Call centres, or contact centres as they’re also referred to, can be challenging environments for employees. Strict target-led cultures can help many thrive, but some may fail to make the great and consistently struggle to match sales demands or call targets.
In an environment such as a call centre where an ‘always on’ mindset is typically injected, it can be tough to motivate every single employee on the sales floor – maintaining motivation once it’s gained can be even harder.
HR managers in work environments like these have been some of the pioneers when it comes to engaging and rewarding their teams, in recognition of the challenging and sometimes mundane work they have carry out every day.
So, beyond the more recognised solutions in terms of target-driven rewards, both financial or job perks related, what else can managers do to motivate their contact centre teams?
Here are just five areas which can be considered when it comes to call centre staff motivation:
Focus on recognition as well as reward
Incentivising performance through rewards is commonplace in contact centres, but given that the average age of call centre staff is around 26, another motivation strategy that is proven to be just as, if not even more, effective with this age group is recognition.
Recognition ensures that employees know their efforts are appreciated and empowers them to carry on doing a great job.
Motivation through recognition, when regular and frequent, can be an extremely powerful tool to ensure staff members feel that their work is being seen by managers and peers too.
But perhaps most importantly to a businesses bottom line, well recognised and motivated team members offer better customer service – crucial in this sector.
Creative and engineering industries are well versed in the importance and benefits of creating a collaborative workplace. As well as ensuring experience, ideas and support are shared amongst an entire team, collaborative work environments also lend well to creating open pathways to recognising individual efforts, as well as a larger teams successes.
Collaborative environment builds mutual respect throughout the management structure, right down to junior team members, and strengthens the customer journey too.
Make your leaders visible
Leaders within the workforce are a critical cog in the motivation machine. They have the power to inspire and lead by example, but also the power to de-motivate and create a culture of solo-working and little support.
But however well intentioned call centre leaders are, it’s difficult to expect them to see, hear and recognise every good achievement by their team members and their leadership visibility can be lost. A ship without a clear captain is more likely to hit the rocks when it encounters choppy waters.
An antidote to invisible managers is to ensure that recognition is social, allowing unsung heroes to surface and give leaders the opportunity to personally recognise.
Retain top performers
Call centres are renowned for staff burnout and high levels of employee churn. Whilst you could expect struggling employees in any sector to leave after a few months, and this would actually benefit a business if staff who are failing to meet targets leave themselves.
The big issue for contact centres is the top performers, those who are experienced, always exceed and lead teams by example. If too many of these talents leave, it can have a far reaching impact on the overall business.
The answer? Keep them motivated. Through frequent recognition and rewards too, your top talent is more likely to remain loyal to your business and maintain a high level of performance.
Give your customers a voice
But probably the best recognition and most powerful motivation your contact centre staff can receive is from the very customers they help every day. Giving your customers to opportunity to leave their own positive feedback is a fantastic validation tool for staff that their efforts are recognised and appreciated.
Capture customer feedback and deliver it directly your teams so they can see the value of their work, as well as areas they can look to improve.