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Your workforce is your greatest asset. Having employees who are not only proficient but invested in their own growth and performance can be the differentiators to delivering the best customer experience in a competitive industry. Giving those employees the tools to perform well is key to achieving this. And top of the list should be tools that accommodate the rising need for workplace flexibility and adaptability.
The call for flexibility isn’t new. A 2018 study from Harvard Business Review found that 96% of employees said they needed flexibility, but only 47% reported having the flexibility they needed. The types of flexibility employees claimed they needed included the ability to adapt their schedules or locations — or to work part time. It’s safe to say these needs are heightened now, as workers are accountable for their workloads as well as other responsibilities tied to home and family.
Because of these shifts, contact centers run the risk of performing with a burned-out workforce. To make work-from-home agents successful, revise your employee experience and take measures to ensure effective and sustainable structures that give employees the flexibility they need.
Flexibility and Adaptability
More than ever, contact center employees need a work environment that’s understanding and flexible. And while, in the past, flexibility might’ve meant different work hours or being able to work from a café every so often, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing companies to rethink the definition of “flexibility” that’s built into their employee experience. What this means differs from organization to organization but, for the at-home workforce, it’s paramount to count on a system that allows for quick and agile communications with managers. Employees also need the ability to shift and adapt quickly to changes or new tasks.
Agents might also find their focus scattered during this time. They’re trying to balance household chores, family obligations and even just trying to make time to focus on their own health and wellbeing. All of this can negatively affect productivity. Contact center managers must be empathetic toward employees’ needs and find ways to empower their agents to take charge of their time.
Leverage the Power of Your People
Operating a rigid contact center or one that lacks workforce management tools also degrades employee morale and engagement. Giving agents a level of control over their own schedules promotes higher engagement and unleashes the power of your workforce. It puts the ability to drive performance in your agents’ hands.
Tools that seamlessly integrate with employees’ mobile devices better equip them to respond to drawbacks and manage their time efficiently. And this leads to a better work-life balance — especially in a time where work and life seem to blur together.
The Genesys Cloud CXTM platform gives agents the ability to access, manage, and influence their schedules through the Genesys TempoTM mobile app. Agents can easily view their schedules at any time from anywhere — and they can submit time-off requests and view the status of their requests.
Agents also can integrate their work schedules with their personal calendars. This provides visibility into all their requirements each day, whether they’re work-related or personal. And it allows them to manage their time and adapt quickly if needed. It also allows agents to use tools like Waze or Google Maps to plan their driving time and receive notifications when it’s time to leave to start their shift.
According to Harvard Business Review, “Employees without access to flexibility are twice as likely to report being dissatisfied at work, and half of the employees say they would leave their company if offered a more flexible alternative.” As the needs of your customers and their demands for excellent service both continue to rise, contact centers need to provide the tools for agents to take control of their time and performance — regardless of location or time.
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