Workforce Management (WFM): Best Practices in Contact Centers

virtual_workforce_manager A good manager knows how to get all the employees in sync and work in harmony.

It is no secret that contact centers have a notorious reputation for inducing burn-out due to long hours and stress passed on from the customers. Therefore as a supervisor or manager, it is important to ensure that your agents have a healthy work-life balance that does not affect the quality of their work.

Here are some ways in which you can ensure happiness in the workplace:

  • Personalize your interactions: As a manager/supervisor, always tread the line between too formal and too casual. Make sure your agents see you as a support during stressful times and do not take advantage of your casual nature to skip work. Occasionally, ask them about their day and their interests. As with your customers, show them that you care.
  • Treat all agents equally: To avoid any kind of employee attrition, make sure you treat all employees fairly and do not show any kind of favoritism.
  • Ensure work-life balance: For example, if an employee lives far away from the office and takes double the time to reach office during rush hour, adjust their schedule. Help them commute during hours with lesser traffic, therefore, cutting short their travel time and ensuring that they are not weary from the long travel. This is one of the ways to gain trust from your agents.
  • Be attentive: Understand the needs and situations of your agents and escalate any issues to senior management with your analysis of the situation, or a solution.
  • Give ample coaching: Make sure your agents receive the requisite coaching from HR, or training from you. They should be made aware of any updates in the team, new technology, company news, etc.
  • Set-up a virtual work schedule: Visibility is a very important element in the workplace. Since all desktops are connected on LAN, you can create virtual schedules and other self-service modules like vacation planner, meeting scheduler, etc. Connecting your agents through chat, or a customized (and regulated) social media forum helps them interact with each other and know the other person better.
Apart from the above, ensure that there is plenty of agent to agent interaction and encourage healthy discussions at work. Welcome all suggestions and feedback and if possible, try to tackle all issues as soon as they arise. This way your agents will know that you are invested in employee engagement and ultimately, their careers.
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