Maximize Accountability Through Performance Management
A recent Harvard Business Review study found that 46% of high-level managers were rated poorly when it comes to accountability.
How is that defined? As holding people accountable for their job performance, especially when they are not performing up to the company’s standard.
In the contact center it’s easy to just blame accountability issues on agents not doing their jobs. But sometimes it is the manager that has not created an environment that encourages outstanding performance and accountability. Are the goals of the contact center clearly defined? Does every agent understand them? Are there compensation/bonus policies in place that encourage improvement? Are some managers uncomfortable about confronting agents that are slipping, because they’d rather avoid conflict?
And most importantly – are these managers setting a good example themselves?
Performance Management Is Key
One way to maximize accountability is with a consistent performance management program.
What is performance management? It’s a process of motivating employees through setting goals, measuring progress, providing feedback and coaching for improved performance, and rewarding achievements. If executed correctly, there will be far less instances of any employee falling short of accountability standards.
The place to start is with a unified/integrated workforce optimization system. Performance management encompasses a number of moving parts, and it’s necessary to have one system that connects all aspects of scheduling, skills, quality, metrics and compliance. Both qualitative and quantitative information should be incorporated to emerge with a comprehensive assessment of how your contact center is working.
Once this data is accessible, the next step is to clearly define what metrics drive performance. These will vary by the type of business, and perhaps by its size or the product or service involved. But managers know when they are delivering customer service up to expectations, and the metrics that measure their efforts.
Use these metrics to set and communicate goals – is the average handle time too long? Are customers waiting too long for an agent? Are product upsells below expectations? Once that to-do list is in place, make sure all personnel are on board and working toward the same standard.
Now, the excitement begins. Invest in a contact center management system that makes tracking metrics easy through one dashboard, and allows for the ability to react to key metrics and make the kinds of changes (scheduling, call recording, shrinkage) that will impact performance immediately.
Which one will do it? We’re glad you asked.
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