Employee-Centered Programs Drive Engagement in Contact Centers
By Dan Campbell, CEO of Hire Dynamics
Employee engagement should be the rallying cry for 2016. Sweeping advancements in technology is altering the work environment for a continually plugged-in generation of workers. The rules are changing what it means to have a job in today’s economy, and it’s not translating into a very engaged workforce.
In October, the percentage of U.S. workers that Gallup
considers engaged in their jobs averaged only 32 percent – based on “engaged” workers’ rating of key workplace elements such as having an opportunity to do what they do best each day, having someone at work who encourages their development and believing their opinions count at work. This percentage has remained flat throughout 2015, going up only slightly (from 28 percent) since Gallup first started tracking the numbers in 2011.
When considering the dynamics of contact centers, engagement is particularly difficult. High attrition, low compensation, training issues, communication challenges, high-stress work environment, and job burn-out are just a few of the obstacles working against you. Because engaged workers represent such a low percentage of the workforce, the companies with high engagement stand out and are attractive workplaces for prospective employees. So what is the special sauce? How can contact center employees find a fulfilling, appreciative work experience where they find they want to stay?
The biggest influences
Start with the right people. Half the battle of creating a positive company culture and improving employee engagement is hiring the right people. I believe a person’s “will” and “values” are more important than his or her skills, but they are often overlooked in the interview process. Try to learn whether a candidate has the will to be successful and the ability to persevere through difficult times, because that will drive his or her work ethic over the long-term.
To complement a strong company culture, look for a candidate’s propensity to believe in the cause of the organization. Generally avoid cynical people who are skeptical in nature; that pessimistic nature is likely to persist no matter how you try to engage them. A culture built around deep-seated values is common among successful organizations, and the same should be expected of employees. Does a potential hire’s value set match that of the company? Determine what is important to them and how driven are they by their moral compass.