Low morale and its resulting impact on staff turnover and absence is one of the biggest problems the contact centre industry faces today. If you’re running a contact centre it can feel like you’re constantly fire fighting. If you are wondering why your best employees are the ones who move on the fastest, it may be time to look at your performance management system again. By implementing a robust measurement framework and a robust software platform, which allows you to monitor outcomes in real-time, it is possible to motivate star performers and improvers alike, boosting staff retention and call centre metrics in equal measure.
The challenge is all about giving team leaders and agents real time access to performance data so that there are no surprises when it comes to performance review time. It makes much more sense for managers to spend their time on feedback and coaching conversations when they are needed most rather than having to spend days collating spreadsheets and paper results to populate the review templates, which are forgotten about once the review is over.
Here are three simple steps that can help you put your performance management strategy on the right track:
1. Make the process collaborative
Contact centre agent performance needs to be a two-way street and not a one-sided appraisal. A collaborative strategy, which allows agents and managers to agree individual and team-wide targets together helps to create a transparent workplace culture where everyone knows what’s expected of them. If you don’t get this right, you’ll end up spending lots of time in dispute, in extreme cases, before the process even starts – I’ve seen cases where staff wouldn’t even sign off their agreements.
2. Avoid nasty surprises
Traditional performance appraisals can often rely on outdated information and this can be disheartening for employees and tricky for managers who may be accused of not being fair or consistent. By ensuring managers and agents have constant access to real-time performance data you can avoid nasty surprises at review time.
3. Create a balanced scorecard
How many times have you heard the phrase – “You get what you measure”. It’s true, weight your metrics towards efficiency and you’ll get efficient results – but at what cost. We’ve recently worked with a client who have mandated that “average handle time (AHT) won’t be performance measured at agent level” Of course, the business uses this metric to plan, schedule and resource, but it focuses on more customer focused metrics like quality, customer satisfaction and first contact resolution to deliver the business and customer outcomes it needs at agent level.
It’s not easy, and the leadership culture needs to be right to make it work, but by getting the building blocks in place, people-focused performance management is one of the biggest opportunities you have to enhance the customer experience…