After over 30 years in the contact center industry, my wife and I have come to understand something very consistently. In a call center there are many moving parts and a lot of important aspects working together to create an excellent call center product. However, people are undoubtedly the most important resource that a call center contains and the way you treat your people will determine the success of your business every time. Call center culture is the glue that holds each of those moving parts together. In this article, we are going to discuss how to avoid creating a toxic environment for your employees and 3 keys to building an excellent call center culture.
How to Avoid a Toxic Culture
Toxic culture is not something that is hard to achieve. If you are not highly aware of your culture and proactive to direct it, you will run into issues quickly. The cornerstone of your culture will always be your management team. We have done a series of blogs regarding how we teach our management if you are interested in learning more they can be found here. Training your managers that building your culture is just as important as driving your business is essential. Leaders that lack empathy, only worry about KPI’s and not people, or create an atmosphere of negativity will quickly create a toxic work environment. Invest in training your management to lead people well and manage them the way you would like them to manage your employees. This will put you on the quick path to an incredible company culture.
Building an Excellent Culture
- Your employees are NOT just a number!
We have found this quote from Theodore Roosevelt to be very true, “people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We reiterate this to our management often. Our goal is that every employee that walks into our business knows how much we care about them. They are valuable to our business success, yes, but they are also incredibly important to us personally. We care about their wellbeing and their future. It essential that every employee feels seen and heard. This means we must greet every employee individually and ask them how they are doing – and solicit an honest and sincere answer! This means carving out time to invest in building relationships and being there for our people when they are celebrating or struggling in their personal or professional lives. It means being a work family that will go the extra mile. This is the kind of environment we want to create, one where everyone looks out for one another and takes time to care.
2. Know your company values and abide by them.
CTA has 12 company cultures that make up our value system. They are so important to us that we have them posted all over our building. Our management knows these cultures and we refer to them when we are training and deciding how to handle tough situations. I am not going to break down each culture, but I would like to highlight a few of them. Three of our cultures that describe CTA the best would be family first, care about others, and positive attitude. Decide what is most important for your company culture and let those cultures drive your business. If only profits drive your business, you will have less of them. Because truthfully, happy employees equal happy customers and happy customers will eventually put you in the perfect position to make excellent profits.
3. Keep your environment FUN and POSITIVE at all costs.
The unfortunate truth is that work, especially call center work, is not always fun and positive. Sometimes you have really hard situations or customers to work with. There are times that being on the phones for a full shift is draining. This is why it is so important to teach your managers how to control the atmosphere of the workplace. This include taking proactive measure to make the work more fun. For instance, we love to use games, competitions, and contests to give people motivation and keep employees engaged when work can feel monotonous. It also means teaching managers how to keep complaining and negative talk at bay through lots of praise, positivity, and knowing when to pull an agent off and redirect. The environment will determine if your people enjoy coming to work each day, give it the attention it deserves!
Do you want a company culture that makes a difference in the lives of your employees? If you achieve a great work environment you will see an incredible increase in employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and overall happy long-term employees. We have noticed that even with several other call centers in our medium sized town, that we rarely struggle to recruit and retain the employees we need. We attribute this largely to a culture that sets us apart. Investing your time, money, and resources into your people will never turn up void. They are your greatest resource and your most important asset.