Keeping your staff motivated and satisfied in their work is vital to contact center performance. Studies show that agent engagement is linked to increased profitability, better employee performance, employee retention, and employee empowerment.
But agent engagement isn’t just about making your employees happy. Its true power lies in making your team feel involved, enthusiastic, and committed to their work and workplace.
Employee engagement is especially important for call centers, since agent turnover tends to be higher. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize agent morale in a contact center and ensure your top performers are engaged. Luckily, there are many easy ways to incentivize your team so they feel fulfilled in their work and motivated to perform!
Flexible work and scheduling.
A flexible work schedule is a great alternative to the regular 9-5 daily shift. In this setup, employees work during hours they feel they are most productive, or hours that are more convenient for them. Flex work might look like part-time work, remote work, or a compressed work week. Employees with familial obligations for example might benefit greatly from flex work.
Flex schedules can help you attract top talent, increase morale, improve productivity, and reduce turnover in call centers. With the COVID-19 pandemic, 9-5 is already becoming a piece of history, as more workplaces adopt flex scheduling. Your contact center can benefit from this change, as your agents do best when they feel most productive.
Full medical and extended healthcare.
Health benefits do more than just keep your employees healthy — in fact, it can improve agent productivity and retention. And while most contact centers offer health benefits and insurance to full time employees, many contact center agents won’t benefit from this as a part-time or contract employee.
Consider offering your agents attractive health benefits packages to improve employee engagement. This will reduce turnover, attract talent, and boost engagement — after all, if your agents are worried about bills and medical coverage, they won’t be able to bring their best efforts to their work. Be sure to revisit your offerings regularly to ensure your offerings remain competitive and that they cover your staff’s biggest needs.
Give them a chance to progress.
The call center industry is booming, with over 80% of Fortune 500 companies using virtual agents to support customer service. This also means that there are thousands of people in the call center industry, which makes it easy for employees to perceive a lack of opportunity for career progression.
It’s important to give your agents the opportunity to learn, develop, and progress in their careers. Offer them opportunities to learn, even if that means switching to a different project area of the company to learn a new skill. Alternatively, you can help them develop a career progression plan with tangible goals to work towards. This will give your agents milestones to aim for and motivation to progress to higher-paid roles.
Work hard, play hard.
It’s important for agents to be focused and driven in their day-to-day work. However, a little fun goes a long way when it comes to employee engagement.
Add some fun to your workplace and improve company culture with spontaneous celebrations, prizes for strong performance, and other events to keep the office lively. A fun work environment can reduce absenteeism, improve productivity, and boost morale.
Gamify daily work.
Call center work is tough. Supporting customer after customer for hours each day can be draining for agents. If your staff are starting to feel fatigued, consider changing the dynamic with gamification!
There are tons of call center games that incentivize meeting targets and improve employee collaboration. By introducing a reward system through performance games, you can improve employee morale and engagement.
Finding the right incentives for your team.
It’s important to note that not every work environment is the same. You know your call center agents best — find the right incentives for your team based on their interests, scenarios, and needs!
With that said, don’t make assumptions on what your agents want — ask them! By involving them in the decision-making process and taking their opinions into consideration, you can get a head start on increasing their engagement.
If wellness and health are important to your agents, consider offering a company-covered gym membership, or having a branch yoga class. If your agents are jokers and have playful attitudes, increase the frequency of your call center games or offer them a gift card to a comedy club. Ask your agents which incentive ideas sound most appealing, and do what works best for them.