Wondering how to keep your call center employees happy?
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We’ve all been there. A coworker begins to lose faith in their job, and starts to complain every chance they get. Soon after, you too find yourself wondering whether or not your job is worth it. Like a plague, negativity begins to circulate, leaving even the utmost loyal employees in a state of doubt.
An article on Forbes.com cited a study from The Conference Board who found that 53% of Americans are unhappy at work. That’s an alarming statistic. Are you able to tell if your agents are unhappy? Sometimes the signs aren’t as obvious as one would think. Most would assume that signs of employee dissatisfaction include poor performance or excessive absences. There are other indicators of unhappiness in the workplace. Learn what to look for and how you can help.
First, why it’s important to have happy employees
Although unhappy employees could still deliver results, their dissatisfaction could still affect the workplace environment. Negative attitudes are contagious. Some agents will have trouble separating their feelings from customer interactions. This can result in reduced levels of customer satisfaction. They can also encourage an overall sense of low morale in the office. Contact centers already have some of the highest turnover rates of any industry. You will want to do what you can to reduce turnover. Luckily, there are several ways to help your agents. One way to fix this is by using a contact center workforce management solution.
When your agents are engaged, productivity levels increase. A positive mood is reflected in a person’s voice and your customers will undoubtedly appreciate it. When employees are satisfied, they provide higher quality customer service. A contact center with a pleasant work environment can build a great reputation and attract future talented agents to your company.
Subtle signs your agents are unhappy
Learn how to spot signs that your employees are unsatisfied at work. If you can intervene in time, you can prevent turnover and ensure customers get the service they deserve.
Lack of socialization
When was the last time your agent Bob joined the office on a company outing? Has he become a little withdrawn by eating lunch alone, maybe? When an agent is not happy in their workspace, they could subconsciously avoid social interactions. Maintaining relationships is difficult for anyone in any environment when suffering from depression. Bob is still meeting his KPIs, but you do notice how he always tends to arrive right on time and never lingers after work like most of the team does. This is a sign that an agent might not be satisfied with their job anymore. They do not have an interest in their coworkers like they used to.
Employees who are unhappy will seem very unmotivated. They may only do the bare minimum at work. They are still getting the job done, but something just doesn’t look right. You can tell an agent is unmotivated if they are constantly looking at the clock or even rubbing their eyes and frequently sighing. These are all signs of boredom and frustration.
Little to no input
Last time you asked the team what they wanted to do for the company picnic, Kendra seemed indifferent. She shrugged when asked for her input. Another scenario could be related to workflow operations. When you asked your agents to brainstorm new scripts together, she didn’t contribute at all. If an agent is disengaged, they won’t find importance or place urgency on tasks outside of the required minimum.
Negative comments from other employees
Remember, an unhappy agent could still get the job done. However, if they are unhappy at work, they often find themselves at odd ends with coworkers. When someone is already in a bad mood, it is very easy to irritate them with something minor. You’ll notice that others keep complaining about a certain agent’s attitude, but feel baffled since they are getting all their work done and getting great results.
Turnover from other agents
A negative attitude can result in a negative work environment. If other agents begin to feel like they are coming into a gloomy office everyday, they will start looking for a different job. It is natural to assume that something negative is imminent if the mood is always low. As a result, other agents could begin to unexpectedly quit too, despite having great metrics.
How to turn things around
If you realize that those signs are beginning to crop up, take a step back and make an objective assessment. Have there been any recent changes, such as a restructuring of the company? Were pay raises given out recently, and do the agents who did not qualify seem to act disengaged?
Talk to your unhappy agents and ask how you can help. Avoid using accusatory tones when asking them questions. Ask them what changes in the work environment would help them feel motivated again. Sometimes people just need to vent and feel heard. When an upset customer calls in, they want to feel understood and validated. This applies to your employees too. See what adjustments can be made to foster a positive working environment for them.
Help prevent employee dissatisfaction
It is always better to strive to prevent dissatisfaction from occurring than dealing with it after something negative happens. One way to prevent it is by encouraging an upbeat and optimistic attitude. You must set an example. If your agents see you complaining, chances are they will start to do the same thing too.
Provide valuable feedback to your agents. A survey by OfficeVibe found that 43% of engaged employees received consistent feedback from their managers at least once a week. When a manager takes time out of their busy day for a one-on-one with an employee, they are showing them that they matter. You can help automate this process with an omnichannel platform that has sentiment analysis and quality management linked into an automated scorecard system.
Ensure to always let your agents know how valued they are. You can increase employee satisfaction through the smallest gestures and kind words. After all, if it wasn’t for them, clients would not be able to rely on your company for help. One study found that a whopping 79% of employees quit their jobs because they did not feel appreciated. By acknowledging their strengths, you boost the agents’ confidence and help them feel appreciated.
Aim to consistently check-in with agents to see if they have questions or concerns. If you make employee satisfaction a priority, you can keep turnover rates low, customer service quality high, and workflow efficiency smooth.