Savvy Call Center Professional already know that employee engagement is required to be successful in managing your call center or team.
However, sometimes knowing and following through can be the hard part.
When we get busy, with meetings, conference calls and all of the other super fun things (yes sarcasm) that we must do, often times it is hard to work on employee engagement.
This is too bad, because improving employee engagement can have an everlasting effect on your teams performance.
But as I pointed out earlier, many of the savvy call center professionals know the value of this effort.
As a result, these call center leaders spend the time to do what is necessary to promote engagement.
For instance in my last article we discussed Managing By Walking Around as an excellent technique to engage your call center employees.
One of the amazing points I discuss in that article is the ability of the leader to spend time on the call center floor asking questions and building relationships.
This is one very effective way to engage employees.
However, I want to take it a step further and introduce you to the power of ASK.
Of course Call Center managers encounter unique problems and situations each day for which they are required and expected to resolve regardless of other demands.
To find solutions, managers must analyze statistics, review current processes, and identify needs within the team.
However, the most important element of research sometimes lies with the Call Center’s most valuable resources – the employees.
So, you ask.
Not surprisingly, this approach seldom comes to mind first when managers are faced with team difficulties.
However, this seemingly simple concept could lead you to answers and have many other indirect, positive ramifications.
The traditional managerial role within the Call Center may point to the reason behind this lack of asking employees for their feedback.
Typically, it is the manager’s responsibility to answer questions.
Employees ask the manager how to handle a customer, where to locate information, and the interpretation of policy.
For the manager who is used to providing the answers, asking questions of others is a seldom-used skill.
Employees appreciate and become excited when presented with the opportunity to contribute in a new way.
They often put their best foot forward and come up with amazing resolutions and excellent ideas.
This involvement provides the opportunity for recognition and accolades and often leads to higher employee commitment when they see their suggestions carried out.
Employees do not perform nearly as well when they are consistently denied any input in their jobs and are expected to follow unquestionably the decisions of their leaders.” - Coaching for Commitment
Kinlaw’s book, Coaching for Commitment: Managerial Strategies for Obtaining Superior Performance, he discusses the four elements that support building commitment in employees:
The key to obtaining honest answers from employees is creating a safe environment for feedback.
Make it clear that people will be heard if they are offering constructive solutions.
Approach employees in an appreciative manner and thank them for their input.
Their responses not only help manager stay in tune with their team’s needs and daily situations, but also can provide answers that the manager did not even think of.
There are opportunities every day to involve employees in workplace decisions.
Some issues are best concurred with collaborative efforts.
Pursuing input and feedback will increase commitment to the task at hand and result in more satisfied, engaged employees.
When you are presented with difficulties and questions, remember you have valuable resources just waiting to be ASKED.
Greg is a seasoned Customer Experience and Call Center Efficiency Senior Consultant that has had an impact in the industry for the past 20+ years. He has developed products to help Call Center Leaders improve performance. If you want to motivate your teams to consistently achieve goals then Call Center Games is for you. If you want to increase employee engagement and hit amazing milestones in your call center then PRIDE Teams is for you. You can always visit our Call Center Resources to learn more about tools that will help you become a rockstar!
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