Stress within a call center environment is an undeniable reality. More often than not, call center employees face stress that is multifaceted and difficult to handle. The high-intensity work environment combined with ambitious performance targets and conflicting role requirements -presents varied challenges to employees and leaves them drained.
Stress can have serious repercussions on a call center’s overall performance. It can result in increased agent absenteeism, reduced team morale, agent turnover, decreased customer service quality, and other negative effects – all of which can hamper the efficiency and growth of the employees and the call center. This makes it critical for call centers to strive to combat and reduce work environment stress on a constant basis.
Outlined below are 7 effective tips that you can implement to combat stress in your call center environment:
- Identify the Causes of Stress
The first step towards combating stress in a call center is to identify the causes of stress. Once you identify and evaluate the stress trigger points, you can develop an effective action plan to tackle them. Assess the level of stress faced by your call center employees and try to get to the root causes of the problems. Talking to your employees regarding work-related problems faced by them, interviewing them about stress, and analyzing their behaviour while working under pressure, can help in drawing a pattern regarding the stress inducing factors that impacts your employees and in turn, your call center.
- Develop a Stress Reduction Strategy
Develop a concrete plan to fight stress within your call center. Make sure that your action plan has measurable goals. This is important in order to assess the effectiveness of your plan. Concentrate on putting a system into place where you can evaluate the impact of your stress reduction action plan on a periodic basis. Gather relevant stress-related data through employee surveys, interviews, and other measures, and try to get a clear picture of the scenario.
- Elucidate Roles, Goals, and Expectations
Clarify to your employees their role and responsibilities within the call center, the goal of the organization, and the expectation of the management from them. When your employees are clear about these points, they will be able to get more actively involved in their work. It will help them to set their priorities right and progress in tune with the organization’s demands. This will also help to reduce the work-related stress experienced by employees.
- Improve Employee Competency
Enhance the competency of your employees in order to help them combat work-related stress and perform at their optimum level. By providing effective training, equipping them with appropriate tools, and sharing comprehensive information about customers and the product, you can help improve your team’s performance. Well-trained and competent call center employees are better prepared to withstand the pressures associated with their job and hence, experience lower levels of stress.
- Recognize and Reward Competence
Motivate your employees to do well and reward them aptly for their efforts and hard work. Recognition, appreciation, and rewards can go a long way to boost the morale of your employees and encourage them to remain involved in their work. This will increase efficiency and help to bring down the stress level in the work environment. Rewards can be of various types, including monetary benefits, prizes, recognition, improvement in job profile, an opportunity for advancement, etc.
- Encourage Time Management Techniques
Encourage your employees to manage time well and maximize its utilization. Proper use of time will help them to become more effective and improve their performance. As their effectiveness improves, they will be able to handle their work pressure in an efficient manner. This will give them a sense of control and enable them to tackle stress in an improved manner.
- Improve Ergonomics
Ergonomics is an important factor to consider while combating stress in your call center environment. The mental and emotional well-being of an employee is closely related to their workplace environment. Ensure to create an environment where your employees can thrive. Uncluttered desk space, comfortable chairs, appropriate lighting, and other such factors can help to create a healthy atmosphere where employees can work without feeling stressed.