Working with two clients to improve engagement and retention in their contact centres has really made me a little nostalgic. My degree research was about the job satisfaction of people working in contact centres and back in 1997 and I dusted it off recently.
Snappily entitled “the Working Lives of Teleworkers and Teleoperators” (perhaps not the best title), it made some observations about how the monitoring, repetitive processes and lack of progression impacted job satisfaction. Interestingly, recent projects (albeit with a much smaller sample size) highlighted that levels of engagement (job satisfaction on steroids) is similarly patchy, but the causes have changed. Engagement was affected by:
- The stresses associated with the multitasking of a modern flexible resourcing model
- The fulfilment of their own personal needs and expectations
- And frustration with the processes.
On that last topic, it’s not the requirement to follow processes that frustrated people. It was that they wanted to do a good job, and felt frustrated when the system prevented that happening, constrained their initiative or didn’t allow them to do the best thing for the customer in the circumstances. Somewhat surprisingly, they were frustrated when they realised that inefficient process was negatively effecting the bottom line.
Pride - in their work, how they treat customers and what they achieve. Not necessarily a value associated with all contact centres, but alive and well in some around the M62 corridor.
At the same time, it means that if you want to get the most out of your contact centre, then paying greater attention to their needs, expectations and aspirations as people is no longer optional (and never should have been anyway).
If you don’t? Well, we know a couple of awesome companies up north who’d love to chat with your top contact centre talent…