Louise Roberts is head of resources at RSVP. Based at the Docklands, London office, her role involves overseeing all areas of human resources, recruitment, facilities and social media. Starting her career on the phones 15 years ago, Louise has worked across many areas of the business, including as a PA and account manager.
A significant topic of conversation in the industry of late is staff engagement and the priority it plays in the success of a call centre business. The universal ideal is that a happy workforce results in happy customers; therefore focusing on employees and their engagement with the business and its products is essential. RSVP’s head of resources, Louise Roberts, shares the most effective ways to increase staff engagement, broken down in simple and easy steps to follow
It is easy to forget the motivation behind why staff members work for you. Initially, this will almost always be down to the need for employment. However, if you want staff to develop loyalty to the company, then communication is key. Merely telling staff to complete tasks is not enough; there needs to be clear information about the company’s goals, what you as a member of management expects, the ethos and work environment. In addition, the tone in which managers communicate with their staff is paramount to making clear communication work both ways. In a high pressure environment, stress is commonly passed down the chain and this can lead to unrest and uncertainty. Staff members who feel they are not valued will reflect this attitude into their work, so respect must always be maintained with clear emphasis on company guidelines.
In order to motivate your workforce, you must understand who they are. Tailoring incentive packages to employees is a great way to do this. If you work in a sales environment and offer incentives to boost sales, ask staff members what would be beneficial to them. Maybe take a poll and pick the most popular incentives.
A positive office environment can vastly improve the effectiveness of your workforce. While some companies can be restricted by a building’s structure, below are a few simple and cost-effective ways to achieving a comfortable office environment:
Notice board: Grant staff members the opportunity to have their own notice board to share out-of-work activities or even advertise products and services they may provide. Regardless of what it may be, this gives staff a voice that is not related to their working persona.
Healthy options: Providing water, tea and coffee, including decaffeinated options, can contribute to increasing energy levels – not to mention a boost in capability.
Break area: Try to make all break areas inviting. The inclusion of photos from company events, work nights-out and homely furniture – such as a sofa and comfortable chairs – can create a community feel and give space a welcoming personality.
Be charitable: Getting staff involved in charity days is a great way to bring the team together. Bake sales, clothes swaps and tea parties are a great way to bring staff members together and make everyone feel involved.
For your workforce to feel comfortable and happy, they need to know what is expected of them. Setting clear guidelines on lateness, absence and specific job requirements are essential, but your workforce must know that there is an open line of communication that allows your HR team to deal with the ‘grey’ areas. A call centre is nothing without its employees and any viable business has to realise that, as such, there is a responsibility to those employees, including understanding life factors that could potentially affect their work. It is important to understand these ‘grey’ areas, and effective handling of these can improve the relationship with your workforce.