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Build the right foundation for agent productivity

  • Sumita Banerjee
  • 15 May 2020
Build the right foundation for agent productivity

Agent satisfaction

It is a term that describes how content agents are at their workplace. It is all about the happiness quotient that motivates everyday presence and work in a workplace.

Agent engagement

Agent engagement are actions that an employer can take to drive growth, push agents to take challenges in their role and perform better. It keeps employees motivated.

Happiness and satisfaction derives equally from work environment and its policies as it does from growth and the nature of employee's role and its challenges.

Words like "agent satisfaction" and "agent engagement"  are often interchangeable but they play very differently in building agent productivity and their differences demand the leadership in an organisation to look at them separately.

  1. Agent engagement will drive the growth whereas employee satisfaction will sustain growth.

  2. Agent satisfaction is about small things which matter for an agent's comfort, whereas agent engagement leads to a bigger picture that includes pay hikes, learning & development, opportunities, career growth etc.

When we talk about agent productivity, it is not just monetary factors like - annual increment or a promotion or incentives etc that effect motivation, there are factors like agent safety, security, hygienic environment, good work culture etc. that also affect the overall fulfillment of the agents.

While satisfaction may vary from person to person, here are some changes that an employer can bring into their workspace in order to provide an environment which is conducive for productivity and contentment.

Creative/colourful workplace

  • It has been observed that colours have direct impact on human brain. Some colours rejuvenate, energize, feel ecstatic whereas few colours give dull, monotonous, boring, less impact on humans.Building colourful workstations with a creative look can boost employee satisfaction in a big way. A dull, stark, patchy interior creates a sluggish environment for agents.

Therefore, it is advisable to encourage your agents to decorate their own corners by keeping family photos, decorative pieces, small paintings etc. These will make them feel a homely comfort while working.

Grace time:

  • Most agents commute long distance every day to reach their workplace and in big cities, it is quite stressful. Due to heavy traffic or for some other reasons they may reach late and feel tired. They shouldn’t be met with harsh words or punishment as these situations are unavoidable. A stressed mind cannot deliver better productivity and it will accumulate as the days pass by.

Provide them some buffer time to settle down. Survey says most common stress for an employee is reaching office on time.

Refresh:

  • Agent usually have a very stressful and demanding work that slowly downgrades their productivity. This means they need more relaxation during break time so that they can get refreshed and be more productive during their shift time. Access to relaxing music or games can do the magic. Some sessions on empathy is a great advantage as they can apply it in their regular job.

Happy employees are 12% more productive

Clutter free environment:

A cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind and generally reduced agent productivity. An un-organised environment make things harder to manage, it leads to misplaced files, and missed deadlines as work goes unseen or unattended. A tidy workplace always enhance productivity. An employer can organise desk clean-up week or give awards or recognition for the most well-kept desk, in order to encourage their employees to keep their work desks clean and clutter free.

Organising workshops:

It is not always upto the employer to find out ways to improve efficiency among employees, even employees want to learn to work smart, they are interested in personal development. So organising workshops from time to time is an integral part of work management and efficiency development.

Food:

We look what we eat. Similarly, our body acts according to the intake of food. It needs nutritious food to pass energy to brain and other vital organs to perform properly throughout the day. Health journals say first meal of the day is vital for a body, so breakfast should be loaded with cereals, nuts, fruits, salads and proteins. Providing simple but energy giving food can play a major role in enhancing productivity.

Happier employees, productive agents

Open area concept:

This is a trend of the moment globally and much talks/debates are going on, on its efficiency. A simple way to observe its efficiency (if your organisation already implemented it) is just walk through the open floor and count number of earphones/head phones on workstation. It points to a fact that people are more distracted with all the noise an open plan creates and to avoid it they are plugging their ears. Personally, I can say I need earphone to create a barrier from noise. It distracts me from focusing. Secondly, employees are scared of getting critical comments from boss in an open environment.

It is very much essential to create private nooks/corners and conference rooms where staff can enter alone when they need to concentrate on work.

Work while you walk:

Sitting long hours not only invites trouble on limbs but also effects productivity. Standing up and moving around for 5/10 minutes in an hour relaxes brain as well as muscles. So it is preferred to keep some place in and around office for employees to move. As a good practise some offices have introduced, standing desks, power yoga etc to bring some muscle movement for their employees.

A healthy body drives a healthy mind

First hour of the day:

First hour of the day is very crucial as it comes with loads of energy, efficiency, and freshness, providing a conducive, noise free environment can help employees set the tone of the day. During this hour, encourage your employees to work as much as possible, ignore inbox and avoid internet and social media interaction. A good way to kick start the day is with essential tasks and planning for the rest of the day.

Laugh:

It is a common proverb - all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Research shows laughing improves heart/lungs efficiency, boost morale, makes environment positive and happy, enhances productivity. So never miss out on sending little humour mails to your team or take them on outings etc.

Relaxed mind produces better result

Recognition:

This is a very crucial tool in the hands of the employer. Acknowledgement, appreciation, rewards for a hard work bring direct impact on an employee's satisfaction. Proper encouragement and motivation from management can go a long way towards great work.

Ergonomics:

It is a known fact that when there is a discomfort in body, work efficiency takes a nosedive. A hurting back or an aching limb bars human from concentrating on work. It is a good practice to involve an ergonomic expert to access the sitting and working condition of the agents and to ensure that the agents get proper height, weight and posture while working.

Conclusion

A clean and tidy office will naturally depict an image of your company, employees and your business standards. A company that is modern looking, takes pride in their hygiene, will portray to potential clients and employees that these are values integrated in the company. For example, having a dirty or unorganised office may indicate to staff that the company does not have high standards; therefore, this may be reflected in their work as the quality of their work may deteriorate. Workplace environment can greatly influence an employee’s satisfaction at work. Happy and content workers are productive and are always inspired to do their jobs well. It also drastically affect agent attrition. These were the twelve simple hygiene factors that employers should take a note of and strive to achieve.

 



Author Bio:  Sumita has 12 years of strong experience in various segments of management ranging from contact center to process development with the help of lean Six Sigma methodology. She is an avid reader, occasional writer and an extensive traveler beyond her professional commitments.