SJ Thompson of EvaluAgent argues that managers must continue doing these things when leading a remote team!
It’s not only front-line agents who are experiencing new things. The majority of team leaders and managers won’t have managed a remote team or worked remotely themselves either. Bear that in mind when looking at where support is needed most.
EvaluAgent CEO Jaime Scott says: “The current remote-working scenario is a chance for managers to show what they’re made of. Hiding behind spreadsheets is not appropriate any more. Managers making themselves look busy at their desk doesn’t work when no one can actually see what you’re up to.”
“It becomes more about how supported the team feels – how much interaction they have with their managers and peers.”
There are four things any manager needs to continue when working with a remote team. Those who embrace these tasks will earn respect from agents, build loyalty in the team and its goals, and see an increased level of productivity and motivation despite the miles between them.
- Embrace communication channels
- Maintain 1:1s and feedback sessions
- Increase welfare check-ins
- Public recognition
1. Embrace Communication Channels
Say “Good Morning”. Create a safe space for ‘water-cooler’ chats that keep the social support and get involved. Be honest and open with how you can support the team and any changes that might impact them.
2. Maintain 1:1s and Feedback Sessions
These are more important now than ever. Research suggests that providing at least monthly feedback can see employee performance increasing by 46% as a result.
3. Increase Welfare Check-Ins
Where you used to be able to assess a floor of agents and see who might be struggling based on facial expressions or body language, now you need to look for other flags.
Get inside your agents’ heads to find out exactly what they want and what is going to keep them engaged.
4. Public Recognition
Contact centres are famed for having some of the most engaging offices spaces where top performers are publicly recognized. You need to continue this but think about ways in which you can do it with remote teams.
Give “Kudos” on LinkedIn, send High-Fives via Slack and ensure reward and recognition programs are lockdown friendly, now that restaurant vouchers can’t be used.
What Do Agents Say?
When asked what their employer could do to improve motivation levels, more than half of customer support workers cited regular feedback and communication.
This means that tools that put agents in the driving seat and allow them to view their feedback and track their own performance improvement are incredibly useful.
These tasks are simple and easy to set up and should form part of every manager’s team engagement activity.
This news story has been re-published by kind permission of EvaluAgent