As more contact centers are implementing virtual workforces into their overall strategy to save money and remove geographical barriers to great talent, retention challenges are rising in an already high turnover environment.
The United States loses one trillion dollars every year to turnover, yet 52 percent of employees say their employers could have done something to prevent their exodus.
What’s the secret to keeping employees?
As a call center leader, you know engagement is difficult to maintain. But for a spike in productivity and near 59 percent decrease in turnover, it’s worth it.
Research tells us that employees also crave engagement. They want:
• Competitive pay
• Recognition for their work
• A sense of belonging and value
Though challenging, engagement is crucial to an effective virtual workforce. The key to successful engagement in virtual call centers is meeting employee needs. Read on to discover how to meet employee needs to boost engagement.
4 Ways to Encourage Engagement in Your Remote Call Center Staff
Here are four ways that call center leaders can reduce attrition and improve retention rates within their virtual call center:
1. Use Technology to the Fullest
Whether your call center staff use technology from home or from you, use it to the fullest capacity to drive engagement. Use virtual meeting platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom, online tools for collaboration, and web-based systems for performance management.
With a high dependence on technology, IT support is critical. If work computers or headsets malfunction, employees need assistance immediately so they can resume work. Ensure you have sufficient IT resources to support your call center workforce, whether that is for your permanent team or contingent staff.
You should leverage technology to connect with your team as well. Provide training required to operate the technology and programs so your team is ready to perform. Workers need to feel supported and that they have the necessary tools for success. Morale can dip if your call center team members don’t feel they have what they need to perform at their highest caliber.
2. Make Engagement a Focus and Requirement
Your staff needs to feel engaged with the team and the organization, especially when they’re working virtually. Whether you’re operating with a permanent staff, contingent workforce, or a mix, as the call center leader, you need to set and maintain a focus on engaging with your team members. Set top-down expectations for healthy engagement on your team. One way to do this is to have leads and supervisors communicate with workers daily. These regular meetings set the tone for the day and keep leadership and team members connected while working remotely.
Another way to build team engagement is through friendly competition, recognition, and awards. For example, at Manpower, we retain top talent through recognition and reward programs including:
• MyPath Medals
• Competitive compensation package
• Circle of Excellence
• GSR Referral Bonus Program
• GSR Care
Determine what reward and recognition methods work well for your organization and put them in motion. Do you want employees to complete a larger volume of calls, get better satisfaction scores, or even share more insights with each other? Set a goal, empower your team members to reach it, and reward those who do! This simple method can both create a sense of camaraderie and drive team performance.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable
For ongoing engagement in a virtual workforce, hold yourself and other leaders accountable for maintaining a strategy. Too often, things like this are considered extraneous, but engagement is critical to reducing call center turnover and retaining the top talent required to meet your call center’s goals. When you set a rule, stick to it. Ensure you keep your promises and follow your own advice. Communicate consistently with your leadership team about your progress. As leaders of your call center, placing checks on each other will help you meet the expectations you set for yourselves.
4. Measure and Adjust
Finally, you’ll only know if you were successful in this endeavor if you measure and adjust. Set KPIs as you embark on a new or reinvigorated focus on virtual engagement. Some KPIs might include:
• Turnover rate
• Agent absenteeism
• Average answering speed
• Average handle time
• Average query age
• First response time
• First call resolution
• Customer satisfaction score
• Customer effort score
• Percentage of calls blocked
• Average queue time
• Occupancy rate
• Sales per agent
• Revenue per successful call
Regardless of the KPIs you choose, track and measure your results quarterly. Give yourself the flexibility to adjust along the way to find the best engagement strategies that fit your team’s dynamic and your company’s culture.
Improve Your Call Center Performance with Manpower
Let Manpower do the work for you. We work with call centers nationwide to optimize their workforce, reduce turnover, drive down cost, and help them achieve peak performance.