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Workforce wellbeing - 7 essential elements

12th May 2022
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Personal and organisational growth go hand in hand - below are some top tips for an effective wellbeing programme to build a happy and productive team.

In this workforce wellbeing management series, we’re bringing a magnifying glass to the current state of the contact centre, the rising stress levels in contact centres, and the action plan required to address them. In our last article, I outlined technology guides to enable heightened wellbeing across the contact centre and de-stress employees in the face of increasing complexity. I summarised the benefits of Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) solutions and their power to de-stress agents, supervisors and senior managers.  In this third and final part of the series, I’ll delve a little deeper and explore the more subtle elements of wellbeing as a means to promote personal and organisational growth.  The two are closely interconnected: the success of one depends on the success of the other.

Top executive challenges
Of course, stress is nothing new, but agents today are far more vocal in raising concerns about it.  This poses some tough challenges for contact centre supervisors as well as for senior managers responsible for customer experience.  Top of the list for managers are:

  • Recruitment and retention – how do you keep your existing staff happy while attracting new talent with the right skills to best serve your customers?
  • Employee onboarding - once hired, the pressure is on to motivate workers—whether remote or in office–while arming them with the competitive knowledge they need to thrive in their jobs.
  • Performance coaching – ‘out of sight’ should definitely not mean ‘out of mind’.  With the rise of hybrid working, regular performance coaching and mentoring are now more important than ever before.

7 essential elements of an effective wellbeing strategy
So what can supervisors and senior managers do to build a happy and productive team?  Here are a few ideas to getting started:

  1. Make agents feel valued – when agents feel valued, their work is infinitely more meaningful and less stressful.  Agent pay actually ranks third when it comes to the top reasons for leaving after ‘being unhappy in job’ (36%) and ‘limited growth opportunities’ (26%).[i] Personalised training that encourages individual strengths while addressing areas for improvement and clear career paths are the way to make agents feel more valued. 
  2. Keep pushing flexibility further – after higher pay, which is at the top of agents’ wish list, they next want flexibility (at 34%)[ii] Give agents the autonomy to control their own working day through agent-driven scheduling processes and real-time flexibility to accommodate the unexpected.  Take away the burden of managing schedule changes, shift swaps or overtime and time-off requests by introducing the latest mobile self-service chatbots for agents.  It’s like giving them a powerful time management tool in the palm of their hand. 
  3. Invest in agent-empowering technologies – based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.  Our own research tells us that agents welcome innovative AI tech as a means to free them from tedious tasks (40%) and focus on more fulfilling and higher-value service that only experienced human agents can provide (30%).[iii] Personalised dashboards are an added bonus for remote-working teams, enabling agents to track their own performance, stay focused, and remain motivated.
  4. Strengthen emotional connectedness – asking agents how they feel and what they are doing to de-stress might sound obvious but with so many other distractions away from the traditional office environment, very few supervisors actually do it.  Encourage supervisors to build regular one-to-one sessions into their schedule to increase your agents’ sense of belonging--then maximise analytics to close the wellbeing loop.  The latest VoE (voice of the employee) analytics capture and analyse how frontline staff are feeling in order to identify agents who are struggling, while desktop analytics uncover clunky IT systems that are slowing them down. 
  5. Aim for easier – as agents deal with more complex customer issues, navigating their way around new technology is essential. And it starts with good training.  Do your agents know what technology they have to make their lives easier and do they know how to use it?  Take a closer look at your systems.  Aim to give agents a consolidated view of customer information all on one screen, then embed VoC (voice of the customer) analytics to support more meaningful, empathetic interactions. 
  6. Focus on performance coaching – make mentoring and personal development a priority and take a personalised approach by providing plenty of upskilling opportunities to boost agent confidence and enhance their sense of wellbeing.  Invest in automated performance coaching solutions and make them an intrinsic part of your staff engagement programme, helping to identify skills gaps, individual areas of struggle, successes and opportunities for personal development. 
  7. Be a connected enterprise – by developing joined-up technology, processes, information and thinking to help staff excel in their roles.  Create a connected culture to collectively impact positive customer outcomes that drive opportunities for organisational growth.

Grab your copy of Calabrio’s brand new digital guide “Workforce Wellbeing Recovery Kit: Practical Strategies & Resources to Turn Workforce Wellbeing into Your Competitive Advantage.”  It's a practical guide that reinforces the take-aways of this current series of articles while providing additional tips to future-proof your wellbeing strategy. 

 

[i] Health of the Contact Centre 2021 – Agent Wellbeing + The Great Resignation” – report published by Calabrio in October 2021

[ii] Health of the Contact Centre 2021 – Agent Wellbeing + The Great Resignation” – report published by Calabrio in October 2021

[iii] Health of the Contact Centre 2021 – Agent Wellbeing + The Great Resignation” – report published by Calabrio in October 2021

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