Performance Management: The Importance of Communication

Whether a contact center is launching a new performance management effort, or making changes to an existing program, the key to its success will always be communication.

Effective communication must start at the top. Managers and senior personnel are responsible for explaining and promoting the contact center’s performance management goals to rank-and-file personnel. This requires more than a “This is what we’re doing” speech. It should explain the reasons for the program, the needs it will address, and why it is important that everyone at the company get on board with the program.

Journalists are known for their clear communication skills (or at least they should be), so one way to organize this presentation is to approach it the way a journalist approaches a news story. That means starting with the questions who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who: In this case, who will be involved in a performance management program? The answer is everyone.

What: How will this change the daily work lives of agents, trainers and other personnel? Let them know specifically what will be required of them, from participation in meetings to creating the materials used to launch the program.

When: Give everyone time to get acclimated to his or her new responsibilities before getting underway.

Where: Fairly obvious in this case.

Why: This one is significant: why is this necessary? It should not be presented as a condemnation of current job performance or as a punishment. Performance management is a positive step that will improve the efficiency of the business and make it easier for everyone to do their jobs, because they will be following procedures designed to improve customer service.

How: Provide clear instructions for how everyone will participate, and who can help them if they have questions.

Also keep in mind that performance management is only as good as the data it receives. Your workforce management and quality management efforts, as well as those devoted to training and billing and other specialties, must collect accurate numbers for the system to work. With Monet, that’s never an issue.

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