The concept of agent happiness is nothing new. Many companies have been focused on creating employee-centric programs that will keep their people healthy and safe at work, and also help them balance their time for personal and professional endeavors.
But, to achieve agent happiness, does a business have to spend a lot? Is giving everyone a raise the best way to make your employees happy? For outsourcing firms and their small-scale business clients, here are a few simple ways to keep their support staff healthy and happy.
1. Give your staff as much autonomy as possible.
When you give your employees the power to make certain decisions in relation to their jobs, you're giving them autonomy and a sense of control over the outcomes of their actions. This leads to employees having a sense of ownership and accountability over their work. These decisions, however, are usually small and do not impact the financial health of the company.
2. Give your staff the time and resources they need to master the necessary skills set.
Knowing how to do the job correctly and having the tools to make their work easier are important to your staff. Provide training for your new employees and the opportunities to upgrade the skills of your older workers. This is part of their growth as career professionals.
3. When they do exemplary work, reward them as generously as you can.
Some companies choose to give out bonuses while others reward their top performing employees with all-expenses paid trips to major tourist destinations. It's important that your employees recognize a direct connection between effort and reward.
4. Provide regular feedback to employees and seek out their ideas or suggestions any way you can.
Improving employee happiness and engagement fosters a collaborative culture and increases productivity. One way of promoting agent happiness is to provide regular feedback and complimenting them for a job well done. At the same time, ask them for feedback on how well their team leaders and managers are doing.
Seek input from your employees. They are often at the frontline facing your customers each day. They're also the ones most affected by corporate decisions. Ask for their ideas on how to increase efficiency at work and how to improve the way your company engages with customers.
5. Create a sense of community among your employees.
Create a friendly atmosphere among your employees. Friendship is a contributing factor to happiness at work. Employees who work closely together often become friends over time. They become each other's source of emotional support when dealing with stressful situations in the workplace. They also serve as each other's cheerleaders, pushing their friends to continue doing their best and achieving their goals.
If you're one of those companies that organize events meant to benefit people in their communities, then encourage your employees to participate in your community-oriented activities. Your employees will feel a sense of pride for the good things that your company does. This will also nurture a sense of belonging to your company's culture and build an emotional connection between your staff and the local community.
6. Provide security of tenure to your employees.
The outsourcing industry can be tough for those who are new to customer support. But, there's always a chance for employees to move into a more stable position. Knowing they have security of tenure, outsourcing workers are assured of a good-paying job that will sustain them in the long run.
In the Philippines, employees who have been with the company for 6 months immediately become regularized, which means they would start receiving additional benefits and they won't be easily terminated. Sadly, this six-month rule is the reason why some companies in the Philippines choose to hire workers on ENDO contracts that only last 5 months. The day before their fifth month ends, they're let go.
7. Create an organizational culture that matches the values of your employees. At the same time, hire workers that have the same values as your organization.
When outsourcing, consider the cultural values of the people you'll be hiring as offshore staff. People from different cultures perceive happiness at work in different ways. Some people value the prestige of working for a multinational company and earning higher wages. Other people place greater importance on the socio-economic impacts of a job and how meaningful it is to society in general.
It's been established that happiness at work can increase productivity and improve cognitive functions by as much as12 percent. Friendship with co-workers and a stable job can also improve agent happiness. Add to the mix some financial, spiritual, and emotional rewards, and you'll surely have employees who are satisfied with their jobs.