How Contact Centers Can Leverage Gamificaton

Contact centers are always looking for new ways to ensure employee engagement and productivity, especially now that many agents work, at least some of the time, from home. For remote agents especially, it can be more difficult to plug into the culture of the office and stay engaged with the brand without the face to face interaction they would usually have in the contact center. This is where gamification can help. Contact centers can introduce gaming elements to motivate and engage staff while helping upskill and cross skill staff. It is an invaluable approach to increasing productivity for your workforce, whether they are working from home or in a contact center.Read more


4 Ways to Reduce Agent Turnover in Your Contact Center

One of the most significant challenges that contact centers face is an incredibly high rate of agent turnover, creating a cyclical problem where the Learning and Development team is continuously training new agents for them only to stay with the company for a couple of months. This can be expensive. In this blog, we have four strategies for contact centers that are hoping to retain their agents and reduce turnover.

Read more


3 Ways to Drive Agent Engagement in a Contact Center

If you know anything about contact centers, then you know that it can be hit or miss when it comes to how interested (or engaged) an agent is with their caller, or their job for that matter.

Just a little nudge in the right direction, and your contact center could be humming, but if you are like many contact centers, that ‘nudge’ needs refining, and there’s a new way in which you can do it. What contact center managers have realized is that their investment in training and development, along with employee satisfaction and engagement, is the best investment they could ever make.

According to an Aon Hewitt study, a mere 5% increase in employee engagement can drive an increase in revenue by 3% by the following year. On the back of this ‘new’ digital age brings to the forefront major advancements in technology particularly in artificial intelligence, robotics and of course, gamification (our personal favorite).

Employees that work in contact centers may at times feel not qualified enough to perform their required tasks to the best of their capabilities and hence feel slightly unmotivated and unambitious. Engagement among contact center agents is important to ensure employee satisfaction is attained.

In come companies like Call Design’s partner Datagamz who aim to optimize and radically improve the engagement and capability of contact centers by improving communication inside and outside the organization. They focus on gamification as well as analytics to provide insights, and throw a few games into the mix – which ultimately get’s everyone a little excited (and productive).

Here are 3 of the best ways gamification is used to drive agent engagement in contact centers.

  1. Gamification
    The concept of incorporating games into work has proved successful when the game is designed to improve productivity. Gamification taps into employees’ psychological needs for challenges, rewards, feedback and fun. Through Datagamz technology, the focus is on earning points, levelling up in games, having leaderboards and game targets that encourage employees to do better and ultimately be more competitive. It prides itself as a stakeholder in the incorporation of bringing fun into work – where an employee finishes a work-task and simultaneously levels up in a game. Constructive feedback will also be shared in the game, which is beneficial to all employees.
  2. Manage Employees using Game Console
    Frankly, nobody likes being micro-managed. With Datagamz’s solution, employers are able to keep track of areas they want to target to determine employees’ individual performance. Employees have the choice to either compete against or team up with their colleagues while completing tasks. Having a point system and rewarding employees for compliance encourages repeated positive behaviors.
  3. Recognition and Rewards
    Last but certainly not least is recognizing and rewarding employees’ performance. Announcing and displaying top scorers is one way to increase engagement and encourage others to follow in this direction or use Datagamz to reward high achieving employees with the freedom to play music of their choice upon accomplishing a milestone. Employees with exceptional knowledge and skills can easily be identified to help benchmark where everyone is at. Utilizing Gamification technology provides insights on employees’ motivations and engagement patterns. Recognizing their strengths and rewarding their good behavior will urge employees to keep up the hard work, hence increasing satisfaction as well as engagement overall. What more could you ask for?

https://datagamz.com/gamification/

https://insights.humancapital.aon.com/

https://www.calldesignNA.com


Play Your Way to a Higher Performing Contact Center

The biggest threat to the productivity of a contact center is a disengaged employee. If your team is disengaged with their work, the performance of your contact center will suffer dramatically. But what if you were able to make a game out of your employee’s performance? Making a game out of the mundane tasks that come with a contact center will not only increase the likelihood that these tasks will be finished, but it will also improve the quality of the work done on the task. If this approach can strengthen the integrity of the work for the smaller tasks, just think of what it can do for some of the bigger, more complex tasks that your agents face every day. Gamification is the answer to your employee engagement problems.

How gamification can help

Gamification is the implementation and application of gaming elements to encourage engagement with a product or service. We can utilize gamification to improve employee engagement to increase the performance of your contact center. These games are able to translate behaviors that improve productivity into badges, quests and challenges for all the players involved. Whether you are training your employees on a new product or trying to encourage the completion of mundane tasks, gamification will change the way your team works.

Driving performance with friendly competition

The success of your team may very hinge on the environment of their workplace. Automation is taking up more and more of the routine tasks of a contact center, so your agents are tasked with the bigger, more complex customer questions. Gamification can help facilitate an environment that engages your employees in competition to increase their productivity and on-the-job knowledge. Whether they are competing for the top spots on a leader board or levelling up in training activities, gamification can make your team members better employees through challenges that reward and empower them on a personal level.

Celebrate your success together

With gamification software, you have the opportunity to reward the employees who are doing well and celebrate their success publicly. You can utilize the screens in your contact center to live stream player progress, leader boards and achievements for everyone to see. Public displays of success are a great way to motivate disengaged or newer employees to join in on the fun, while also celebrating the good work of your engaged employees. When you can celebrate the success of the whole team at once, everyone wins!

If you are interested in implementing gamification solutions in your contact center, get in touch with someone from our team today.


Call Design - Increasing Agent Satisfaction with Better WFM Tools

Increasing Agent Satisfaction with Better WFM Tools

Aspect Software’s most recent Contact Center agent survey listed agents’ top factors that drive their sense of engagement: Work/life balance came in 3rd, two spots above competitive wage with flexible work schedule not far behind.

 

A skilled scheduling team can do great work with spreadsheets, but when you add a best-fit Workforce Management tool, you open up new possibilities for truly transformational improvements in agent satisfaction. Adding more flexibility to the scheduling process can help agents find that work/life balance they want, but contact centers still need to maintain the right staffing levels to achieve their service goals. The right WFM tool can help you find the right balance.

 

More options in the scheduling process - Agents can feel more engaged when they feel more control over and connection with their work lives. You’ve forecasted the staffing levels to meet your service goals, and you can control the methods you use to fill those staffing levels. The right tools can add new options that might not have been feasible in the past.

  • Preference-Based Scheduling – Allowing agents some input into the scheduling process can be a very effective way to make agents feel more involved and invested. You can reward experienced senior employees with schedules build on their preferences for days worked and start times, or add another layer by adding performance scores to the mix as an incentive for above-average work. You can take a subset of agent and create preference-based schedules as a base, then building rules-based schedules on top to make sure all your requirements are covered.
  • Dynamic Scheduling – For flex agents or work-at-home agents, could you increase your options for schedule flexibility? If your work-at-home agents would like to work some hours in the morning, some in the afternoon or some in the evening, it could be a win-win for them and you. Giving them a schedule that better fits their lives while allowing you to have them working at the busiest times of your day without having to keep them on the clock at slower times when they aren’t needed. With manual scheduling, the logistics are daunting; but the right WFM tool can help you break down your staffing requirements into configurable blocks and then present the available blocks to agents so they can effectively build their own schedules.  
  • Shift Bids – Many contact centers use shift bidding to fill schedules and give agents a method to move from less-favored schedules to ones they like better when those schedules become available. But creating and executing a shift bid can be extremely time-consuming when done manually, limiting the frequency you can offer new bids, which limits the chances your agents have to move to a schedule they like. Having a WFM tool that helps automate this process means that you can offer shift bids more often, not only assisting agents to feel more involved, but also giving you the chance to use fresher schedules that are a more optimal fit for your current business requirements.

 

More options for intra-day changes – Agents want flexibility when it comes to meeting their need for planned time off as well as accommodating things that come up at the last minute.

  • Automated Vacation – Rather than going through a cumbersome process of contacting a manager to find out if vacation time is available, sending emails to the scheduling team, then waiting for those extremely busy people to have a chance to respond, an agent using an automated WFM request process can see available vacation hours and use self-service tools to enter vacation requests that are processed in a fraction of the time. Agents feel more control over their vacation strategy, team supervisors don’t need to stop what they’re doing to deal with vacation requests, and the scheduling team knows that staffing levels are protected against any accidental overpromising of vacation or feelings that favoritism is used in the process.
  • Ease of VTO and VOT – Some agents look for any opportunity for overtime, and others might need to leave early to deal with family emergencies; either way, it’s another opportunity to satisfy your requirements and satisfy agents at the same time. When you’re busier than expected and need additional agents, the right WFM tool can help you identify the agents who want overtime, while still tracking who is working OT and setting any limits to avoid giving too much OT to the same people. Similarly, you can make voluntary time off available to agents who need it, alleviating unexpected overstaffing by allowing those agents to request VTO though an automated process that gets them off the clock sooner and saving the contact center unnecessary staffing costs.  
  • Automated Trades – Opening the shift swap process to larger groups of agents, even agents at different sites means more opportunities for trades for your agents; but it also brings more complexity. An automated tool can keep tight control over the trade process, allowing agents to have more possible trade partners while automatically checking skill compatibility, staffing levels, protecting against overtime, controlling the number of times agents are trading, and other configurable rules that you would otherwise have to check manually. As with automated vacation request, agents get a response faster, and all users can be alerted so they can keep an eye on the trade process.

 

Mobile Access

Many agents would love 24/7 mobile access to their schedules, vacation requests, and trades; the newest generation of agents may even expect that they will be able to interact with their work schedules anytime from their phones. A Mobile WFM app can add another level of agent satisfaction to your scheduling process by making all of your schedule optimization efforts accessible even when agents aren’t online at work. This can be extremely helpful in streamlining and automating your callout process when agents can’t make it to work, as well as allowing you to communicate things like overtime availability to agents who might be willing to start work early if you need them. Shift bidding can be facilitated if you give agents the ability to meet their bid window even if they aren’t at work.

 

Added options for schedule flexibility is just one way that a best-fit Workforce Management tool can make a real difference to your agents’ satisfaction with their jobs, helping you keep your top performers and attract new talent. Contact us or email the Call Design team today to find out how we can help make it happen for you!

 


How to motivate employees with non-monetary incentives

Even your best-performing agents will have off days.

It’s natural – from time to time everyone wakes up not quite in the mood for a day at work. However, as a manager, the onus is on you to minimize how this impacts task completion by motivating your staff.

While incentivizing is often done through monetary means – promotions, bonuses – the truth is that this isn’t always possible.

In this article, we’ll explore some current methods being adopted by workforce managers to motivate their staff through non-financial encouragement.

1. The fun of gamification

One of the newest tools in a personnel leader’s arsenal is gamification.

Reduced to its fundamentals, gamification involves turning a pre-existing task or process into a game. This holds a number of benefits in the workplace:

  • Motivation – It’s true that familiarity can breed contempt when it comes to repetitive daily tasks. By turning these into a fun activity, however, you can prevent complacency and engage staff. In fact, when properly implemented, gamification can enhance employee motivation by 51.6 percent, according to Karl Kapp, Instructional Technology Professor at Bloomsburg University
  • Education – By flipping duties on their head in this way, you force yourself and other participants to think about them in new ways. This can result in learning outcomes that improve your systems in the long run.
  • Participation – A side benefit of gamification is the way that it encourages employees to work together – this teamwork can contribute to an overall increase in cohesion in your contact center.

All sorts of daily tasks can be overhauled with gamification, but here are a couple of great examples:

The Quality Scores Sports Game: 

Monitoring quality is high on the priority list for any manager, and why not make this process fun for staff who might otherwise see it as daunting? First, work out a sport that your staff are into, and then assign points that link quality scores to a sports event scenario.

Gamification can improve motivation by up to 51.6 percent, according to Karl Kapp.

For example, if U.S. football was your chosen sport, an average quality score could equate to an extra point (one point), a good score to a field goal (three points), and an excellent score to a touchdown (six points). You could run this competition over a month, with the agent who gains the most points winning a prize.

The Customer Experience Game:

Customer experience is hugely important to a business’ bottom line. Indeed, 73 percent of consumers worldwide name this factor as important in influencing their buying decision, states research from PwC. 

In this example of gamification, each agent has a sheet featuring a list of factors that contribute to a good customer interaction. The idea is that customers complete the sheet by checking off specific items – for example, informing clients of upgraded products. However, they can only check one box per customer – this prevents the game being over after one call, and encourages staff to alter their approaches to dealing with different callers.


Gamification is the latest technique in workforce motivation.

2. Flexible work arrangements

More and more, we’re seeing an erosion of the traditional 9-5 office job. This trend is particularly true in line with the desires of Millennials and Generation Z, who are filling up an increasing percentage of the job market. Flexible working arrangements have been shown to build loyalty among this demographic of employees, and improve business performance, according to Deloitte.

Call Design’s ME mobile app allows staff to manage their schedules by swapping shifts with colleagues and requesting time off. This allows them to create a program that provides them with an optimized work-life balance, meaning they’re working at times where they feel most motivated to do so.

Flexible working arrangements have been shown to build loyalty and productivity among Millennials and Gen Z.

To do this effectively, you need to establish a process that both you and your employees should stick to. Flexible working requires trust on both sides, but can do wonders for your staff’s motivation when properly implemented.

3. Awards ceremonies

Whether on a grand, annual scale, or at smaller departmental meetings, public recognition of hard work can go a long way to encouraging similar performances in the future.

A great alternative to monetary rewards in these instances can be personalized gifts. Branded company items, for example mugs that also feature the winner’s name or photo are a great touch. Gift tokens that match with that individual’s personal interests also often go over well – for example, movie tickets or books and sports tickets.

For smaller scale wins, a post on a company-wide intranet or social media platform can reinforce the perception that stellar performances don’t go unnoticed.


Internal awards ceremonies motivate staff by showing the rewards and recognition available to hard workers.

4. Involvement in decision making

While, traditionally, decision making is left to senior management, there’s a lot to be said for opening the floor to employee input. Your agents see the business from a different perspective, and will doubtless have ideas of procedural changes you can make that will improve efficiency.

As well as potentially improving the day-to-day running of the company, such initiatives make it clear that you value your staff’s input, which can be a highly motivational tool. Communicating that you’re always open to new ideas will encourage individuals to go beyond the scope of their role and brainstorm concepts that could help shape the future of the company.

From your point of view, that practice of regularly engaging with your team in this way also shows you who might be most suitable for more senior roles, should such an opportunity come along.

With so many different ways of motivating your staff with non-monetary incentives, there’s no reason for not starting to implement some of these ideas today. For more training and solutions to improve performance among your agents, get in touch with the team at Call Design today.


Business growth and high staff turnover: what to do about it

 

Losing trusted personnel is always a concern, especially when you're trying to grow your business.

A high staff turnover rate can disrupt processes, affect staff morale, and drain time, money and resources away from a company's overarching goals.

Here, we'll take a look at why you should care about resignations, the reasons they happen, and what you can do to prevent them, keeping in mind at all times the objective of business growth.

Call Design has training and solutions that will aid your staff retention rates. High staff turnover can seriously limit business growth.

How does staff turnover affect business growth?

If you type "How do I grow my business" into Google, you'll likely return a lot of results about what makes a 'foolproof' strategy, how to identify new opportunities, and different ways to get your brand out there. While there's no doubt that all of these things, and more, are important ingredients for business growth, one subject area that's conspicuous by its absence is looking after your staff.

In 2017, the average cost of rehiring mid-range positions was 20% of the position's salary.

The impacts of staff leaving your company are often felt much more widely than you may first think. When it comes to hindering business growth frequent departures can affect the following:

  • Costs: As anyone with any experience of hiring and training a new employee will know, it doesn't come cheaply. One 2017 study found that on average, the costs to replace an employee are 20% of that position's salary.  In an organization with a high turnover, these costs can quickly start to add up and affect growth.
  • Productivity: With a depleted team, you can't expect to get the same amount of work done. This will, with time, start to seriously impact the productivity of your business, which will, in turn, be detrimental to your ability to grow.
  • Staff morale: The byproducts of this increased workload for those left behind can include higher levels of stress, and an overall drop in morale. This could create a vicious cycle of resignations if these new stresses become too great.
  • Leadership prioritizing: Instead of focusing on growth strategies, lengthy recruitment and hiring cycles will serve as unnecessary distractions for you and the rest of the leadership team.
Good engagement with staff can help prevent resignations.Leaders need to recognize the importance of staff retention if their company is to grow successfully.

What are the causes of high staff turnover?

A 2017 report from the Institute of Managers and Leaders showed that 10 percent of employees leave their positions voluntarily because they aren't offered sufficient opportunities to develop themselves professionally.

The top three reasons for resigning in this survey were as follows:

  • Seeking new challenges - 79 percent.
  • Limited career advancement/progression - 58 percent.
  • Insufficient remuneration - 45 percent.

What you can do to prevent high staff turnover?

What should strike you first as you digest this information is that all of the above are largely within your control. In this section, we'll discuss some of the specific steps you can take to reduce the rates of attrition in your business.

1. Regularly engage with your staff:

As a people manager you're setting yourself up for failure if you don't frequently take the time to talk to your staff. This is especially true in growing businesses where changes in strategy or increasing demands mean that personnel are consistently having to adapt to new ways of working. Having your finger on the pulse of your employees gives you a better chance of catching problems when they're in their infancy, rather than letting them develop.

2. Conduct exit interviews:

Whether it's the latest in a spate of resignations, or the first departure in a while, it's vital to engage the outgoing staff member in an exit interview. These forums offer the perfect opportunity to discover exactly why this person no longer wants to work in your organization. Free from the pressure of talking to a professional superior, you'll likely find former employees are a lot more honest in this setting, providing you with valuable insights as to how you can improve staff experience for those who remain, therefore reducing future turnover.

3.  Provide professional upskilling programs

The millennial workforce is only going to grow in the coming years, so knowing how to appeal to this group is particularly important for managers who want to hold onto their staff. A staggering 87 percent of millennials rank professional or career growth and development opportunities as important to them in a role, according to a Gallup report - so establishing training programs should be high on your list of priorities.

The other benefit of this solution is that better-trained staff have more to offer your business. A great place to learn how to instigate such initiatives is with Call Design's Managers Essentials Course. Designed for team leaders and managers, this program will tell you how to set measurable goals with your employees, identify roadblocks that could prevent them achieving their objectives, and provide actionable feedback.

The existence of these initiatives not only makes your company a more attractive place to work, but also lays the foundations for a more productive and engaged workforce.

Call Design's Manager Essentials course can help managers learn how to provide useful feedback to staff.Training programs are a great way of engaging staff with your business, and improving productivity.

4. Implement incentive programs

Another crucial way of increasing loyalty is to recognize and reward strong performances.

As we saw above, 45 percent of voluntary resignations come as a result of insufficient remuneration. While simply upping the salaries of all staff is financially unviable in the majority of businesses, an important step is to provide employees with a progression roadmap. By showing workers what they need to do in order to be considered for promotion you make it clear that increased wages are a tangible reality.

However, there are plenty of incentives you can offer instead of/alongside augmented earnings:

  • Flexible work arrangements: Millennial employees are more likely to be loyal to companies that offer flexible work arrangements, according to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey. Software such as Call Design's workforce management solution ME offers staff the opportunity to take ownership of their personal schedules on-the-go.
  • Gift cards: Gift cards are a great incentive as you can personalize them to show an awareness of an employee's interests or hobbies.
  • EventsCompany funded events or excursions are perfect for showing staff that their efforts are appreciated, and to bring the team closer together.

These are just a few ideas on how you can help to prevent staff from leaving your business. For more solutions, and information on our training courses, get in touch with Call Design today.


What's next? Future proofing your contact center

 

Adaptability is the key to survival for all businesses, and none more so than contact centers.

With consumer habits changing constantly, and the continuing influence of technology on customer-business interactions, looking to the future isn't an option, it's a necessity.

Here we'll do just that. This article will examine a few trends that are already occurring in the contact center industry, and some that you're likely to see in the years to come.

Call Design has solutions to help contact centres navigate the complex world of technology.Technological innovations will play a huge role in the future of contact centers.

1. Increased personalization

The likes of Spotify and Netflix long ago cottoned on to the fact that personalization is the key to customer satisfaction, and this is a trend that's branching out far beyond the entertainment industry.

There are numerous ways that contact centers can personalize the experiences their customers have. These include:

  • Omni-channel approaches: Social media has revolutionized the way people talk to each other, and to businesses. These days, customers expect to be able to reach agents through the medium that's most convenient to them, so establishing which platforms are favored by your consumer base is a great way to show you understand their habits.
  • Empathetic agents: Training your agents to understand a product or service is one thing, ensuring they get this information across in a manner that creates trust with a customer is quite another. Managing the quality of your staff's service should remain an utmost priority for workforce leaders.

2. New technologies

We've already discussed the impact of social media, but there are plenty of other tech-based innovations that have a part to play in the future of contact centers.

Artificial Intelligence: 

Many contact centers are already taking advantages of the benefits offered by artificial intelligence (AI), and its capabilities are only going to increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

A few examples of how AI can be used in contact centers include:

  • Helping customers find useful information: In the digital age, consumers will often turn to the internet before picking up the phone. Virtual assistants can be used to direct these users to an FAQ page based on their query, or connect them with the best qualified agent.
  • Taking the place of interactive voice response (IVR) processes: The machine learning capabilities of AI means that it can go beyond presenting a caller with a set of choices, as is seen with IVR. Instead bots can begin to understand statements and therefore provide a better level of customer experience.

Biometric security:

Customers are often asked to give out sensitive information when interacting with contact centers, so it's imperative they trust you. As a result, It's likely that simple identification questions such as full name, age and address will soon become a thing of the past.

Instead, voice biometrics will provide agents with a quick and efficient method of flagging suspicious behavior that could denote fraud. This works through speech recognition, meaning that even the most advanced fraudsters would struggle to gain access to the information they need.

Voice biometrics could have an important role to play in the future of contact centres.Voice biometrics can help contact centers protect their customers from fraudsters.

3. Changing work patterns

It's no secret that sitting at a desk all day isn't great for your body, or your productivity. Well, even that could be set to change.

Computers and headsets are so ingrained into the stereotypical contact center environment that it's difficult to imagine life without them, but as speech-text technology keeps improving these items may be consigned to the history books. Agents will be free to move around the office, creating a more dynamic workplace and fewer manual administrative tasks.

Going a step beyond this, the numbers of remote workers are also likely to increase. Flexible work arrangements featured in the top five factors that make an employer attractive, according to PwC's Millennials At Work survey. Therefore, finding techniques that enable staff to take greater control over both how and where they work is an important consideration for any contact center manager.

Call Design's ME Mobile App can help with this. Accessible from your agents' smart devices, this piece of software allows employees to keep track of their schedules, apply for leave and swap shifts with colleagues to create timetables that work for them and you. They can do all of this while on the go, which also reduces the pressure on your workforce management team.

While the day-to-day takes up the majority of your time as a contact manager, it's important to keep an eye on the horizon. Call Design has a raft of training and solutions that you can leverage to ensure your contact center is prepared for anything the future might throw at you. For more information, get in touch with our team today.


Retaining staff: A guide for contact centre managers

 

It's no secret that attrition is one of the biggest challenges facing contact centres, and it's something the industry acknowledges. In fact, 40 per cent of contact centre managers want to improve retention rates among staff, according to Deloitte's Global Contact Centre Survey.

So what can you do to hold on to your top performing agents? Let's explore.

Contact centre managers need to know how to deal with unhappy staff.Staff attrition is one of the greatest problems facing contact centre managers.

1. Analyse your hiring process

Reducing contact centre attrition starts with your hiring processes.

It can be difficult to know from a resume how well a candidate may suit your company, but it's important to begin building an idea as early as you can. Cover letters in particular should allow you to gain an understanding of how their past experience sets them up for life in your centre, but also what they expect from the role, and how they might fit into the structures you have in place.

Your hiring process should determine whether someone will slide seamlessly into your culture.

This information can then be added to at the interview. As well as digging deeper into their professional skills, a substantial proportion of this time should be allocated to determining whether the candidate will slide seamlessly into your culture. A good indicator comes in the form of their soft skills.

Soft skills is a category that includes attributes such as communication, leadership and collaboration, all of which permit people to work well alongside others and produce an atmosphere where people want to stay and develop.

2. Establish clear objectives, and clear rewards

Opportunities to progress finished second only to a good work/life balance in the list of factors attracting millennials to a workplace, according to Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey. Once hiring is complete, therefore, part of the onboarding process should involve giving your new recruits a clear picture of not only their own role, but what they can do to advance.

Crucial to this is having well-defined and easily available employee handbooks. Among other things, these should detail incentives for good performance, as well as Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets that need to be met. This approach gives your staff something to aim for beyond their day-to-day targets. Though, as we will see in point four, these are also important when it comes to improving retention in contact centres.

Having a clearly defined progression for employees is a great incentive.Employee handbooks are great ways to show the opportunities for promotion.

3. Personalise incentive schemes

A great way to go the extra mile for your staff, and increase their loyalty to your business, is to personalise the incentives you offer.

This could be something as simple as giving employees a range of options if they're eligible for a reward, showing that you take these processes seriously and aren't simply going through the motions.

Digital rewards are also a great option. Acknowledging high achievers on social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn provide public acknowledgement of good results, and even a well thought-through email can be an effective way to build manager-staff bonds.

4. Stay on track

Using trackable metrics is an essential aspect of managing agent performance and the quality of client interactions.

This not only ensures that your customers experience a consistently high standard of service, but also allows you to catch potential problems and turn them around.

Tracking performance using metrics gives you the chance to catch problems and provide a solution.

Using metrics allows you to identify areas of weakness and provide the necessary training to bridge gaps. As well as showing interest in the professional development of your individual agents, this proactive management can halt the disenchantment that often comes with poor professional performance. Ultimately this may result in preventing an employee from leaving the company.

However, even when employees aren't missing targets, providing regular commentary to staff, based on the insights gained from metrics, is highly recommended. In fact, 51 per cent of millennials surveyed by PwC said that feedback should be given very regularly or continuously, and the more detailed, the better.

5. Open up your culture

Vital to preventing unnecessary loss of staff is creating a culture where agents feel comfortable talking to management about problems they may be having.

As these issues may range from professional to personal, it's vital that leadership are properly trained to make these interactions productive. As with feedback on trackable metrics, these are opportunities to catch issues before they snowball and provide a resolution that aids with retaining the staff involved.

However, sometimes enlisting the help of outside experts can be the best solution. Call Design's Contact Centre Consulting service is designed to help managers who are too close to identify the root cause of what is preventing an easy fix to culture problems. This service will optimise the running of your contact centre down to the smallest details, including leadership skills that could help you better understand the challenges facing your staff.

Exit interviews allow you to get insights on what went wrong,Exit interviews provide a valuable opportunity to learn how you can improve your systems for future employees.

6. Conduct exit interviews

Even if you adhere to all the guidance mentioned in this article, from time to time staff will leave. Rather than view this as a failure of your retention initiatives, use it as an opportunity to learn why this employee felt it was time to move on.

This is a golden chance where the individual in question is likely to be far more honest than they were during their tenure at the company. If there was no single reason that led to their departure, you can still gain valuable insights on what they feel your organisation does well, and what could be improved.

Learning from past mistakes and engaging with your staff is integral to reducing attrition in your contact centre. However, if you want more information on the relevant professional services you can make use of, get in touch with the team at Call Design today.


Absence management: Methods for reducing worker absenteeism

 

Absenteeism is costing US and Canadian businesses $225.8 billion and $16.6 billion per year respectively. These stats come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Conference Board of Canada, which highlight the cost of absenteeism in the hourly and salaried workforces.

Understanding the statistics is one thing, but fixing them is another. To help your contact center, we discuss four absence management strategies below:

Absenteeism in the form of excessive sick days be by symptomatic of a larger problem.An increase in sick days may be one of the first symptoms of a growing absenteeism issue in your business.

1. Identify the root cause

Absenteeism is not a problem, it's a symptom of a problem. Most likely a variety of problems, compounding together. Issues that can cause absenteeism include:

  1. Low morale or engagement levels.
  2. Stress or burnout.
  3. Workplace conflicts (e.g. bullying or harassment).
  4. Illness, injury or disability.
  5. Work/life conflicts (e.g. the needs of work and the needs of, say, childcare, conflicting with each other).
  6. Limited consequences for lack of attendance.
  7. Time theft (aka taking elongated breaks, regularly leaving early or turning up late).

Awareness is the first step to solving a problem. Take time to investigate what issues your contact center may be suffering from. This can be done through regular 1:1 personal sessions between staff and their team leader, and through anonymous feedback surveys.

 

2. Create an attendance policy

A clear attendance policy has two major benefits:

  1. It sets out your expectations for attendance so staff and their managers know what is and is not considered acceptable.
  2. It helps you benchmark individual attendance levels against the company expectation, so you can measure their performance. Without this, unconscious bias or favoritism may lead you to challenge some staff more than others.

What goes into an attendance policy?

An attendance policy should include comprehensive descriptions of your expectations around annual leave, sick leave, what constitutes tardiness, leave request procedures, rules around special leave (i.e. bereavement or jury duty) and so on.

This should be included in your employee handbook and all staff should be able to find and access it easily.

Employee wellness programs combine policies, perks and initiatives to encourage staff to better look after themselves.

3. Consider employee wellness programs

Employee wellness programs are typically a combination of policies, perks and initiatives that encourage staff to look after their physical and mental health. This could include discounts at gyms or medical centers, health insurance packages, policies designed to promote better self-care, and environment support (e.g. desk ergonomics, green spaces and so on).

These programs have been found to work. In a Comcare review, it was found that wellness programs such as smoking cessation interventions, physical activity and/or nutrition interventions, and changes to organizational culture showed real health-related benefits to employees.

4. Offer more flexibility

There's a growing call for flexible working around the world. One study by the Intelligence Group showed that 74 percent of the Millennial generation use work-life balance as a leading factor in evaluating job opportunities, while workers in Generation X can find themselves in need of workplace flexibility in order to care for aging parents.

Can your business handle flexible working arrangements? Some contact center leaders find it difficult to accommodate variable hours or working from home due to the schedule-intensive nature of the job. Staff levels must be carefully planned and easy to predict in order for the business to handle call volumes.

However, this is not an unsolvable problem - it just requires a technology upgrade. Consider investigating workforce management solutions that enable smart scheduling and easy shift swapping, as this will help you encourage staff to balance their working lives and personal lives without impacting your company's bottom line or the customer experience.

Choose Call Design to help you

If you aren't sure you can do this alone, it's time to seek help. Call Design is a leading workforce optimization consulting provider, featuring a team of experts with an average of 10+ years of experience. We have an array of WFO tools, solutions and training courses to help your business find and improve the root causes of your absenteeism issues.

To learn more, contact us today.