Engaged employees make their companies 51% more productive than those who are not. In fact, employees who are committed to their jobs will outperform detached counterparts by 28 percent. So, how does one go about improving employee engagement?
What is Employee Engagement?
An engaged employee feels emotionally invested in their company and believes in its values. Productive and reliable, engaged workers are undoubtedly valuable.
However, it's not possible to recruit them the same way hiring managers have been able to find talented and skilled workers. Employee engagement is more about developing feelings of commitment in your current employees. That commitment must be earned and nurtured.
At a fair trade call center, employee engagement is fostered through these six ways. We have clustered them according to four key objectives.
TIP #1: Don’t be afraid to offer compensation that's over and above the regular going rate.
There are two kinds of compensation: direct and indirect. The former refers to the salary, while the latter can include the basic benefits and other "perks" like training and development courses, recognition awards, praises, and other similar rewards.
Simply put: give what is due to an employee.
One of the reasons that companies outsource is to reduce costs. But, being a cheapskate towards your employees will not give you the results you're aiming for.
When you pay your employees above the market rate, they are more likely to stay with the company and excel at their jobs. Think of it as an investment!
In developing countries like India and the Philippines, high-paying jobs are commonly found in the outsourcing industry. A high salary gives disadvantaged workers a chance to ultimately step up in the socioeconomic ladder.
Moreover, praises and recognition are just as important as constructive criticism. Shake your employee's hand and congratulate them for a job well done. Or, tell an employee that you've noticed an improvement in their work and would like to talk to them more about it.
This lets your employees know how they are doing and that their day-to-day efforts are valued. An appreciative boss and a growth-nurturing workplace cannot be easily bought or matched by a competitor.
TIP #2: Uphold a healthy work environment.
A workplace should be physically safe, meaning it must be compliant and have the necessary permits. But aside from that, a fair trade call center ensures all employees must feel safe emotionally and mentally. While people may have different genders, races, religions and beliefs, respect and camaraderie should prevail among your employees. Bullying and discrimination become serious concerns the management must be quick to act on.
Instead of competition, encourage collaboration to achieve target goals. For instance, let two managers and their teams fuse into one group, filling each other's gaps in skill and knowledge, instead of pitting them against each other. A workplace where employees feel they are working with family or friends will yield to a happier atmosphere and greater job satisfaction.
TIP #3: Allow employees to make and follow their own decisions.
Don't hover. Let them suggest an idea and work on that. Micromanagement is detrimental to a company that wants to expand because it limits viewpoints to explore to that of only a few people on top. Letting employees achieve their goals through their own agency helps them build the self-confidence, creativity, and decision-making skills necessary to excel at their jobs.
For example, Southwest Airlines allowed its employees to design their own uniforms. Employees were thrilled and responded positively. They said it was an "unforgettable experience."
TIP #4: Provide tools for the development and success of your employees.
To entrust decisions to your employees doesn't mean you'll leave them alone. For your employees to make better decisions and become more confident, give them opportunities for learning and development like training courses, mentoring, and continuing education. With these tools, they'll have room for growth in their respective careers.
TIP #5: Practice business transparency.
How can employees feel emotionally invested in a company that treats them as mere workers? Get them more involved. Let them know how the company is doing, what their managers are struggling with, and which direction will their leaders take them. This acknowledges each person has something to contribute to the success of the organization. In addition, do not carry out company policies without consultation or explanation because it disregards the employees' role as stakeholders in your company.
TIP #6: Actively listen to your employees.
Set a time to discuss things with your employees and listen to their feedback. Those at the front-line deal with your consumers daily and more closely than your core management does. And so, these front-liners ought to know what actually happens and what should be done to improve customer satisfaction. Consider their suggestions and let them know the management cares. This empowers them, and builds upon their trust and loyalty towards the company.
Dreamworks has taken this one step further by making it more intimate. They gather their employees and let them talk on their personal projects and accomplishments. And so, employees get a deeper insight about one another, allowing them to inspire and respect one another, and feel they are more than just office tools.
The BPO industry has ballooned quickly -- too quickly perhaps for some managers. To satisfy increasing demands, CEOs and managers became too focused on revenue, performance and output. All too often, they end up pushing down the welfare of their employees to the bottom of their list of priorities.
Employee engagement in the BPO Industry is more than about distributing gift certificates, giving away freebies, or getting them VIP access to the hottest parties in town. It's about making agents feel valued and appreciated, and giving them the opportunities to advance in their careers and to improve their social and economic well-being.
Rethink Staffing can attest to the superlative outcomes that employee engagement brings. The Agent Bill of Rights similarly aims to increase employee engagement as other textbook managerial approaches. It has indeed resulted to optimal performance: lower daily absenteeism rate, lower annual attrition rate, greater productivity, and better quality of work.
Getting employees to love their job and their workplace enables them to actually do better and drive the company forward. And, not just count the hours until the next payday comes. They are happy and this shows in the quality of their output and their superior performance. And who else is happy? The clients and consumers, of course.