Creating a positive work environment in Call Centers : Motivation and Recognition

Rolling Plans Pvt. Ltd. Jan 13, 2024 550 0

“May I help/assist you, Sir/Ma’am?” This is the most common statement/question used by call center agents to callers or service-seekers who want to exhibit queries, complaints, or recommendations regarding the products and services. Call center agents act as the mediator of contact between businesses and customers as hundreds or even thousands of calls are handled by the call center agents, there is no doubt that call centers are stressful places to work. Due to more stressful and busy contexts at call centers, there are high chances of disengagement, burnout, anxiety problems, high absenteeism, and job turnover. 


Call center work is more stressful and pressurizing due to the responsibilities of chaperoning the calls of queries, complaints, and feedback, tight budget, and excellent customer service within calls. Call center jobs are one of the most challenging jobs due to such reasons. Hence, employee retention is one of the most pick-and-shovel difficulties for the HR departments or organizations that are running call centers for effective delivery of services. As call center work is more demanding, the challenge that HR faces is recruitment as well. High turnover and absenteeism like reasons can lead to low productivity and disentanglement from the work. Frequent monitoring from managers, supervisors, and quality analysts produces more pressure among the call center agents. But amidst these challenges, organizations must create a positive, enjoyable, and soothing work environment for the staff for quality service excellence, good employee morale, employee retention, and many more. 


Creating a positive work environment in Call Centers: Motivation and Recognition 

A work environment for any staff must be set as a workplace with a positive and comfortable ambiance so the employees can dedicate their efforts, time, and knowledge fully without any hassles. Suppose the bosses are more strict and keep on making complaints instead of explaining the remedies for the issues caused, the employees may feel oppressed and can't concentrate on the work they are responsible for. Hence, a healthy work environment portrays a workplace that caters to employee health and wellness programs, training and growth opportunities, increased productivity, and better morale. The criteria of an unhealthy work environment may be: 


- High Employee Turnover 


- Absenteeism and disengaged employees


- Burnout and anxiety/depression issues 


- Micromanagement


- Frequent workplace gossips


- Low productivity 


- Degradation in customer service excellence 


Whereas, the attributes of a healthy work environment are: 

- Happy and healthy employees 


- Comfortable workspace 



- Motivation, recognition, and praise 


- Career growth training and opportunities 



- Dedicated efforts toward the work 


- Increased productivity and morale 



Let's dig into how the HR department or organizations can create a positive work environment in call centers. 


Step 1: Set precise and clear goals/objectives amongst the call center team members 


Getting involved or introduced to the organization is the first phase to being part/member of the organization but before putting off the efforts in the organization, the team member should be made aware of what kind of goals the organization wants to pursue, what sorts of efforts need to be put to attain the organizational objectives, etc. In terms of call centers, there is a trend in measuring call time. If there are low wait times, it means the issues of the customers have been solved immediately and they become happier with the service, and vice-versa in case of high call wait times. Hence, call center agents may intend to shorten the calls which may impact the service quality. To cope with this stressful scenario, organizations need to set up exact goals and a considerable framework for customer satisfaction and less stress for the agents.



Step 2: Investment in employees/call center agents 


Employees are one of the big-ticket assets of the organizations without whom any operations of the organizations are undoable. Call center agents must be provided with the right and efficient tools to handle the work responsibilities handed over to them. Training needs assessment is a must-to-do as a deviation between expected and actual performance may hinder the organizations to furnish quality service and meet the goals. The organizations must understand each person's SWOT aka strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and manage the targeted training for them. For example, training on how to deal with unhappy customers, career growth opportunities, in-house training sessions, coaching sessions, peer learning, etc. 



Step 3: Considering the motivational factors for call center team members 


Recognition and praise may be the motivational factors for any team member whereas shifts’ cut-off for personal obligations may be another factor of motivation for other team members. To design motivational strategies, one-on-one conversations with the call center agents to discover their grievances, personal goals/interests, and feedback for better customer service assurance can be the best options to motivate the call center agents. Financial compensation and incentives can motivate the staff but if there is a tight budget, afternoon offs, praising the performance amongst the team members, THANK YOU notes, replenishing breaks, free lunch, and ice cream by organizations can also be the motivational factors for the team members. 



Step 4: Open communication and networking 


Call center agents must have the freedom to talk with the customers rather than using scripted papers. They can openly negotiate or convince the customers regarding their issues. They shouldn't have fear of expressing their inner feelings amongst the supervisors or bosses such as the need for tools, grievances regarding technical instruments, day-offs for personal issues, etc. With open communication and networking with other team members, they tend to believe they are satisfied with their job. Also, feedback and providing suggestions can also make the team members feel connected with the organization and the whole team members. 



Step 5: Minimizing stress through various methodologies 


As discussed earlier, call center jobs are the most stressful jobs and they have to hide their feelings while dealing with customers. They should be made aware of Emotional Intelligence and other techniques like deep breathing, talking with other team members to lower the burden of stress, happy exercises, etc. They should know how to depersonalize customers’ anger or stress and handle the calls professionally without any hard feelings. 



Step 6: Encouraging teamwork, and collaborative platforms 


A team is not formed without individual members. There is a collaboration of multiple personnel in call centers. To build the team more effectively and efficiently, group activities should be organized timely. Picnics, outings, team games, and activities help the team members build trust, friendship, and respect among each other. The training and career growth opportunities can also motivate the team members. 



Step 7: Organizing health and wellness programs 


A healthy work environment determines the team members’ responsiveness towards the organization. Their energy may get drained with the continuous phone calls. To make the team stay happy, healthy, and productive, they should be provided with comfortable workspaces like ergonomic chairs, availability of fresh drinking water, flexible working schedules, work-life balance, counseling and wellness programs, yoga sessions, etc. If the team members are mentally and physically fit, they can contribute to the organization with their 100% efforts otherwise physical and mental stress can cause fatigue, burnout, anxiety, and depression amongst the team members. 



Step 8: Conducting feedback programs 


If the 100% inputs are collaborated in an efficient manner, 100% plus outputs can be produced. Employees’ feedback is quintessential for such outputs. The organizations can conduct surveys, interviews, and focus group sessions to understand the employees’ feedback and suggestions and how can the changes be implemented. Listening to the concerns and ideas of the team members leads to an ‘Our’ organization rather than a ‘My’ organization. 



With the feedback taken from one of the dedicated employees of Rolling Plants Private Limited regarding the positive work environment for call center teams, she pointed out some major steps to be followed by an organization which are: 


  • Recognized employees’ work and praise them 


  • Encourage feedback 


  • Effectively communicate with agents 


  • Encourage Employee Engagement 


  • Motivate to make good relationships with colleagues 


  • Make an environment to share thoughts 


  • Discourage gossips 



She also expressed some points for the call center stress to be reduced which include: 


  • Motivate agents with incentives 


  • Provide training 


  • Clear, healthy, and transparent work culture 


  • Set clear supervisor expectations 


  • Refreshment programs 


  • Create positivity 



Any team member expects a positive work environment in call centers and the organizations must design the strategies regarding the employees’ expectations and organizational culture and budget. It is not doubtful that call center jobs are considered as one of the most stressful jobs but the actions taken by organizations along with call center agents can minimize the stress level to a minimum level. For this, mutual understanding and trust are the prominent factors. For excellent service providence and job satisfaction, the participation of all the parties is imperative. 


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