In this workforce wellbeing management series, we’re bringing a magnifying glass to the current state of the contact center. We’re assessing the rising stress levels in contact centers and creating an action plan required to address them. In our last article, I outlined technology guides to enable heightened wellbeing across the contact center. I’ve also discussed ways to help de-stress employees in this ever-changing world.
As you can see, workforce wellbeing is an integral part of maintaining an effective corporate program. Working with a workforce engagement management solution can help all levels of your organization. In this third and final part of the series, I’ll delve deeper to explore more subtle elements of wellbeing. We’ll look at ways to promote personal and organizational growth, since the success of one depends on the success of the other.
Although stress is nothing new, agents today are far more vocal in raising concerns about it. As a contact center manager, you are now tasked with balancing the company’s needs with rising stress levels among your team. While managing the mental health of your employees is an essential part of improving the customer experience, it can be difficult to navigate.
Some more concerns for on-premises and cloud-based contact center managers include:
As you can see, recruiting and retaining high-value agents is essential to improving the customer experience. That’s because better-trained employees can maintain proper performance metrics. Preventing agent attrition is also crucial to avoid the costly fees of having to hire and train new talent due to high turnover. That’s why implementing a strong wellbeing strategy is key.
So what can supervisors and senior managers do to build a happy and productive team? Here are a few ideas to getting started:
When agents feel valued, their work is infinitely more meaningful and less stressful. According to the Agent Wellbeing and the Great Resignation survey, many respondents reported several reasons that agents are leaving the job, such as:
One way to help is by investing in mental health initiatives and adding personalized training opportunities. Performance coaching celebrates your agent’s individual strengths, finds areas for improvement and creates clear career paths so that they can see a future within your enterprise. All these programs can help make your contact center agents feel more respected and valued for their time and hard work.
Another top concern the survey revealed was that 34% of agents wanted more flexibility in their work environments. Flexibility is needed to help agents adapt to unprecedented situations. A great solution to this issue is by adding agent-driven scheduling processes. Self-scheduling empowers agents to take control of their day with real-time flexibility that can accommodate the unexpected.
This feature also removes the burden of managing schedule changes, shift swaps, overtime and time-off requests. It does this by introducing the latest mobile self-service chatbots for agents. It’s like giving them a powerful time management tool in the palm of their hand.
Our research also showed that 40% of agents welcome innovative artificial intelligence (AI) as a means to free them from tedious tasks. AI bots and other machine learning tools create an opportunity for agents to focus on more fulfilling and higher-value services that only experienced human agents can provide.
Innovative tech also helps elevate contact centers to better support the needs of hybrid and remote teams. Personalized dashboards are an added bonus for agents working remotely because it allows them to track their own performance, stay focused and remain motivated throughout their shifts.
Checking in with your agents to gauge their stress levels is always a good idea. While it may seem like a “no-brainer,” it can be easy to forget, especially with all the other pressing needs of a contact center. One way to help is by encouraging supervisors to build regular one-on-one sessions into their schedules to increase your agent’ sense of belonging.
Another helpful solution is to maximize analytics to identify agents who may be struggling and need assistance. The latest VoE (voice of the employee) analytics capture and analyze how frontline staff are feeling and desktop analytics uncover clunky IT systems that are slowing them down.
As agents deal with more complex customer issues, navigating their way around new technology is essential. Do you agents know what technology they have available to them make their lives easier, and do they know how to use it? Take a close look at your systems, aim to give agents a consolidated view of customer information all on one screen, then, embed VoC (voice of the customer) analytics to support more meaningful, empathetic interactions.
Make mentoring and personal development a priority in your contact center. By taking a personalized approach and providing plenty of upskilling opportunities, you will help boost agent confidence and enhance their sense of wellbeing. That’s why it’s a great idea to invest in performance coaching solutions.
Performance coaching helps continually train employees, identify skill gaps, pinpoint areas where they are struggling and encourage their success. By making performance coaching an intrinsic part of your staff engagement program, you will lay the framework for professional growth and personal development throughout your enterprise.
By developing your technology, processes and overall thinking, you’ll help staff excel in their roles. Create a connected culture to collectively impact positive customer outcomes that drive opportunities for organizational growth.
Creating a beneficial workplace wellbeing program is key to retaining top talent, reducing budgetary concerns and cultivating a unified enterprise. Looking for practical tips to start improving your contact center? Download Calabrio’s Workforce Wellbeing Recovery Toolkit. This digital guide offers insightful resources that can help support your employees, offer tips in creating an effective corporate program and strengthen your team’s overall wellbeing.