Every business wants its employees to love their jobs and their workplaces. Not all businesses, however, recognize that this goal is as important as obtaining maximum profits and meeting the business plan targets. Indeed, securing employee engagement with their jobs and workplace is perhaps the most important investment you can make in your businesses success.
However, creating a happy and loving environment which fosters employee engagement with what they do is complicated. Far more complicated than offering a bonus for a job well done, or buying a ping pong table for the recreational area. Furthermore, the consequences for getting it wrong can be dire.
Neglecting workplace culture, or worse, ignoring the development of a toxic culture, has many negative consequences. It means lower employee productivity, higher employee turnover, and potentially valuable recruits steering away from your company. After all, most people prefer to seek employment at businesses, which offer a caring home as well as a paycheck.
Nurturing a happy and supportive workplace culture is a process which must be tailored to your business and employees. However, below are a few tips that are applicable to almost any call center:
Create careers, not jobs
It’s easy to perceive the people you want to produce great customer experience, as interchangeable parts filling job slots. However, what this approach ignores is that each individual brings a different added value to his job. Moreover, the more individuals are invested in their jobs, and the longer they retain it, the higher their added value is. Key to making your employees happy at their jobs is offering them a reason to stay (yes, this means higher wages). It also means offering them room to develop on a career track within your business.
Lead by example.
Employees model their behavior, even their mannerism and workplace environment habits after you. If you laugh and express genuine concern with their lives, they will show greater empathy to their co-worker and subordinates as well. If you radiate love and engagement in what your company does then they will be more engaged in their projects.
Perhaps most critical, and hardest, is demonstrating a healthy workplace-life balance. Studies have shown that the employees who work overtime and take their work home with them are not necessarily increasing their productivity. What they are doing is increasing their chance of worker burnout.
As their employer you need to demonstrate that taking time off and knowing when to set work aside is OK. You need to show them that they are not harming their chances for recognition and promotion by leaving their work at the workplace.
Tailor your organization and business plan to your employee’s strengths – and weaknesses.
You may have a great business plan and organizational flowchart – great! However, it must also provide room for your employees to express their particular strengths. Otherwise, you will not achieve optimal employee engagement and may not meet your goals as rapidly as possible.
For example, if you have an employee who excels in leading teams, give them the opportunity to take charge of new projects. Empowering your employees through their strengths will make them feel like they’re contributing to the workplace.
Just as important is the need to recognize employee weaknesses. Some Weaknesses can be overcome by providing mentoring. In other cases you must redirect your employees into positions and tasks where their weaknesses are less of a liability to you and less of a source of frustration and shame to them. Sending the message that you do not accept imperfection in your company is not a good idea. It will only result in employees seeking to conceal their flaws and accumulate stress and cause friction as they do.