By Shannon Svasek, Operations Manager
Making sure your employees are engaged is important but something we all struggle with. Engaged employees are not only happier but more successful and contribute more often. An employee who is not engaged is in a dangerous place. In danger of terminating their employment, in danger of becoming unsuccessful, in danger of becoming unhappy and more importantly being a danger-spreader to those that work with them and around them. So how do we keep everyone positively engaged? (Good question, right?)
Engagement surveys in contact management services
One method that I’ve seen used and used very well in Contact Management Services is our employee engagement surveys. This is an electronic survey that all employees are asked to complete two times per year. The questions are simple, direct and answers are on a scale of 1 – 5, which helps management gauge the areas where employees are feeling the love and not feeling the love so to speak. Reviewing our employee engagement scores is always an eye-opening experience and gives direct and candid insight regarding how employees feel.
But more importantly the employee engagement scores provide our management team with a pulse on our team’s happiness and level of engagement in all aspects of their job — from the daily job activities they are asked to perform to the supervisors they report to on a day to day basis and all the way up to upper management and company owners.
After reviewing the employee survey results you can see where you are exceeding in the areas of employee engagement and where you need some additional work or where changes need to be made.
Incubating new ideas in contact management services
Another very successful way to keep employees engaged is to ask them for their ideas, and ask them often. Then, reward them for well thought out ideas that benefit the company and or the client(s). In our Contact Management Services organization, we have an idea incubating reward system I like to affectionately call HUGs, which stands for “Helping Us Grow”! What better way to keep employees engaged, right!
Here is how it works. Encourage your employees to submit their ideas. Could be ideas for their own benefit, for example how to make their job’s easier. Could also be ideas for company benefit and growth. Or ideas that would benefit the clients and or customers. Have the employees send their ideas to their direct supervisor for review, and very importantly we always want to thank the employees for their ideas and contribution to the company.
Next, if the idea is a good one and can be implemented the supervisor(s) at that point would start the implementation process. Once the employee’s idea is set into place and working it can then be considered a “HUG”.
Now the fun part; every month (like clockwork) all the supervisors and management throughout your company will chart their employee HUG ideas that were submitted and implemented to one location for a vote. The supervisors and management will vote on the HUG they felt had the biggest impact on the company or client. After the vote, the employee with the HUG idea that was voted best will be rewarded. The reward could be anything you desire, extra day of paid vacation, a gift card to a restaurant or cash. Then publicly congratulate the team member — which brings me to my next point.
Social media in contact management services
Start a Facebook group for your employees and management where positive business-related “pats on the back” can be given and received for all to see and comment and congratulate on. This is especially important in the virtual world where many team members and employees work from home and don’t always get congratulated in front of their peers for all to physically see.
What better way to do that than in a Facebook group! If the employee received an award like Employee of the Month, or created a positive customer experience or, like above…submitted a HUG idea that was voted as the winner, have the manager or supervisor congratulate the employee via a Facebook post. And use a picture in the post if you can. Whether it’s a picture of the plaque they were presented with or it was a gift card for dinner. Announce it for all to see and watch the positive engagement sparks!
Bring it together with your contact management services team
Out of work meetings are a great place to brainstorm with other members of your management team. After all, you all need to be an example for your employees! Engaging with each other is a must before you can expect your employees to be engaged with you, their peers or the company. Meeting are a great place to discuss ideas, work related wins and obstacles, but they are also a great place for fellowship and team building!
And here are some other ideas for bringing your team to the next level to ensure a highly engaged functioning management team:
- Get to know each other. Take personality surveys to better understand the truly dynamic team you have and get a better understanding of your team members individual strengths and why they are so good at what they do.
- Do some team building activities! Lock Box or Lock Room is an amazing team building exercise where your management team works together to locate clues in the meeting room that will in turn guide the team to unlocking a series of locks to “escape or break out” or open the lock box.
- Ask your management team members to read an inspirational or team building book or article and discuss it (like a book club for example). What did each member of your team especially enjoy about the book or article and why? What do they think the book helped them understand about themselves or the business? What ideas did it give them or how did it spark their creativity? How do they feel the book or article will help them grow either personally or professionally?
Keeping your employees engaged in contact management services can be tough and it can be extremely time consuming to come up with new ideas. But the end results will pay off. The time and effort you put into keeping employees (and management for that matter) engaged pays off. Quality Contact Solutions has a footprint of 15 owner-operated call center locations across the U.S. and we pride ourselves in the ability to strategically match our clients with the right call center location. We carefully look at culture fit and we are flexible, easy to work with and get results. If you are in the Inbound Call Center or Outbound Telemarketing Industry and would like some help, give us a call at 1-866-963-2889. Or email me at [email protected] We would love to help!!
Shannon Svasek is Operations Manager for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing organization. With responsibility for overseeing the daily operations of client programs, ensuring agent success and employee engagement is critical. Shannon brings a level of focus to her client programs that results in consistently reaching the desired goals – every day. With over 18 years of experience in Telemarketing, Shannon has built her career on creating fun, open & respectful relationships between her team & her clients which drives unparalleled success. Shannon can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5126.