Performance Management: What Not to Do

There is a lot of advice IN THERE there on what to do to improve performance management (PM). We’re going to approach that question differently, with three tips on what not to do. Why? Perhaps by framing the advice this way, it will be easier for some call centers to realize that these mistakes are all too common. If you want to set a new goal for this challenge, the place to start might be in breaking some long-standing bad habits.

Don’t Do This: Set General Goals

Why try to hit specific numbers and performance targets?

“As long as things seemed headed in the right direction, that’s good enough.”

The problem with this approach is it doesn’t last. Without clearly defined goals agents tend to be less vigilant. The targets on KPIs should be established and disseminated to all personnel, with those who get there receiving acknowledgement and reward, while those who do not receive additional coaching and training. With the data delivered by a workforce management solution, call centers can know exactly where they are, and where they need to be.

Don’t Do This: Subjective Scores

Some performance management systems rate an agent on average handle time or quality of greeting on a 1-10 scale. The problem is what constitutes a ‘4’ or an ‘8’ or any other score in that range. One manager’s ‘6’ might be another’s ‘9.’ Scoring must be consistent, or agents will not buy into the program.

Don’t Do This: Deal With PM When It’s Convenient

When performance management reviews are not built into a weekly or monthly schedule, they are easily delayed when other business pops up and takes precedence. Scoring sessions and agent meetings and reviews should not be rescheduled unless a genuine crisis arises. If they are postponed regularly, agents will eventually realize they’re not that important to management – which suggests that performance itself is not a priority. That will impact how some agents do their jobs.