular camaraderie, motivation, and connection by implementing a director of HR, where the HR stands for ‘Humour Resource’ instead of ‘Human Resources’.

How does it work? Simply assign someone to find a funny YouTube video to share that day and make everyone laugh. If possible, watch the videos together, either in person or by sharing them on a Zoom or Teams call.

3. Give Out Surprise Pay Rises

Employee Hierarchy of Needs - Shep Hyken

When striving for high levels of morale and motivation across the contact centre, it can really help to apply the Employee Hierarchy of Needs, including:

  • The pay cheque (and other compensation)
  • Alignment with beliefs and vision (the culture)
  • Uniqueness
  • Growth opportunities
  • Fulfilment

This could start with surprising agents with a pay rise to give them a more a competitive wage.

Not only will this boost morale in the short term but it can be very cost-effective way to retain your best people – instead of an endless (and expensive) cycle of replacing and retraining. Remember that a pay cheque is at the base of the employee’s needs.

Pay alone won’t achieve total employment fulfilment, but it’s a good place to start. You can find out more about The Employee Hierarchy of Needs here.

Contributed by: Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer (CAO) at Shepard Presentations LLC

4. Send a Letter Home to Tell an Agent’s Family Just How Much They’re Appreciated

Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng
Bill Quiseng

Why not send a letter out to the family or significant other of your agent?

As a framework, the letter could say:

We are writing to let you know that we have recognized your (mother/father, husband/wife, son/daughter, brother/sister, niece/nephew, significant other) for his/her outstanding individual performance in the interaction with one of our customers, Name of Customer. We want to let you know how much we appreciate his/her exceptional service to our customers.

With our gratitude,

Name of manager

Being personally recognized for such GREAT service, agents will be enthused and energized to continue to deliver exceptional experiences to individual customers.

Contributed by: Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng.com

5. Challenge Teams to Write a Funny Song or Wear Matching Outfits

Clayton Drotsky, Director at Growth Crew Ltd
Clayton Drotsky

A good team challenge is a great way to boost morale, especially when there is a nice team prize, like a little time out together somewhere.

Now the team challenge itself can be based on actual performance, but it can also be combined with some fun, such as:

  • Team members wearing funny socks or hats on the same day – with points for team spirit.
  • Quizzes throughout the day (fastest finger first).
  • Teams could write a funny song or poem about the business and be judged at the end of the week.

Contributed by: Clayton Drotsky, Director of Growth Crew Ltd

6. Treat Your Team to Breakfast

Food has the power to uplift spirits, so why not surprise your team with the occasional breakfast or lunch treats?

For virtual teams, you can even send meal delivery vouchers or have a virtual cooking competition. Food-themed surprises not only tantalize the taste buds, but also create memories.

7. Surprise Agents With Yoga Classes and Personal Days

Dan Pratt, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy
Dan Pratt

Investing in your team’s wellbeing is paramount. Arrange for surprise wellness activities like meditation sessions, yoga classes, or massage days.

Encourage agents to take short breaks to relax and recharge. Personal days are always a winner too.

8. Encourage Agents to Perform Random Acts of Kindness for Their Colleagues

Encourage agents to perform random acts of kindness for their colleagues. This could be as simple as sending a supportive message, leaving a small gift on their desk, or covering their tasks for a short while.

Acts of kindness create a positive atmosphere and boost team morale. Small acts can create big positive outcomes.

9. Book Workshops or Conferences Relevant to Their Career Aspirations

Provide opportunities for personal and professional growth by surprising agents with access to courses, workshops, or conferences relevant to their interests and career aspirations.

Not only will this boost morale, but it will also lead to a more skilled and motivated team.

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Customer Experience and Business Consultant, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy

10. Give High Performers Increased Challenges and Projects

Sangeeta Bhatnagar, Founder of SB Global
Sangeeta Bhatnagar

Using the DISC model of Human Behaviour, you can genuinely customize how you recognize and reward your team in a manner that is intrinsically rewarding.

For example, if the person is outgoing, decisive, fast-paced, dominant then they would connect to increased challenges, projects, choices, control, and options.

You could also try the following empowering statements to give them a boost:

  • Way to go!
  • Well done!
  • You are on fire!
  • I respect you!

By contrast, when someone is reserved, people-oriented, super sweet and steady, you can connect with them – without making them the centre of attention.

For example, they tend to be more motivated by security, appreciation, and assurance, as well as the following empowering statements:

  • The group would not be the same without you.
  • Good for you.
  • I appreciate your effort.
  • There is a quiet strength about you that I like.

Contributed by: Sangeeta Bhatnagar, Founder of SB Global

11. Ask Your Team for Their Thoughts on How THEY Would Solve a Problem

Danny Wareham, Founder & Director of Firgun
Danny Wareham

We all need advice or a different set of eyes on a challenge. Why not ask your agents for their thoughts on how they would approach a particular issue?

It might not be appropriate to delegate the task entirely. But asking for (and valuing) feedback from colleagues, peers and direct reports reinforces the message that you recognize them and their views.

Contributed by: Danny Wareham, Founder & Director of Firgun

12. Catch as Many People as Possible ‘Doing Good’

Dave Salisbury
Dave Salisbury

One of the best call centres I ever saw – with highly motivated agents, high morale, and doing phenomenally on every measurable metric showing success – embraced a policy of praising in public!

Managers were charged daily to catch as many people as possible doing good. Coming onto a shift you wanted to see a coloured sticky note with a compliment on your computer screen, as it showed you had been caught doing good.

The entire morale programme was based on sticky notes proclaiming they had been caught doing good! Catch your agents doing good, support the good, be public about the WOW they bring, and they will bring more!

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

13. Run Theme Days, Scavenger Hunts, and Murder Mystery Challenges

Kim Ellis
Kim Ellis

Themed days always go down a treat. One of my favourite themed days is the ‘International Day’ where you celebrate the food and culture of different countries.

In the past, we even had a national dress competition so if people wanted to dress up, they could, but those who didn’t could get involved in quizzes and of course, the free food.

Beyond this, scavenger hunts are great activities which can boost agent knowledge and be completed in between contacts.

You could also run a murder mystery. I ran one of these in a contact centre where we had a life-size cut out of the Contact Centre Manager at the bottom of the stairs.

It was great fun and remote agents could get involved too, as they just needed to decipher the clues and then contact the person or team via email or instant messaging.

Contributed by: Kim Ellis, Chief Learning Architect at Go Ginger Learning Solutions

14. Fill the Day With Mini-Challenges

Some tools allow you to perform mini-challenges to compete against yourself. It’s one of these things that doesn’t take a lot of time but can make the job more fun.

We often have these games on our phones, so why not introduce them to your agents and keep them entertained, but also work on their personal best in performing their job?

This is also a great way to engage agents regardless of whether they are working remotely or in the office.

15. Organize a Food Market for Charity

Irina Mateeva, Founder of RightWFM
Irina Mateeva

A fun activity for boosting morale is to host an event where all willing participants can bring their homemade dishes for selling.

It could be a single dish or something that sells in pieces, so more people can take advantage and try different things.

You could even connect that with a charity chosen by your employees. The possibilities of organizing a food market are endless.

Contributed by: Irina Mateeva, Founder of RightWFM

Give Morale a Much-Needed Makeover

It can be hard to keep morale high when relying on the same initiatives month on month.

So, the next time your agents need a bit of a boost, why not try something different and see just how much you can make everyone smile?

We have got some more great articles from the experts that you should read next:

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