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Enhancing Employee Engagement

Enhancing Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Prior to becoming a consultant, I spent 14 years in the field building and managing contact centers, customer service groups, and other operating departments. I’ve seen first-hand the power of engaging my employees. The most successful and truly fun departments that I ran were those where my staff was actively engaged in all aspects of the business -they came in every day knowing they made a difference to our customers and the company. (In one credit card shop, this was reflected by an annual attrition rate of less than 7%.)
Employee engagement is frequently viewed as a “soft” topic or activity and is often overlooked because there is always something more important to do. I may be a contrarian, but I believe that engaging employees is likely to be one of the most valuable and powerful investments managers can make. And when it’s done well, it can have an amazingly positive impact on your operating environment, employees, customers and, possibly, your bottom line. Please consider Zappos – there was a reason they were number one in customer service. Their job wasn’t just to sell shoes and other retail products. Their job was to thrill their customers with outstanding everything – products, service and anything else the representative felt was necessary to “help” their customers, and management left it up to them to decide the meaning of help. These employees were empowered, and that is the key.

Here are some proven approaches for engaging employees:

  1. Listen to your employees – Invite your employees to share their recommendations, and really listen to what they say. These are the people who are doing the job every single day, and it’s very likely that they’ll come up with ways to do it better. Create an environment that welcomes new ideas, and demonstrates this by applying staff input and giving credit to the people who made the suggestions.
  2. Involve them – Invite your staff to get involved in activities that go beyond their primary job function. This will encourage people to do more than just the basics, which is desirable in employees. Create an operating environment that welcomes innovative ideas and actions.
  3. Support them – Be there for your employees, just as you want them to be there for you and your department. This means everything from just “listening” to them when they need a friend to supporting them when they come up with new business ideas. Help them succeed.
  4. Excite them – Communicate your department’s direction and plans to your employees. Share what is happening, and get them excited about changes; help them see the opportunities that change and innovation can give them.
  5. Invest in them – Give of your time, just as you want them to do for your department.
  6. Develop them – Create a warm and welcoming operating environment that gives employees an opportunity to grow professionally and personally.
  7. Challenge them – Give your employees new opportunities, and help them succeed and grow to the next level.
  8. Recognize them – Recognize, thank and reward employees for doing a great job; show your appreciation when your staff does outstanding work or comes up with a great idea.
  9. Celebrate them – Celebrate every employee success, and create a positive and fun operating environment so that your staff enjoys coming to work.
  10. Respect them – Show employees respect for the work that they do.
  11. Compensate them – Pay people for doing their jobs, and use pay-for-performance to motivate and recognize staff for doing more than necessary.
  12. Promote them – Whenever possible, promote from within the department; this goes a very long way in demonstrating that your department and employees are appreciated by you and more senior management.
This is a partial list of proven best practices for engaging your employees. I welcome you to send me other ideas and suggestions that you have used to engage your staff and create an outstanding work environment. Please email your suggestions to me atdonna.fluss@dmgconsult.com

Ask the Experts

Question:
Could you explain what VDI is and why IT keeps telling us that we should implement this technology in our contact center?

Answer:
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a technology that allows end users’ desktop environments (operating system, applications and security profile) to be separated from their physical computing devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc). When VDI is used, the end user’s desktop environment is hosted on a virtual machine that runs on a centralized server located in a data center. End users can access their VDI desktop environment from any computing device that has access to their network. VDI technology is increasingly recommended for enterprise deployments because it reduces the time, effort and cost required to build, deploy and maintain individual computing devices.

Below is a list of common benefits that can be realized from using VDI in your contact center:

  • VDI image – Organizations can create various VDI images to address the needs of different types of users in the contact center. Each image has its own applications and security features. In addition, contact center personnel can be given administrator access to manage the images, reducing their dependence on IT… Read More

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.