Team meetings are regularly scheduled, compulsory gatherings of the contact center team that usually last at least an hour. They are often perceived as being drab and boring – or they become the hurried huddle where a manager or supervisor hastens to push out information, and then rushes the staff back to their cubicles. Although regularly scheduled team meetings are tough to schedule, they also provide enormous benefit to the center and bond colleagues to each other.
Expert research shows that for team meetings to be successful, they need to be well-planned and structured. A well-balanced and structured approach to team meetings avoids them becoming either elaborate agent gripe sessions, or supervisor “dump sessions” where agents become overwhelmed with too much information. Here are some suggestions that will help your team meetings be more successful:
- Time management: Experts suggest an 80/20 balance where 20% of the time is given to the dissemination of new information and the balance (80%) is for discussion, commenting, and sharing. This keeps agents engaged while also keeping them informed. Train supervisors on how to communicate with their teams and on how to conduct successful, interactive team meetings that are meaningful for members of all generations and personalities in your team.
- Information: Use multiple mediums for conveying important content; inform them five times in five different ways. This may include voice, charts, handouts, email, and/or the company intranet. Plus, “pre-chew” the contents of your message, this will make it easier for agents to digest it.
- Be prepared: Send out an agenda in advance. Start and end on time. Focus on what needs to be done in order to gain the optimal results possible as outputs from the meeting.
- Shared governance: assign agents to develop content on a specific topic and present information on that topic during the meeting. Focus on things that agents have control over.
- Consider replacing meetings around the conference table with “campfire” meetings, in which people stand in a circle facing each other. This aids communications and keeps people alert.
Of centers surveyed, 80% of respondents held team meetings one-to-four times per month. The benefits of team meetings include team bonding, sharing, and increased communications. Studies show that high levels of employee engagement correlate with high levels of customer satisfaction; happy agents make happy customers.
If you are interested in information on training supervisors to conduct successful team meetings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tip of the Week: Set a time, have an agenda, and stick to it…but be sure the agenda includes time for peer sharing.
This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb. It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with Barbara Burke entitled “ Team Meetings: Why Your Call Center Needs Them & How Your Employees Will Benefit”. To listen to the archived episode click play below:
CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring the most innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distills key moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.