How to Reduce Stress in your Call Centre – and how the CEOs Relax!

Call centre management is a surprisingly demanding field, for a variety of reasons. Maintaining a positive culture in a contact centre environment requires a very particular type of person; someone who understands the need for motivation and variety at work.

It’s not enough to just be a good manager who is skilled at making sure the facts and figures are correct. We’ve recently discussed the importance of creative leadership, and in the contact centre, great leadership can go hand in hand with managing stress levels and reducing attrition.

If you’re experiencing higher than average attrition, it’s worth identifying whether this has anything to do with the culture in your call centre. If you’ve got a lot of competitors in your area, who can offer a more “appealing” work environment, you’ll struggle to retain your staff, and as a result, you’ll see higher attrition and a greater sense of dissatisfaction in your workforce.

Your staff are your most valuable asset, and it’s worth taking the time to assess the ways in which you can reduce their stress levels. After all, lower stress will mean higher performance in the long-term – so it’s worth nurturing them wherever you can!

There are a few steps that you can take to improve your staff’s experience at work – which will reduce both stress and attrition in your contact centre. If these tips don’t work, however, it might be worth taking a bit of “me” time to think about it – and if you’re short of inspiration, we’ve provided some handy tips from the CEOs.

So how can you reduce stress in your call centre?

Lead By Example

Great managers know that their attitude at work will be mirrored by that of their team. If you’re frazzled and clearly stressed, your staff will pick up on this – meaning that everyone feels the stress in the long term.

Make the Most of Breaks

Make sure your agents are making the most of their break time – if you can, offer perks like “Sleep Rooms” or fresh-air initiatives to keep your staff refreshed and upbeat after their breaks.

Keep Hydrated

It might be more efficient to plan for your agents to be at their desks all day long – but making sure that there are opportunities for agents to replenish their drinks is really important, especially in high-humidity, arid environments like call centres. Being dehydrated can lead to tiredness, headaches, and stress – not to mention croaky voices on the phone!

Offer First-Class Training

There’s nothing more stressful than feeling as though you’re out-of-control at work. Offering high-quality training to your agents, therefore, is a great way to ensure that your agents are happy with their work – and integrating 360 degree feedback exercises into their training can provide an insight into the ways you can be doing more to improve their staff experience.

Show Your Appreciation

Being a call centre agent can sometimes feel like a thankless job – but offering worthwhile incentive schemes, and even just saying “thanks” to your agents every so often can make a real difference to morale. Stress can be good, when it’s motivational – your agents will work harder to reach your targets if they can see something to gain in reaching them.

Better still, you can help your agents to beat stress by offering incentives that will help them to do so – discounted gym membership, for instance, or classes after hours, can make an enormous difference to stress levels for your employees, as well as improving their health and wellbeing in the long-term.

So that’s how to reduce stress and attrition at agent-level – but at the other end of the scale, here’s some of the ways the CEOs take time out:

A Luxury Holiday

Richard Branson’s private getaway, Necker Island, is a 74-acre island in the British Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean.

A week living like the CEO of Virgin will cost you a mere (gulp!) £237,000 – excluding flights, boats, and so on. But that’s for exclusive use – so if you really need to get away from it all, that’s the way to go!

Play Golf

The best golf course in the world?

Augusta National Golf Club has repeatedly been ranked the best in the world, and its list of clients is full of the very top members of the world’s largest businesses. Favoured by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jack Welch (General Electric) and James D. Robinson III (American Express) to name but a few, it’s incredibly exclusive – you’ll need a lot of cash and decorum to get into that green jacket.

Go Sailing

Joe Vittoria, the former Avis Rent-a-Car CEO, commissioned the largest single-masted sail boat in the world – it’s available to rent starting at $250,000 a week. Bargain.

Alternatively, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich owns three enormous ships, so when he’s busy watching the football, we’re sure he’d be able to spare one. Which brings us to…

Watch the Football

The aforementioned Mr. Abramovich bought Chelsea Football Club for £140million in 2003. It’s gone on to cost him a not-so-small fortune ever since.

We like football as much as the next person – but that’s considerably more than the price of a season ticket!

Stay Home & Watch TV

In your 8-bedroom, 25-bathroom home, valued at $125million in 2006. If you’re Bill Gates, that is.

His 66,000 sq ft estate has a 60-foot swimming pool with an underwater music system, as well as a 2,500 sq ft gym and a 1,000 sq ft dining room.

Cactus Search is the leading provider of Call and Contact Centre Management candidates to some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Internationally.

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