Helping Agents De-stress Benefits Call Center Operations
The call center can be an incredibly stressful place to work, for both agents and managers alike. For managers, everything from helping agents deal with the aftermath of a particularly nasty caller, to scheduling woes, there’s an endless list of things to stress about. The same goes for agents, as they’re the ones on the front lines dealing with a variety of unpredictable scenarios every day. There’s something to be said about repetition, but agents don’t get to experience that convenience of knowing exactly what their day is going to look like. All of this results in a lot of stress, which ultimately takes a toll on agents and causes them to leave for other employment opportunities. So what can managers do to help them de-stress at work? Here are a few tips.
Understand the causes of stress. The worst thing a manager can do is assume that they know everything that’s going on in the call center. Unless you’re on the front lines, it’s impossible to know exactly what is bothering agents, so it’s important to talk to them about their concerns. That way, it becomes easier to address the most pressing concerns first, while also making agents feel validated and cared for.
Encourage healthy habits. It can be tiring and, honestly, a bit depressing, to sit inside all day long answering phone calls and messages. If a number of those calls are from angry customers, this process can become especially draining. That’s why it’s important for managers to encourage their agents to take a walk, take regular breaks and go out for lunch. Everyone needs a breather, call center agents included.
Offer opportunities for advancement. No one likes feeling as though they’re stuck at a dead-end job. Eventually, going to work becomes a chore with no light at the end of the tunnel. Agents who feel that they have opportunities for advancement are less likely to develop that negative mindset. A more positive outlook of work and the future is bound to reduce stress levels.
At the end of the day, reducing stress in the call center is all about making employees feel validated. Listen to their concerns and then actually act to improve the problem. Encourage activities that will get the agents out and about, and give them a positive outlook on the future. These changes are pretty simple and relatively straightforward, and yet they have the potential to completely change an agent’s view of their job.
Edited by Maurice Nagle