Today’s consumers are using an increasing number of channels and touchpoints to interact with your company when they try to gather information or resolve a problem. Meeting their expectations for a consistent, seamless experience while running your business more efficiently in the omnichannel era is no small feat—it places even greater importance on your employee engagement. How can you keep your employees engaged to yield better results for your customers and your business?
Countless studies prove the direct correlation between an engaged workforce and positive business results. The study Trends in Global Employee Engagement, from research firm Aon, states that “a 5% increase in employee engagement is linked to a 3% increase in revenue growth the subsequent year.” Investing in your employee’s happiness makes good business sense and drives tangible results.
However, in the real world, recognizing the importance of employee engagement and having an effective strategy in place are two different things. According to ICMI, 90% of businesses surveyed that think employee engagement is critical, while only 25% of those businesses think their employees are, in fact, engaged.
What Are the Key Elements of Employee Engagement?
The employee engagement challenge is greatly amplified when you increase the number of channels you offer to your customers. Your workforce must learn how to manage each interaction in the most effective way, with tools and context to know the customer and resolve their problem. Engaging your employees and empowering them to deliver great customer experience involves:
- Uncovering, gathering, and analyzing relevant information
- Accurately forecasting and scheduling your workforce
- Evaluating the quality of all interactions
- Offering personalized training and coaching to your team
This leads to the key question: What practical steps can you take to increase employee engagement?
Many things drive employee engagement. Effective use of technology is an interesting area to explore because it offers practical opportunities. The following 7 tactics are a good foundation to jump-start your employee engagement strategy:
- Ensure your workforce schedule encompasses all workforce (omnichannel) activities
Many organizations use multiple technologies in siloed systems to manage customer interactions. The workforce schedule then rarely encompasses all activities. This is frustrating and impractical for your staff. It also means that your organization isn’t taking full advantage of economies of scale.
- Let your employees influence their schedule
One of the biggest things you can do for your employees is increase the influence they have over their schedules. A mature workforce planning solution should include a portal that allows your employees to manage schedule changes, such as taking a day off or swapping a shift.
- Offer your employees variety in their work
Offering variety to agents throughout the day helps motivate and engage them. Technology shouldn’t be the limiting factor. One set of business and routing rules helps you accomplish this.
- Coach your employees on relevant interactions only
Effective employee coaching improves the efficiency and quality of your contact center agents’ work. And the act of coaching gets easier and produces results when you are able to coach them on an interaction in which there’s opportunity to improve their skills or give feedback on an interaction they handled well.
- Test employee skills and knowledge frequently
A best practice for every contact center is to understand the knowledge and skills your employees have and where they need additional coaching. When you correlate skills with performance, you make better use of your learning and development budget.
- Unify the workflow for agents using a single omnichannel desktop application
Your employees’ desktop application has a profound influence on their level of engagement. When your agents have many different applications on their screens and must switch constantly among them, the infrastructure is simply getting in the way. This frustrates your agents and prevents them from helping your customers.
- Offer growth opportunities through a structured career path framework
Giving employees a clear career perspective engages them and reduces workforce churn. As your employees understand what knowledge and skills they need to progress in their careers, they’ll feel more engaged and challenged.
When you make it easier for your employees to understand the customer and succeed in delivering great omnichannel customer experiences, everyone wins. To learn more about each of these tactics, download the Contact Center Employee Engagement Playbook today.