Motivating Call Center Workers

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Motivating Call Center Workers
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States

Do call center knowledge workers have to be micro managed as most are on an hourly or semi hourly basis, or is there a more effective method of motivating with almost total self management which includes adherence to measurements and performance metrics?

Motivation Requires Information
David J. MacCoy, Management Consultant, Canada
The most effective call centers in financial services I have seen develop a sense of shared purpose and team collaboration among the staff.
Some create small teams to work on specific areas of the business.
Leaders give up to date information about performance against expectations and call center staff, including leaders, give recognition/rewards to their colleagues.
Teams work to achieve or surpass their goals and strive for highest performance.
Often the rewards given by staff are "stars" or balloons or notes of appreciation or candies. These are high intensity environments that need managers who can create a positive, and, yes even, a fun environment.
Other rewards from managers are higher order for individuals and teams - financial, promotion, job rotation, paid time off and so forth.
The knowledge workers and managers have endorsed these approaches and I expect even more creative approaches are emerging.

Motivation Experiment in Call Center
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States
The collaboration and shared purpose are indeed major drivers within call centers, but so is also burnout. The question is how to avoid turnover, and not turn into a mill of constant training classes, to replace those who are leaving, or who can't maintain the frantic pace, even if there is recognition, rewards, fun, etc...? I would be interested in being part of the creative approaches that are "emerging."
I believe knowledge employees in call centers can assume more personal responsibility, and less micro management, while complying with and even achieving the company objectives.
Perhaps an experiment can be conducted with call center employees micro managed, and a target group that isn't, to see if there is a greater or lesser success rate among those that are not micro managed, tracking their own progress and metrics throughout the day.

Is Call Centre Micro Management Causing Attrition and High Turnover?
A Cornibert, Student (MBA), Saint Lucia
Most call centre agents are constantly being monitored and evaluated on their performance in relation to targets.
The pressure of this action may result in the agent being asked to leave if targets are not met.
On the other hand if the pressure of reaching the almost unachievable becomes too great for the agent, then they leave on their own.
And so the cycle of high turnover continues within call centres.
The very culture of call centres whereby clients expect a certain outcome, makes it difficult not to micromanage in an effort to meet the client's expectations and ultimately keep and subsequently renew that contract with this client.

Call Center Employees Should Be Provided with Compensation Options
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States
Call center employees should be provided with several compensation options, which allows for greater levels of accountability.
For example, I favor an hourly salary closer to $14.00 US, versus lower hourly compensation with bonuses that may be paid quarterly. The employee must understand and sign documentation acknowledging the acceptance of the higher hourly compensation, versus the quarterly bonus, understanding the requirements to continue receiving the increased hourly salary.
Call centres experience high levels of attrition due to their inability to provide adequate compensation, paid at closer intervals, in combination with less micro management.-which can be distracting.
Employees can and should be allowed to manage their work, and self organize. Performance is a natural result when all other factors are in place.


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