What Makes A Great Place to Work…Great?

It’s the eternal question – how do you create a great workplace? It’s an issue for every employer, in every industry – but for contact centres, it can be a particularly prickly issue. In terms of scale, transience of staff and KPIs, there’s a lot working against the call centre to make it a great place to work – but it’s not impossible. We work day in, day out, with management teams who make their contact centres great places to work through their own personal efforts.

After all, retaining your talent is more than just a matter of paying the big bucks – while a competitive salary will attract them initially, it’s hard to keep them long-term if the cash is the role’s only redeeming factor.

So how do you create a great place to work?

We put this out to Twitter – and one user @fluctuact told us that for him, a “coffee room clearly separated from the rest of the floor, large enough desks and large windows [are] absolute essentials.” It’s true that the environment itself is a big factor in creating a place that people really want to be – and most contact centres have moved away from the cliched ‘factory-line’ image.

Corporate benefits are another factor that can lift a workplace from good to great. Our benefits survey last year showed that there are some great packages on offer to those working in the industry, including bonus schemes, car allowances, generous holiday and pensions, and a number of other extra perks that help to make work and life a little more balanced.

But what’s most important is the culture of your business. Being happy at work is a big deal – and can make all the difference to your ability to retain your staff.

So how do you promote a culture that means you’re as smiley as the ugly mugs above? (Yes – that’s us.)

1) Remember – everybody’s different.

In a contact centre environment – particularly the larger ones – it’s easy to forget that everybody’s different, as you’re all working to the same ends. But you can’t guarantee that everyone wants the same things from their workplace. As much as a group incentive might work for some people, others are motivated by individual performance – so offering a variety of different ways that your team can measure and understand their performance is a good place to start.

It’s worth bearing in mind whenever you’re working with a large team that everybody’s working for different reasons, and as such, everyone’s looking for something a little different out of their workplace. We’ve talked before about why great team leaders are important in this respect – and the best ones will have an understanding of what motivates and pleases every member of their team. If you can incorporate this into your company’s culture on a wide scale, you’ll find your employee satisfaction goes up – and your turnover goes down.

2) Make your success everybody’s success.

It’s much easier to engage your teams if they can see the bigger picture. While KPIs are there to motivate by providing targets to hit, without an understanding of why these targets are important, it can often seem that they’re arbitrarily plucked from the air. If, on the other hand, your agents and staff at all levels can see exactly where their targets fit in to the puzzle, their stake in the business suddenly becomes much clearer.

The same goes for celebrating these successes – letting all of your employees know how their individual hard work made a difference is key to making your contact centre a great place to work, as it’ll drive job satisfaction, and as a result, make your business even better.

3) Listen.

Yep. It’s that simple. Listen to your teams, and be open to their ideas. Not only will this help them to feel like they’re getting the recognition they deserve, but it’ll also give you the chance to see your business from the ground up. It’s easy sometimes to get caught up in the idea that the ideas generated by the strategic teams around you are the best – but in a contact centre, the people who deal with your customers day in, day out, will probably have a clearer idea of what they want than anybody else.

Those are our tips – what do you think makes a great place to work?

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