Contact center managers can spot an engaged agent from a mile off. These are the people who come to work every day with enthusiasm and a desire to get involved.
They’re a valuable resource for your team. They’re also less likely to leave the job, reducing the number of costly new hires you need to make.
In an ideal world, you’d have a team full of this type of agent.
While this may not be a realistic aim – there will always be people who struggle to engage fully – there are strategies you can implement to improve employee engagement.
Here are nine of the most effective.
9 call center employee engagement ideas
#1 Keep employees in the loop
Do you hold regular meetings with employees? If not, you may be missing out on an easy way to increase engagement.
Managers who regularly hold meetings with employees are three times more likely to have engaged employees than those who don’t.
No one wants to fill their days with meetings. But talking with an individual or small group of employees once a week is a good way to build a connection with your team.
#2 Increase knowledge access
Knowledgeable employees are often engaged and research shows that organizations can foster engagement by removing obstacles to internal information flow.
Why is this?
Well, giving employees knowledge empowers them to find answers and solutions independently. It shows that you trust staff to make their own decisions.
There are simple steps you can take to improve knowledge access. Good top-down communication helps. Tools like internal apps and knowledge bases also help employees find the information they need.
#3 Create a strong team culture
Only four in ten employees agree that their company’s mission makes them feel their job is important. Employees who feel like their work doesn’t matter are unlikely to be engaged.
Improve this by creating a solid team culture. Doing so leads to employees who better understand what your call center is trying to achieve and how their role impacts the team.
You can take several steps to create a stronger culture. For example:
- Defining your mission and vision
- Creating a list of values
- Setting clear expectations about employee behavior
#4 Invest in technology
Call center technology makes life easier for agents. And you’ll increase engagement when agents see that you are supporting them in their work.
The right tools can support agents by:
- Automating manual tasks to help them focus more on customer calls
- Routing customers to the agents best placed to help them
- Gathering information pre-call to help agents provide better service
- Highlighting customer information that enables personalized service
The above factors won’t just affect engagement. They can also significantly impact call center performance metrics.
#5 Provide training opportunities
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that training opportunities affect engagement.
Offering training opportunities is easier than ever due to digital solutions that let staff learn anywhere from their smartphone.
Meanwhile, mentorship schemes are an easy way to increase learning opportunities for new hires and give leadership opportunities to experienced staff.
Find out more about call center training in our article.
#6 Offer flexible or remote working
74.1% of contact centers allowed staff to work from home during the pandemic. If yours was one of them, consider continuing to offer remote work as an option going forward.
There are significant benefits to doing so.
And remote employees in general report higher rates of engagement than on-site employees.
If you haven’t yet made the jump to remote work, then doing so may be easier than you think.
Our guide to starting a virtual contact center contains all the information you need.
#7 Increase opportunities for collaboration
Studies suggest there is a link between employee satisfaction and collaboration.
Over half of satisfied employees collaborate with five or more people in the office every day, while over 70% collaborate with clients or partners at least once a week.
It’s easy to see why this is the case. Collaboration builds work relationships and makes staff feel like part of a team.
T-Mobile is an excellent example of how call centers can increase collaboration.
- Built shared workspaces that encourage collaboration
- Split its workforce into teams that work together to handle a set of customer accounts
- Used technology to enable in-call collaboration
Turnover dropped from 42% to 22% annually after implementing these changes. And Net Promoter Score, transferred calls, cost to serve, and call escalation metrics all improved.
#8 Praise good work
Not recognizing employees can seriously impact engagement. Employees who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to want to quit in the next year.
There’s an easy fix to this problem: praise employees for good work and effort more often.
Ensure your praise relates to specific things the employee has done, and give feedback soon after the action occurs.
#9 Use gamification tactics
Gamification is a valuable agent engagement tool if used correctly.
82% of employees said that “game elements provide a greater sense of meaning and purpose in my workplace.”
There are several reasons why gamification works:
- It adds an element of competition
- It makes repetitive tasks more engaging
- It increases motivation
You can use many strategies to add an element of gamification to work.
Simple options include creating leaderboards for top performers based on your KPIs and handing out badges or prizes to employees when they meet certain goals.
Be careful not to go too far when introducing gamification. Too much competition can encourage agents to see each other as rivals, leading to a toxic workplace.
Higher engagement leads to better employees
Some level of churn and disengagement is inevitable in a contact center. But by implementing some of the tactics in this article, you can reduce this to a minimum.
And if you do, you’ll end up with happier agents who are more productive and stay with your company for longer.