When you consider the often vast range of people who work in call centres, a mix of all shapes and sizes, cultures, opinions and personalities it’s either a huge can of worms waiting to be opened or a great place to flourish, I can’t always decide but a programme that promotes teamwork and fosters an environment that is conducive to success, increased efficiency and workplace harmony will have agents pulling together to achieve results.
What you have to remember is that your team is made up of several individuals, so when thinking about an incentive program you must consider this. What will incentivise one team member may not work as well with another, so it’s better to have more than one program in place. You don’t necessarily have to run them all at the same time, the aim is to get everyone working towards a common goal, how they achieve that will depend largely on their own personality.
Problem to Note
The problem is this, if we take an outbound sales team as our example, within that team you will have a mixture of skills and abilities, you’ll have a couple of great salespeople who always beat target and constantly win every prize you put up. You’re likely to have a couple of newbies who will aspire to reach the top and you’ll have everyone else, those that, forgive the expression, will plod along quite nicely, hitting target most of the time and being generally reliable. The difficulty is what happens if the same people win every time? That’s great for them but will have the adverse effect on everyone else – nobody likes to always come second. The trick is to operate a program or programs where everyone has a chance to win.
The Quick Fix
I’ve always found that ‘quick fix’ incentives can lift a team almost instantly, the sort of thing they can win and take home today, they don’t even have to be expensive, I once started a game of pass the parcel using newspaper and pound shop toys that created a huge increase in sales, you just have to use your imagination.
The bottom line is this, for any team incentive to work every member of the team has to feel that they have a fair chance, otherwise they switch off, make no effort and you start fighting a loosing battle.
This article has been kindly contributed by Stuart Pearce of PRG Solutions. Stuart can help you with training staff in call centres and telesales and even help to set up a new call centre. He has written a book on the subject and would welcome any questions.