Who Wants to Improve Employee Engagement?

The answer is everybody wants to improve employee engagement.

Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate and committed to their work. It can’t be overstated. It has proven to increase production, efficiency and reduce turnover.

Sound familiar? These pain points are the major challenges for call center leadership.

Here’s some interesting research:
  • Gartner Research predicts that by 2020 agent engagement will be the key difference that defines the top 20 % of contact centers.
  • Top performing call centers have 60% more engaged employees.
  •  A 5 % increase in employee engagement can drive a 3 % increase in revenue.
It is easy to see that employee engagement is one of the keys to success. Why do we struggle in the call center with employee engagement? Because it is hard and no one factor is able to solve the challenge.

However, we do have access to lots of data and analytics. I guesstimate there are over 25 metrics used in call centers. You know them: SL, CSAT, ASA, AHT, FCR, Response Time and the list goes on.

Current thinking now defines all this information as “Intelligence”. The more intelligence we have, the more we will help solve some employee engagement problems.

The top four benefits of Intelligence (information, data and analytics) are:
  • Identify opportunity- Employees and management can use intelligence to improve certain tasks.
  • Improve customer sales and service- Employees become more connected with the customer and company goals. On average engaged employees produce 23 % more revenue.
  • Better efficiency and production- Employee engagement will improve efficiency. It creates a highly motivated work environment.
  • Reduces cost- Engaged employees reduce the costs of recruitment, sick leave and absenteeism.
There are two sources of intelligence.

Business Intelligence (BI) is computer-based techniques that analyze what has happened to date. It is a static snapshot of where you have been. All those call center metrics and other analytics help our employee engagement. BI intelligence looks for efficiencies to improve future results.

Operational Intelligence (OI) is a form of real-time information feeds. It takes live feeds and event data to deliver insight into operations.

To explain the difference of the two intelligence sources picture driving a truck. You have Business Intelligence which is using your rearview mirror to see where you have been. It is helpful but doesn’t always allow you to see the road ahead. On the other hand, Operational Intelligence looks through the windshield. It is like using your speedometer and MapQuest to help enable our real-time driving.

I have been working with Operational Intelligence application. With OI, agents can self-govern and correct their OWN performance. It improves agent engagement and performance.

The important parts of Operational Intelligence include:
  • Expectations:  It allows employees to know what is expected. It shows them what a positive performance is. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measured and benchmarked with your company’s input.
  • Measurement: The important KPIs are collected from multiple data sources and aggregated.
  • Awareness: Employees see their performance in real time. The more often they visualize their performance and KPIs, the more they can adjust and improve.
  • Transparency: The employee performance can be seen through the whole company. It creates a culture of self-government and self- improvement.
OI also means cost savings to your call center. We’ve seen increases in agent utilization from 10-25%. That means being able to do more with the same number of agents. Supervisors can handle bigger teams. One Visual Cue study showed that increasing team size, with no drop-in service, saw a yearly savings of $2.8 million.

If you add Organizational Intelligence to your center there will be many factors to consider and challenges. First, employees need to understand how it will help them. Focus on having them see how they will be able to do their job better. Show how it will make them more productive and eliminate frustration.

For leadership there will be several tasks; implementing, training and managing the process. Fine tuning your KPIs, determining costs and ROI will need to be considered.

No matter what intelligence you use, improving employee engagement empowers our teams. Employees will deliver more efficient and effective service.  

If you consider looking to Operational Intelligence or fine-tuning your Business Intelligence it will improve employee engagement.  It will be worth the effort.  Engaged employees want to come to work, know their job and understand how they contribute to the team and company success. As you look to intelligence to take your employee engagement to new heights... have a safe ride and have fun!
John Ruby is President and CEO of GCOM Worldwide. Contact John at 1(800)-710-8770 or jruby@gcomworldwide.com