Contact Centers: When Money Is Not a Motivator
As any contact center manager will attest, not all employees lick their chops at a chance to boost their salaries. Once they’re paid a living wage, many workers cite other contributors to job satisfaction.
“Studies of employee motivation reveal that some workers would rather have more autonomy in their jobs, while others just want to be able to trust their immediate supervisors,” says Liz Kislik, president of Liz Kislik Associates, a management consultancy based in Rockville Centre, N.Y. “Others want to deal better with their bosses, while still others are motivated by having a friend at work.”
That’s why instituting only monetary rewards programs may not effectively compel all of your contact center reps to strive for excellence. Here are some ways to motivate that “other” percentage of your staff:
* Steer them to certain jobs. “Some reps simply aren’t interested in participating in aggressive, commission-based, upselling or cross-selling programs,” says Kitty Dertinger, customer service manager at New Pig catalog. “Rather, they want to give good customer service or have error-free work. We try to encourage that by steering them to jobs that reward that behavior, for example, handling fax orders, training other reps or even taking supervisory roles.” In this way, even the non-money-motivated have a career path at New Pig, Dertinger notes.
* Tell employees how they’re contributing to corporate-wide success. “I’ve found that people mostly want to be part of a successful organization,” says Ross Adams, HR manager at New Pig. “And if you add in fun and recognition to that, then more money becomes merely a token to them.”
* Adopt the personal touch. “People get off track sometimes,” says Angela Wolfe, contact center manager at Orvis catalog. “They have kids, they miss work, get distracted. Just having a manager touch base with the employee to ask, ‘Is everything all right? Can we help you with anything?’ can really mean a lot to some people.”