Call Center Scheduling Feature Article
June 24, 2014
Progressive Call Center Scheduling Can Boost Employee Engagement
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Many organizations that have among their stated goals, “customer engagement,” are missing an important first step to achieving this goal. Customer engagement simply isn’t possible without first attaining employee engagement.
Employee engagement is often seen as a matter of chance. In the contact center, seats are filled as needed, and the quality of the employee is sometimes seen as a matter of chance. Turnover rates in the call center are high, and most managers have to content themselves with simply filling seats rather than filling sits with people who are likely to stay.
But the rewards of employee engagement are strong, according to a recent blog post on Adecco’s Web site.
“Engaged employees demonstrate a stronger performance and contribute to a positive work environment,” writes the blog’s author. “Moreover, key employees who understand the culture and vision of the company and who exhibit talent and strategic thinking are hard to come by – and often, they are the most difficult to retain.”
Adecco recommends that companies hoping to retain engaged employees pay attention to relationships with these employees, the way the culture of the company is expressed, and ensure that exciting opportunities exist for those who earn them are created, which is critical in fostering a strong team.
Regular employee coaching, evaluations and reviews are a great way to engage employees with their jobs. Providing them with professional goals to pursue can help them hold themselves to their own high standards, improving the quality of work they turn in. In the contact center, workforce management and scheduling can also go a long way toward helping create and retain engaged employees.
Many workforce management solutions are failing to take employee needs and preferences into consideration when it comes to scheduling breaks, and instead treat employees like robots. Properly utilized, a good scheduling solution can ensure that employees are getting enough breaks and actually taking advantage of them, ensuring they don’t feel burnout. These solutions can also offer schedule swapping, which allows agents some autonomy and a sense of control over their careers. In addition, they can be used for the purpose of vacation and time-off bidding, which can be set with priorities for who gets first choices (high performing, engaged employees can be rewarded with first pick of time-off requests).
In some cases, workforce management and scheduling solutions are the greatest tools a contact center can make use of to ensure that employees are finding the proper work/life balance, which leads to more engaged employees who stay in their jobs longer. Not only does this save the contact center money and time, it leads to happier and more engaged customers.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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