Above Image: Rajesh Karkera
It’s a given fact that the call center environment is stressful but upon applying, some aspiring agents did not know what they are in for yet as what they are most probably attracted to is the good compensation offer. Once training days are over however and they are already out on the floor, the reality of what a call center agent really means sets in… and that’s when they begin to realize that the high pay they receive comes with a price.
Unholy working hours that lead to health deterioration and calls of irate and abusive customers are the usual reasons for an agent to decide to raise the white flag. Now, you might say these are all common scenarios and expected of a typical work day but having to go through these everyday can certainly take its toll and be demoralizing for some.
Unless management takes steps in boosting their employees’ deflating morale, the HR department is definitely in for left and right resignations. And we wouldn’t want another kind of stress now would we?
Employee incentive programs can do wonders in making a call center agent feel that his or her efforts are recognized and appreciated. It can be something as simple as receiving an award, such as free movie or dinner passes, for having a perfect monthly attendance or recognized as an “Outstanding Agent” with a plaque for having good or perfect score cards for the entire duration of evaluation. Another option would be giving monetary rewards too provided that the budget permits.
Being cooped up in one’s cubicle for the whole 8 hours of work can get dull so a change of scenery can be really refreshing. Supervisors can arrange for potluck meals with their team members to be eaten outdoors or can request for employee appreciation dinners in a certain restaurant. The important thing here is that there is a break from the usual round-the-clock routine and most of all, all team members get to spend this time together, away from the working atmosphere.
Likewise, management can hold seasonal events wherein all call center agents can participate in decorating their workplace according to the occasion. For example, if it’s summer, employees can decorate their cubicles and stations with a fun-in-the-sun theme and can choose one day of the whole summer where they can wear beach attires. The team with the best decoration and the agent with the best summer outfit will be given a prize. Such an activity can still break monotony of the workplace as its theme changes every now and then. Furthermore, agents can all participate together in decorating; thereby promoting teamwork and unity. Getting to wear outfits according to the occasion, every once in a while, is already a bonus perk-up.
Offsite activities such as sports tournaments and teambuilding are also effective ways of boosting an agent’s morale. Participation in sports promotes teamwork and builds self-confidence and self-esteem, not to mention providing good exercise from the usual long hours of sitting down as one takes down calls. Engaging in sports certainly gets the circulation going! Teambuilding, aside from achieving teamwork, allows team members to know each other in a more personal level, improving work relationships as one is now aware of a person’s strengths and weaknesses.
These are but few ways of maintaining and improving an agent’s drive towards work. As you can see, not one suggestion includes salary increase. The reason for which is, although it is true that fat paychecks are attractive incentives, it does not necessarily boost one’s morale. What happiness and satisfaction a call center agent gets from the feeling of being recognized and appreciated by superiors and that of the management can go a long way in giving them the zest to work productively and most of all, to stay loyal to the company.