Most companies today struggle to keep their employees engaged. Most are failing…evidence shows that upwards of seven in 10 American workers are fully disengaged from their jobs. There are a number of reasons for it: distrustful employees, inflexible and authoritarian management, weak (or no) pay raises, a lack of appreciation for employees’ efforts and workers feeling they are simply not valued.
In the contact center, the problem is even worse. Call center workers have high turnover rates, and companies spend a fortune recruiting, hiring and training a constant, revolving-door stream of workers. Labor costs are already the number one expense of operation in a contact center, and these high turnover rates send costs skyrocketing even further. Even small improvements in employee engagement will lead to better retention, lower turnover, and costs saved for the company. It will also lead to better customer satisfaction.
Most companies don’t have a ton of money to throw at employee appreciation programs today, but these types of activities that make employees feel more valued need not cost a lot. A recent blog post by cloud contact center solutions provider Five9 (News - Alert) outlined some ways companies can raise the “fun” factor in the contact center without incurring significant costs. Five9 spoke with experts at CSWeek.com to look for ideas in how to better motivate employees and help them feel more valued. Some of these ideas could come in the form of events that will make employees feel more valued.
“Solicit praise for every team member, from every team member,” wrote Five9. “Compile all the compliments into an Award Certificate and Trophy for everyone, then present them in an awards-ceremony setting. Add a movie trivia contest and you’re all set. Fun to plan, fun to watch.”
Many companies find that charity events that employees can do together are great team-building activities and help raise money for a good cause.
“Sponsor a fundraising walk, hold a grilling competition or chili cook-off, or spend a clean-up day at a park. Get lots of pictures and display them prominently back at the office,” wrote Five9.
Theme days are also a great idea: decorate the office for a specific theme – island paradise, for example – and encourage workers to dress to the theme (within reason, of course). Play ukulele music in the break room and offer tropical treats, and offer a reward for best costume or best team decorations.
Rewards, which could be handed our regularly at parties or team events, need not be large or even monetary: a plum parking space for a month, for example, or first pick of vacation time. They will, however, go a long way toward making employees feel appreciated. And employees who feel appreciated tend to stick around longer.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi