Customer Experience News & Trends

Why agents would rather have a hangover than deal with you

On many days, agents would rather suffer a hangover than deal with the boss. Here’s the problem.

Researchers found that almost 40% of employees say their boss fails to motivate them to give their best.

There’s more to it: About a third of employees (34%) think their boss isn’t consistently effective, the DDI and Harris Interactive survey recently found. And some leaders go further than failing to motivate: They flat-out demoralize. Almost 60% of employees said their boss sometimes or often damages their self esteem.

That kind of environment has led many employees to say they dread a difficult conversation with the boss more than housework, receiving a credit card bill or suffering the alcohol-induced headache, researchers found.

In a contact center, leaders need to create good relations with agents to maintain morale. Here are four tactics leaders can use to improve relationships and create a high-morale environment.

  1. Keep the door open. Employees need to feel their concerns and thoughts are welcome by the boss. One of the best ways to create that open environment is to have an open-door policy. But you’ll want to create limits so you don’t spend the entire day putting out fires. Best bet: Post hours that are most convenient for “drop-ins” and hours that you set aside for quiet work.
  2. Communicate down the chain of command. Morale stays high in environments where employees know and understand what’s going on at all levels. Leaders want to regularly update agents on the company goals, performance, successes and failures. Plus, you’ll want to show agents how their efforts impact the big picture.
  3. Praise publicly, criticize privately. In a high-morale workplace, praise is handed out often because employees perform above expectations. Compliment individual and team efforts in ways that others can hear about the success. On the occasions when something or someone needs to be corrected, do it in private. Be clear and specific about what needs to be done to improve.
  4. Celebrate. Build camaraderie amongst agents with time to socialize regularly. People who have friends and fun in the workplace are more motivated than those who don’t. Try potluck lunches, post-work sporting or cultural events, organized walking groups, charity work, pizza or bagel parties, etc.

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