Low–Cost Agent Incentives
by Susan Hash
In tough economic times, what can you do to inspire your frontline staff and
recognize them for their efforts? Fortunately, the most effective incentive
programs don't have to cost a lot, and the return in higher morale and increased
performance can be substantial. The following three ideas can help to keep your
front line motivated and engaged without breaking the bank.
Create Personal Relationships with Your Agents
One of the most powerful and lasting employee incentives is recognition from their
manager or supervisor. Creating personal relationships with your agents is the best
way to get results. Workplace research has shown that having a strong connection
to a supervisor or manager is the foundation for employee loyalty. Yet, many
managers don't know a lot about their employees; for instance, how many
kids they have, whether they have pets, or what types of hobbies or activities
Practical Pointer: One of the most effective rewards that can also help
managers to build long–lasting ties with agents is to take their place on
the phones for an hour. It makes a powerful impression on agents—when you're
doing the same work, even for a short time, it creates a shared understanding
of the job and builds a stronger relationship.
Keep it simple: It's the Thought that Counts
Incentives don't have to involve complicated contests that require weeks of
planning. Rewards should be simple. The goal is to recognize the hard work that
your agents are doing; for instance, giving out coffee or chocolate bars.
Practical Pointer: What employee wouldn't enjoy the chance to be
waited on by his or her manager—or even better, senior management?
Consider treating your agents by having supervisors and managers serve them breakfast
or lunch, or by having company executives valet–park their cars as they
arrive for their shifts.
Planning the Incentives Can Be an Incentive
If you want to find out what types of rewards motivate your team, ask them.
Getting frontline staff involved in developing an incentive program is a good way
to ensure its success.
Practical Pointer: If you have career–minded agents who want additional
responsibility, put them in charge of an incentive project. The chance to develop
their skills though project management and involvement is an effective way to recognize
Inside View — Access Development
by Susan Hash
What types of individuals perform well in a home–based environment? That
was a question which contact center management at affinity marketing firm Access
Development considered early when developing their home–agent program. They
found that the home–agent profile is slightly different than onsite staff.
Working at home requires someone who doesn't need the social interaction as
much as the typical customer service professional, who tends to be a highly
social individual. While that trait makes certain individuals excel at building
relationships with customers and fellow employees, it's also the reason
why many will wither away in a home–based work environment.
Read the full story here.