Keeping employees happy and motivated can be a challenge in any workplace, and contact centers are no exception. Some people think that employee engagement is too “fluffy” to be a top priority, but many studies show that happy employees are the most productive employees.Most commonly, money is allocated towards incentives to help drive performance, achieving short-term wins among team members. As much as these real-time initiatives are essential, the long-term engagement impact is questionable.
Here are five cost-effective approaches that not only supplement an incentive strategy, but also drive motivation and happiness.
Start Off On the Right Foot
The first experiences of joining a new organization are critical, so it’s important to have an onboarding strategy in place. If done right, a successful onboarding plan will help new employees understand their role, ensure they feel welcomed and positively introduce them to the company’s unique culture all on the first day.
Before a newbie’s first day, make sure their workstation is setup and ready for them to jump right in. It’s a great idea to also assign them an onboarding buddy, who can show them the ropes. This gives new team members the chance to get to know other coworkers and have someone to go to for questions that they may be hesitant to ask their manager about.
A Paycheck With a Purpose
A job doesn’t have to be just a job. In fact, most people are looking for purpose and meaning in their positions. A contact center that invests in helping employees expand their knowledge, skills and abilities will see happier and more engaged team members that are much more likely to become leaders and managers. Not to mention increased performance, retention, job satisfaction and reduced stress.
Building career development programs allows employees to grow and reach their personal goals. Implementing coaching programs provides a dual-purpose, where mentors can gain leadership skills and team members expand their learning beyond just their job function.
It’s A Two Way Street
For employees to feel valued, they also need to feel like they’re not in the dark. Information should be delivered on a regular basis, but there also needs to be available outlets for employees to provide their own feedback. Employee surveys, focus groups and suggestion boxes help team members feel heard. Being consistent with gathering this type of feedback is key, but analyzing this information is even more crucial. This type of bottom-up communication also provides valuable information that organizations can use to make positive changes within programs or policies.
Corporate communication helps to keep everyone informed and focused on the same goals. Weekly “All Hands” meetings, company intranets and corporate newsletters are all practical platforms to keep everyone in the loop. Top-down communication increases awareness of new initiatives and demonstrates that leadership values and supports what’s going on in the organization.
Recognition Through Relationships
No matter what anyone says, it feels good to be acknowledged for doing a good job. More importantly, recognition lets employees know that their contributions have made a difference to a greater goal.
Rewards and recognition programs can have a huge impact on employee morale, but going beyond the standard “Employee of the Month” is vital to their effectiveness. Explore ways to recognize team members with the intention of encouraging interaction and meaningful conversations. One easy way to do this is to give superstar team members the opportunity to share their experiences and inspire their colleagues by leading a workshop or presentation around their special skills.
When possible, arrange for recognized employees the opportunity to have conversations with executive leadership that they wouldn’t normally interact with. These are true experiences that leave lasting impressions.
Sticking to the Schedule
Schedule adherence is one of the most challenging pieces within contact center performance and conflicts between work and home life is often a big stress for contact center employees. Communication around schedule conflicts is imperative.
Employees need easy channels to let their leaders know when they aren’t able to make a shift. There should also be a real-time tracking process put in place so that employees know where they’re at with their attendance scores at anytime. Working one-on-one with repeat offenders and identifying the root cause behind their absenteeism with a personalized solution will benefit both parties.
Through these approaches, companies can boost motivation, build confidence and create happier employees, ultimately leading to improved satisfaction, productivity and retention throughout the entire workplace.
Also Read: 3 Ways to Fuel Your Team with Happiness