Meet the Millennials, also known as Gen Y, Next Gen, Echo Boomers, the Baby-On-board Generation, Screenagers, Facebookers and many more. Whatever you choose to call them, they are nearly 98 million young adults born between 1980 and 2001 who have already joined or are preparing to join the workforce.
By all accounts, Millennials are unlike preceding generations. They view the world differently and have redefined the meaning of success, personally and professionally. Increasingly, however, business leaders are including call center agents training modules upon realising this generation’s unique competencies and perspectives, and employers are looking for ways to harness their strengths.
They have practically grown up with technology. They have always been able to open multiple tabs in an internet browser to conduct research and search for music and movies while simultaneously playing Angry birds or working on a project for that matter. They are tech savvy multitaskers- because that is all they have ever known. Hence, the need to condition them in an environment where their technological appetite is satiated is very important. This is a primary reason why most of the call centers’ agent training curriculum needs to be modulated accordingly.
Here are some tips which must be considered if you are proceeding with the onboarding of call center agents, the millennial workforce.
1. Opt for a ‘hands-on-the-job’ training module
Gen Y is very analytical and practical when it comes to learning and implementing their skill set. Also, call center agents learn a lot more if they get acquainted with what exactly they are expected to do. You can team up your agents and have them role play common call scenarios. Give them ample time to learn about your call center software and technology.
2. Find ways to attract them
When trying to attract millennials to join your organisation as a call center agent, you need to find innovative ways in order to keep them hooked. Let them know about the organisation’s culture, open communication policy, flexible working conditions, other occasional relaxations, etc. Many organisations are increasingly using technology to deliver this information, which can be via video streaming. This makes it possible for your existing call center reps to ‘virtually walk’ with new candidates and grab their attention. You need to find the hook, and reel them in.
3. Introduce incentives to retain them
They are not only tech savvy; they are spend-thrifts as well. They mostly live on credit; hence their bank accounts are usually overdrawn. Compensation packages slightly above industry or regional averages can provide organisations a recruitment edge in attracting the best and the brightest of the generation. Besides this, there can be many more options your finance department can work upon, which can include performance based incentives, recreation allowance etc. which will lure them in joining and staying in your organisation as an exceptionally great call center agent.
4. Enhance their soft skills
Develop initiatives which foster mutual support and understanding among the generations. Call center agent training can help them in building rapport and a stronger sense of belongingness to your organisation. For Millennials, offer soft-skills training like how to assimilate in a new workplace culture, how to work with team members assertively and diplomatically, how to approach a supervisor, how to set long term career goals etc. These things are often neglected, which play a huge role.
5. Promote Innovation and diversity
Foster an appreciation of diversity within your organisation. This will help all generations avoid stereotyping that gets in the way of valuing the skill sets of each employee. This can be a major deciding factor for Gen Y to choose your business over any other. They love innovation and experimentation. While that cannot be done so much while on the call, you can offer them collaborative discussions to keep them involved, to encourage innovative thinking. Millennials are often fun loving and want a less formal atmosphere. Such activities can boost their inclination towards innovative learning techniques and keep them engaged. This can add multifolds to their ability to work effectively.
As a customer’s expectations increase, all call centers must become equipped to handle that pressure. This makes it imperative to know the best practices and tips to keep your Millennial workforce happy and content. If you feel we have missed any point here, do let us know in the comments section.