If your call center needs an extra boost to hit specific metrics, or your staff’s overall productivity has hit a plateau, you’re on the right page. The links between employee engagement, productivity, incentives, and recognition are clear: recognition and rewards can help encourage whatever behavior you like and work best when they include performance metrics. Call centers are all about metrics. Sales-driven call centers often focus on conversions and average call length, while customer service centers may be more interested in first-call resolution rates. So, listing the KPIs you want to boost should be straightforward.
- Highly-engaged employees are the most productive. The top quartile of engaged employees has 10% higher customer metrics, 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales, and 21% higher profitability, according to Gallup.
- Recognition increases employee engagement. When asked what their managers and employers could do to get great work from them, employees surveyed by O.C. Tanner listed recognition first, ahead of autonomy and higher pay.
- Incentive programs that recognize metrics-based achievements work best. Gallup found that when employees felt their performance was being tracked, their engagement was two and a half times that of employees who didn’t feel like their work was getting attention.
Employee incentive programs work best when they include recognition (public kudos are ideal) based on performance metrics. That makes the first step reasonably easy; Call centers are all about metrics, so listing the KPIs you want to boost should be straightforward: You can pick a single KPI that will help your organization reach its goals most quickly, the one that will bring in the most revenue, or the one that will yield the greatest savings. You could pick a few KPIs or a handful. Fewer KPIs will make the program easier to administer and encourage a greater focus on achieving them; using more KPIs will help keep some of them from lagging as agents focus on those that lead to rewards. Again, the specific KPIs you use to choose to encourage will be up to you. Just make sure the metrics you’re using have large enough samples and historical data to account for any recent dips that could skew the picture; if you’ve just had some less-effective agents, hired new superstars, or both, you’ll want to account for that in your baseline when you start.
However, at some point, you’ll have to ask questions about budget and time. If you’re concerned with getting the most out of your budget or are squeezed for time, the process of setting up and running a call center employee incentive program may seem too costly or lengthy. How can you overcome those hurdles? By examining ROI and observing how much of your time is actually required.
Benefits of Implementing Employee Incentives at Call Centers
Receive a Positive Return on Investment
The budget can be a sticking point for many initiatives. If you don’t have a budget in mind, determine if the results you receive will justify your investment. You know what hitting your goals on specific KPIs/metrics is worth to your organization, so use that as your guide to determine an incentive program’s value. As an example, If you increase your KPI by 10% what would your profitability be? Even if you invest 20% of the gains, you will be much better off than not doing anything at all.
A properly-designed incentive program increases in ROI over time. Word spreads among employees (“Where’d you get the swag?”), more of them work towards the goals, and your organization hits more of its metrics. Every reward earned represents great work and numbers met, so the more winners you have, the better your call center performs.
You may be worried that designing an incentive program is a time-consuming process that you simply can’t manage with the limited time you have. However, incentive program design, management, and fulfillment don’t have to eat up all of your time. Professionals can create a program for you focused on the KPIs and metrics you want your people to hit. Tiered incentive levels can let multiple employees earn rewards, and you can choose from a range of reward options.
Although your managers will still have a hand in inspiring and motivating your workforce, Inproma’s incentive programs are designed to require minimum management, and we handle all fulfillment issues. You’ll get all the benefits of a program designed just for your organization without having to research, coordinate, and administer it all yourself.
Get a Chance to Recognize Your Best People
Beyond time and budget, the value of recognizing employees—in public, with something only attainable by reaching goals set out in your program—is huge. Recognition taps into the very human need to feel valued and can, therefore, mean the difference between an enthusiastic worker and a disgruntled employee.
With a properly-designed professional incentive program, employees get public recognition from managers and are rewarded something recognizable as having been achieved through the program, like high-quality logoed products (this is no time for cheap trinkets). Then, when employees bring those items (or wear them) to work, their peers can recognize them again, asking about what it took to earn the prize. It’s a badge of honor.
Make Your Top Employees the Center of Attention
Call centers can be stressful places, and employee recognition can make all the difference. As McKinsey notes, “Agents who do not receive recognition for their work… exhibit higher stress levels and are more likely to leave their jobs.” So Telling people in a tangible, personal way that their efforts are appreciated isn’t just a motivational tool—it’s vital to your team’s well-being.
Again, public recognition of achievements should be a key part of running employee incentive programs. It’s even better when rewards themselves are tailored to individuals. Personalizing rewards with winners’ names is one way to do that, but you’ll also want winners to be able to select rewards they will strive for. So make sure to offer a range of reward options that appeal to a variety of call center employees, who often vary in age, career stage, and personal taste. Regardless of specific individual preferences, premium brand-name rewards are a good bet.
Measurable Metrics: Employee Incentives for Call Centers
Incentive programs don’t just get employees more engaged and focused on the goals you set. They also give you more bang for your buck than raises. Payroll is taxed twice, but perks and incentives are deductible business expenses.
Inproma’s incentive programs go a step further.
With standard points-based incentive programs, you never know exactly when employees will use their points. Your company carries a liability until they are redeemed. With Inproma, you know what you’ll be spending per quarter, and why. The cost is fixed at the beginning of the program; you can determine how many winners there will be, which rewards they’ll get, and the budget of the program. Accounting will love you for that predictability, while your employees will feel recognized and motivated.
Incentive programs help managers better feel overall for employee performance and engagement. Employees can track their progress toward rewards—an indicator that requires no progress reports or other managerial feedback. Once you’ve identified your top performers, you’ll also be able to identify and help those who need to improve.
If your team needs a spark to help reach its goals, or your current rewards program isn’t getting the job done, we should talk. We’ve helped organizations recognize and reward their workforces for years, and are ready to do the same for you.