While COVID-19 accelerated the significant shift to remote work in 2020, many call center leaders were asking themselves how best to manage their new remote workforce. The fact is that we’re not expecting this shift to remote work to revert back to onsite only any time soon. Workers are demanding more flexibility – both in their work location and work hours – and they would like to see that kind of flexibility stick around for the long term. At the same time, employers are realizing the benefits of maintaining at least a segment of their workforce as remote including lowered facilities cost and access to more broad, diverse talent pools when geographic location is not a factor.
Here are my top tips for how you can be the absolute best leader for your remote call center workforce.
Be OK with differences in how you manage your virtual teams vs. onsite teams
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? It may be easier said than done though. Oftentimes we try to streamline our management processes, to help ensure consistency and fairness in our practices. However, it’s safe to say that comparing your onsite team and your virtual team is not apples to apples. There are some fundamental differences in the way you will support your teams to success if they’re virtual. As more and more call center leaders build virtual segments their strategy, it’ll be up to the managers to understand the nuances and adjust their management practices accordingly to foster the success of both their onsite and virtual teams.
Hire remote-ready CSRs
Not everyone will be successful working from home. It’s important for call center leaders to help candidates determine their readiness for remote work early on in the selection process. This applies to both your permanent and contingent staff. One way we help our clients ensure their new team members are remote-ready is by sourcing job candidates smartly. How, you ask? We help drive success for our clients in this way by offering:
• Recruiters skilled in customized virtual workforce vetting methods • Behavioral interviewing targeting the competencies for remote workers • Options for technology diagnostics to ensure workers have the tools and access they need to perform • Assessment options to evaluate candidate competencies
In our 2020 The Future of Work, By Workers report, 80% of U.S. workers want options to work outside the office, while another 63% want flexible hours. When employers make flexibility a mainstay for their remote teams, it demonstrates a commitment to their success and an understanding that work and life must strike a balance. Sometimes to find that balance, we must toss out the old way of working and pave a new way. A few ways call center leaders can create flexibility include:
• Offer a variety of start and end time options • Offer various and staggered break times • Trust your team members to choose the best work schedule that allows them to be most productive
Embrace Career Conversations
Developing your team remains a critical part of your leadership role. Consider holding quarterly career conversations to help foster a sense of progress, and forward momentum that helps to improve employee satisfaction, morale and ultimately retention. Helping your team members grow in their role and elevate their career is critical to keeping them engaged and retained at your organization.
Don’t Stress – Lean on Your Workforce Partner
Don’t stress out about feeling like you have to know it all right away - that's what your workforce partners are for. We work with organization’s like yours to lend our expertise and help leaders navigate the ins and outs of successfully managing their remote workforce. Because our clients’ success is our success. If you’re ready to optimize your remote workforce strategy, let’s talk. We’re ready to get to work for you.
ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis, Talent Solutions, and Jefferson Wells – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across more than 75 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. See how ManpowerGroup is powering the future of work, visit www.manpowergroup.us
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