Contact center agents are, generally speaking, “people people” who like to interact both with customers and with their colleagues.
Good contact center managers are very sensitive to this and will make a real effort to make agents feel welcome, involved and engaged in the life of the center.
This is a favorable category of questions in terms of results. Among the questions, the two that show statistically superior results are “sense of community” and “respect my co-workers”, both of which enjoy Net Scores of over 80%.
The bottom performer for this category was the question on “feeling part of the team”, which attracted a neutral score of 11.4% and disagreement scores totaling 8.6%, a noteworthy minority.
Making new employees feel welcome scored reasonably well, at a Net Score of 75%.
It is interesting that the best results are for items where the agents themselves, and their peers, make the most difference. “Sense of community” and “respect for co-workers” are items for which the interpersonal (rather than the corporate) component is most in focus.
This becomes clearer when examining the first two items. We might expect “sense of community” and “feel part of the team” to be in lock step; however, they are not. The first item trumps the second by a statistically important margin. The first puts focus on human connectedness; the second puts focus on professional cohesiveness. Smart managers will recognize the gap between these items for what it is: a business-level opportunity to make improvements to increase the sense of team bonding. This might be accomplished through increased communication and “personal touch” interaction, smoother processes, and more team activities that include professional content, etc.
Making new employees feel welcome (question no. 3 in this category) is extremely important to fostering a positive workplace culture, as well as to retention. We encourage managers to talk to new hires on a regular basis and to make adjustments as needed to improve openness to new colleagues. The best way to accomplish this is to set examples from the top that others will follow. Managers should be present, smiling, welcoming and helpful during initial training, nesting and on-boarding.
Agents who are engaged within their workgroup are more productive. Mentoring new agents should be a focus of supervisors as coaches. The more Agents understand how they fit into the center, the more the team is strengthened.
Consider trying “service Initiatives”, which are collaborative team projects that turn ideas into performance improvements. [cta for our surveys]
· Ratio of Supervisor to Agents
· Auxiliary Time for Teambuilding
· Hiring Processes
My Agent Voices blog posts are the result of research on over 5,000 agent surveys conducted in North America. - - Bruce Belfiore