Customer Experience News & Trends

5 ways managers drive agents crazy

When it comes to turmoil in the contact center, customers and agents aren‘t always to blame. Here’s how you bosses drive them crazy sometimes. 

It’s difficult for agents to be productive and motivated when their bosses have these bad habits, according to workplace behavior expert Julie Winkle Giulioni and author of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want.

  1. You fail to be clear on expectations. Most agents want to do well. So they struggle when leaders don’t clarify the work standards, what the outcome should be, what success in the organization looks like and how they’ll be evaluated. Instead: Clarify personal goals at quarterly one-on-ones. Discuss department and company goals and expectations with weekly meetings or email.
  2. You don’t capitalize on their skills. Employees are disappointed when they can’t use their talents and shine in the workplace. They want leaders who recognize their gifts and allow them to use them. Instead: Watch out for agents’ best skills. Ask them what they like to do most. Assign them as much work as possible along those lines.
  3. You and your company are overbearing. Agents feel hampered by too much process and protocol. If they’re properly trained, they feel they have the ability and authority to do what’s best for customers and the company. Instead: Once you train them and give clear expectations, get out of the way. They’ll learn plenty from early mistakes, too.
  4. You waste agents’ time. Being five minutes late for a meeting, letting another meeting run 10 minutes longer, allowing project deadlines to pass, giving the go-ahead on something you haven’t really reviewed. Those are all wastes of agents’ time. Instead: Be considerate of how other people work and what you can do to make every day more productive.
  5. You make too many changes. Yes, you must change (or die, they say). But leaders who make changes — to deadlines, expectations, scheduling, projects — often and for the sake of change lose credibility. Instead: Get agents involved in decisions so they have more control over changes. They may slow you down if you’re quick to draw.

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