A 5 step guide to staff engagement

Hot tips to boost staff engagement in contact centres

A 5 step guide to staff engagement in contact centres

There is nothing more important for contact centre success than staff engagement so we share a 5 step guide to staff engagement that will make your contact centre the place to be!

Special thanks to the team at Help Me Choose who shared their 5 Step Guide to Staff Engagement in contact centres based on their learnings from Disney Institute, one of the most widely recognised leadership courses in the world.

There’s a reason global giants such as Google pour so much time and energy into keeping their employees engaged and happy.

Only recently, Laszlo Bock who works at Google as SVP, People Operations wrote that an “attitude of gratitude” is a lot more powerful than just saying “thanks.”

Meanwhile, happiness expert Shawn Achor, while speaking at a conference explained that “you are not just your genes and your environment… Happiness can be a choice.

But it’s a choice that we can influence through our organisations. And when we do so, it becomes the greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy.”

Achor’’s words shouldn’t be taken lightly: keeping your staff happy and motivated is crucial to your business’ success in the long-term.

Staff engagement in contact centres

Let’s face it, contact centres can be a tough environment.

Keep in mind that your team are on the phones all day, speaking with people who may often not be interested or ready to sign-up or buy: it’’s a tough gig in which patience is required.

When we were crafting our vision for success, we sought inspiration from Disney’s renowned service philosophy.

Anyone familiar with Disney and its teachings will be aware that its philosophy is about more than a list of best business practices: it’’s about differentiating yourself and being intentional about it!

A number of our leadership team members have attended Disney Institute courses at Disney World Orlando and its impact on our business has been priceless. Consider this…:

In an internal Staff Engagement Survey conducted earlier this year (in which 74 per cent of staff participated) – a couple of areas of particular interest included that:

  • 96 per cent of respondents said they enjoyed coming to work each day.
  • 76 per cent of respondents said they’d like to progress into another role within the company.

What these stats illustrate is that we’ve managed to create an engaging environment that our employees can succeed in.

As our General Manager Julie Ryburn says, “ultimately, people are here to work but it’s my job to create an environment that enables them to succeed.”

So, how does Ryburn and the management team go about creating this successful environment?

The 5 step guide to staff engagement in contact centres

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”

If this famous quote from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke rings true in your company, those alarm bells should be ringing!

Communication is the lifeblood of any successful business.

Be open with your employees so that they feel comfortable to come to you with any concerns or ideas.

It’s not about driving the standard company lines (your staff will spot that type of behaviour from a mile away), it’s about relating to people on a human level.

Dedicate face time to every one of your contact centre employees, regardless of where they sit on that organisation chart. Every person is there for a reason and as such, deserves your time.

Also, don’t forget about the power of visuals.

As they say, a picture can be worth a thousand words so go to the effort to hang visuals up on your office walls. Here, we use everything from posters containing positive messages to interactive games in order to communicate with our staff.

And never underestimate the power of storytelling. Disney’s teachings focus our attention on people and their stories both in terms of staff members and our customers. We’re interested in the stories behind the faces.

2. Make things fun!

So, we’re not saying to allow your team to party it up all day. Just be sure to create a little fun so that your team can look forward to heading into the office every day

Come backstage into our office and you’’ll hear music pumping, see themed decorative office pods and step into a kitchen area that is a great place to lunch or challenge your team members to a fuse ball or table tennis comp (or to any of the other interactive games on-hand).

Create the fun and you’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll get from your team.

On the flip side, keep in mind that a fun work environment isn’t for everyone and that some people are likely to feel that it’s simply not for them. And that’s okay too.

3. Applaud success!

There’s nothing worse than a boss who only calls you into their office to tell you that you’ve mucked something up.

When your team achieves, you’re achieving too. So make the effort to openly congratulate those standout employees and be sure to highlight great work.

You’ll find that doing so sees your staff taking more pride in what they do and driving themselves further.

Consider offering incentives such as sending employees to Disney-type courses. You can choose which employees to send on whatever basis you’d like to. Whether that means focusing on KPI’s or using some kind of reward and recognition system. The choice is yours.

4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

One of Disney’s key teachings is that everyone is a V.I.P (Very Individual Person). This extends to both the office environment and customers and it stems from the top.

Leaders gain respect from leading by example, not because of a title or by addressing issues with staff in an open forum. In fact, the latter is a sure-fire way to quickly lose faith and trust from people.

So, set an office environment where everyone respects one another and practice an open door policy: you’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of the ideas your team will churn out.

5. Trust

Observe people’s behaviours closely: if they’re sending emails as a way to cover themselves out of fear for their jobs, something is wrong.

Your team needs to work together to achieve – everyone needs to be aware of what you’re working towards as a collective and have faith that every single person has the same purpose in mind.

Trust can’t be built overnight but enforcing a contact centre culture in which integrity is a core value, will hold you in good stead for the future.

And never forget: organisations don’t make things happen, people do.

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