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Make a Change for Employee Engagement: Here’s How!

Employee Engagement

How's Your Employee Engagement?

All top performing call centers have a high level of employee engagement. The following article provides a game plan for improving your call center performance by way of employee engagement. This coupled with Call Center Games will provide you with everything your center needs to deliver outstanding results.

According to Gallup, one-third of your call center agents and managers are “actively engaged.” Actively engaged agents and managers are ones that exhibit positive attitudes and generate productive work ethics. You might say that they are company employees. They “get it.” They understand that they are building something more their own careers and earned income for themselves. They are sharing in the construction of a company dream to be the premier product and/or service provider on the planet!

In the same Gallup poll, almost one-half of your call center agents and managers are disengaged. Disengaged employees, opposite of actively engaged employees, have marginal-to-negative attitudes and productivity. In short, they are trading time for money. Generally, they are biding their time on your clock until a better offer comes along. It is a shame, huh? Because who wants employees with poor attitudes and work ethics? Worse yet, they are on YOUR payroll!

So, what are you going to do about it? Change your culture, of course. Here’s how:

  • Work to convert the disengaged employees into actively engaged employees?
  • Eliminate the chief or worst, cultural offenders as soon as possible.
  • Hire actively engaged employees.

Now, you might be thinking?

  • How do I determine who is actively engaged and who is not?
  • How do I fire half of my agents?
  • How do I hire an actively engaged agent or manager when I have never worked with him or her?

Good questions.

1. Gallup has created the G12 feedback system, a list of 12 questions every manager and supervisor is wise to know. The beauty of the system is that the questions are simple and easy to understand. Take a look:

The 12 questions are (rated on a scale from 1 to 5):

  • Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  • Do I have the materials and equipment that I need in order to do my work right?
  • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  • In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
  • Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  • At work, do my opinions seem to count?
  • Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel that my job is important?
  • Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?
  • Do I have a best friend at work?
  • In the past six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
  • This past year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

2. Quickly identify the agents that exhibit the poorest attitudes, work ethics and aptitudes for future growth. They must be pruned. You do this by establishing standards that are consistent with how an actively engaged employee develops. Then, you announce the new, employee conduct standards and when they will go into effect. [Consult with your HR managers and lawyers, if you have any reservations or concerns about making personnel changes.] Remember to establish objective performance measurements and leave comments for subjective, managerial opinions about observed, agent attitudes.

According to your company termination procedures, begin the process when noncompliance is measured without delay. It is critical for the health of your evolving, call center culture overall to eliminate cancerous attitudes as quickly as possible. In the long run, if you are fair-minded in the termination process, the discomfort for everyone will be minimized because of your excellent leadership.

3. The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) asked the same question and through their report, The Drivers of Employee Engagement, determined six characteristics among engaged employees:

“Believe in their organization”

“Desire to work to make things better”

“Understand the business context and the ‘bigger picture”

“Are respectful and helpful to colleagues”

“Are willing to go ‘the extra mile”

“Keep up to date with developments in their field”

In order to create a call center culture conducive to encouraging actively engaged agents and managers, supervisors must be actively engaged also.

In conclusion, don’t think that for one minute, as a supervisor, you cannot change a culture. It is your organization and your time! In fact, it is your responsibility to lead effectively to protect the business, your agents and managers, and yourself. If you are resigned to the idea that the culture you found was established long before you arrived and is impossible to change positively today, do yourself and your team a favor: quit! On the other hand, if you are at a crossroad in your organization and know in your heart that it’s time to make a change for employee engagement, begin your evaluations with you.?

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To Your Success,?

Greg Meares

My name is Yvette Rosendo and I have been a call center manager over 25 years. I purchased the call center games during my tenure at Prudential Insurance for my Call Center teams. I found the games to be interactive and quite motivating for my staff and I. The games provided friendly competition among the entire call center department. My favorite game was the Rummage Sale game and Two by Two. We change the games to meet our needs based on reaching improved AHT goals or decreasing ACW. The staff were engaged and tried to work harder to hit their respective goals when we held contests. I would recommend this product to all Contact Center managers and employees.

Yvette Rosendo 
Council for Professional Recognition

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About the author

Greg Meares

As a Sr. Consultant for Performance Connections, Inc., Greg's primary objective is to provide value to organizations that are focused on raising brand awareness. Additionally Greg works on improving the customer experience, through business process re-engineering, and call center best practices. Greg is an industry expert and is often called upon to provide his analysis and solution oriented approach to improving performance in the BPO and Call Center industry.

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