There comes a time in the life of many contact centers when new managers show up in their ranks. Often, this can occur because the new manager is given the task of increasing employee retention at the center. But how exactly does one simply begin to improve retention?
A recent blog post at Tech Target references research firm Deloitte (News - Alert) that has said contact center agent attrition usually rises with the increases in size of the contact center. That said the first thing that managers may want to keep in mind is the number of agents they have in their care. This knowledge may make the process of increasing retention seem daunting – especially if the center is large; however, it can also inform the various steps one may want to take as the days of being a manager progress into weeks, months, and potentially years.
That same Tech Target (News - Alert) post lists a number of tasks that managers can perform throughout their tenure to make themselves an active part of call center operations. Rather than sit behind a closed door, managers can start on the right foot by first introducing themselves to the team. Addressing all other agents and fellow managers can turn a manager from an automaton to a living person with a solid personality and passions for life. Agents, especially, do not want to accept orders from someone they hardly know, so make an effort to be personable.
In the following weeks, it could also be helpful to continue that process of visibility by remaining open to the opinions of co-workers and joining them in situations that take place outside of work. The easiest way to continue to stay involved in others' lives is to join them for lunch. If there is a company-wide lunch hour, it will be easy to find the time when other managers and agents take their daily breaks.
New managers are also there to replace the old ways of operating since the old ways are what made for high levels of attrition. This begs new managers to pay attention to how employees interact with one another and make changes based on those interactions. In meetings with employees – even informal ones – individuals may say they are dissatisfied with some aspect of how the business is run. If possible, make changes that can alleviate those concerns. Broad changes to business operations are not always necessary.
From here, it is necessary for managers to act like the leaders they are meant to be. If they participate in voluntary company meetings or take to heart new company policies, it will show employees that they are committed. Managers can take time to help individual employees learn the new ways and to communicate with them about how new policies are working. Feedback is not a one-time deal. It is a continuous loop where incremental changes can improve call center operations much more than broad, sweeping changes that happen only once.
Finally, managers should also continue to complete these practices time and time again. Listen to and engage with employees. Live the aspects of the business. Be personable but also take charge. Help others when they need help. And never stop listening or attempting to improve the business.
Edited by Maurice Nagle