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Plumbing the depths: why contact centre morale must improve.

I recently came across an article by Charlie Mullins - founder of Pimlico Plumbers and one of the UK’s most outspoken and controversial businessmen - bemoaning the fact that Brits are 30 per cent less productive per person than the average German or American.

Much to Charlie’s chagrin we also lag behind the French. In fact if you take all the G7 economies we are 21 per cent below the average of the other six (France, Germany, Canada, the US, Italy and Japan). Well yes, I can hear you saying, but what are we supposed to do about it?

In Charlie’s opinion the answer lies in employee engagement. And I couldn’t agree with him more when he says: “If people aren’t happy in what they do they won’t produce well, no matter how much you pay them.”

I’m sure most of you reading this would also agree with Charlie. At EvaluAgent we have worked with more than a few contact centres who have seen increases in productivity - as well as customer satisfaction and operational savings - as a direct result of employee engagement programmes.

In fact our customer, Atos and NS&I has recently been shortlisted for an employee engagement award after introducing our contact centre gamification technology. True testament to what can be achieved by taking a different approach to employee engagement through reward and recognition and by putting team leaders and agents at the helm of performance improvement.

Frontline employees responded exceptionally well to the application of gamification principles to their work environment, more regular coaching sessions and a targeted approach to improving individuals’ performance.

They feel that they are truly engaged and embedded in the activity to improve their performance which in turn provides them a greater sense of ownership and personal accountability. Coupled with regular reviews and follow up as well as the support needed to try new things they are totally set up with everything required to achieve success!

There is no doubt that engaged employees not only enjoy their work more, but are also more productive. Why then, do we continue to tolerate famously high levels of poor morale in the contact centre industry?