Common Mistakes Made by New Contact Centre Team Leaders
We are all human and make mistakes, and there are some mistakes made by new contact centre Team Leaders that, in particular, are quite common.
And, yes making a mistake can be a learning experience, however by taking the time to avoid making these 8 common mistakes, new contact centre Team Leaders can become more productive, successful and highly respected by their team more quickly.
And with the contact centre Team Leader often referred to as the most critical role in a contact centre, arming a newly appointed Team Leader with the right skills not only benefits them as a new leader, but also benefits your frontline agents and the overall culture of your contact centre.
8 common mistakes made by new contact centre team leaders
1. Misunderstanding Their Role
Once you become a Team Leader your responsibilities are very different from what they were before when you were only accountable for your own performance. Now you’re accountable for the performance of your team and, the performance of all the team members in your team.
In the beginning, it can be a little scary and many people find themselves outside their comfort zone and they soon realize they need to use different skills to be effective leading and managing people.
And, if they don’t acquire these new skills they aren’t going to do what they were hired to do – lead and manage their team!
2. Not ‘Walking the Walk’
Team Leaders need to be a role model for their team. Your team is watching you all the time and they’re going to pattern a lot of their behavior on how they see you behave.
If you’re negative some of the time, you can’t expect them not to be negative too. If you want to shape their behavior, start with your own and they will follow suit.
3. Not Providing Timely, Constructive Feedback
When you don’t provide timely and constructive feedback to your team members, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance.
4. Not Making Time For Your Team
Once you’re in a Team Leadership role, your team should always come first – that is the heart of what good leadership is all about.
So, you have to make the time to coach your team members to help them improve their skills whether they need help with the way they handle their calls, product knowledge or admin task.
5. Being Too Hands-On
Team Leaders want to avoid micromanagement of their team because many team members were their colleagues not so long ago, and they don’t want to feel like they’re being lorded over.
But going in the opposite direction with a ‘hands-off’ management style isn’t a good idea either – you need to find the right balance and not hide behind your desk!
6. Being Too Friendly
This is one of the more common mistakes to avoid because team members will be tempted to take advantage of your relationship if you’re too friendly with them.
This doesn’t mean you can’t socialize with your team, far from it – you just need to get the balance right by setting healthy boundaries between being a friend and now being the Team Leader.
7. Failing to Define Goals
When team members don’t have clear goals they muddle through their day and waste time.
They need to have clearly defined and achievable daily and weekly goals for them to strive for and understand they will be held accountable for achieving these goals.
Just remember when setting their goals to make the goal fair and reasonable for them based on their skill level and be sure to get their “Buy In” that the goal is fair and they can achieve it.
8. Misunderstanding Motivation
Many Team Leaders assume their team is only working for monetary reward, especially if they are paid an hourly rate plus commission.
However, it’s unlikely that this will be the only thing that motivates them.
There is plenty of research around that shows money is not the most important thing to most Team Members; usually it’s far down the list.
Aside from money, often people looking for a greater work/life balance and might be motivated by flexible working hours where they can leave early if they hit their daily goal.
And, many people will be motivated by factors such as achievement, extra responsibility, praise or even a sense of satisfaction by achieving team goals with their teammates.
Of course, people wouldn’t work without getting paid, but what’s important to them is what they want to do with the money they make.
So, find out what is important to them that they want to use the money to get and then help them understand how they can get the money they need to get what they want by being more productive.
Recommended further learning:
- Read: 15 Essential Habits of Amazing Contact Centre Team Leaders
- Watch a video: 15 Essential Habits of Amazing Team Leaders
- Read: 5 Common Barriers to a Contact Centre Team Leader’s Success
- Learn more about our training courses for Team Leaders and Contact Centre Managers