Does your back office feel like they are being left behind? As a supervisor or manager you may not realize you’ve neglected your back office staff, causing what’s commonly known as back office blues.
Back office employees are usually highly skilled, needing to collaborate with other departments in order to connect the dots of each individual file. Added to that, they typically deal with customers through tickets or emails; they don’t get as much instant feedback on their performance. On the phone, there’s more urgency, you get a sense of the customer’s needs through her tone of voice. Emailing back and forth can draw out case resolution for a longer period of time, de-motivating your staff.
Therefore, keeping back office employees motivated is crucial in order for them to stay productive and keep processes in check. By failing to do so, processes can fall through and cases can get delayed or entirely lost.
Because cases can take more time to solve and be far more complex in nature, it’s important to frequently assess their key performance indicators and give feedback around those KPIs to drive customer satisfaction. Doing so will let back office staff know when a job is well done and point them in the right direction. By taking on the responsibility of providing constant feedback and recognition, you’re guaranteed to improve the energy level of your employees and keep them hyped.
Let’s take a look at several best motivational methods you can use to place your back office into an improved state of mind and keep employees motivated.
Give your back office staff a clear sense of direction
We all know that micromanaging any employee is a recipe for disaster. In this regard, it’s better to provide a clear sense of direction so staff can work independently towards a target goal. Unlike the typical call center agent, technical support agents shouldn’t be measured on time to resolve as much as first case resolution. The point is to get the ticket closed. The customer shouldn’t have to email back and forth a dozen times to get their problem solved:
Here are some recommended KPIs to track your technical support agents:
- Forecasting and scheduling: using the right amount of staff in relation to the workload
- Quality analysis: use screen capture to monitor processes
- First case resolution: how many interactions it takes for the agent to solve the challenge.
You can employ this approach by giving feedback in advance so employees know how to deploy the action plan and where they need to get. It’s about getting the right measurements of each ingredient, and giving enough information but still leaving room so they can rollout the job their own way. By leaving space for personal input, it opens door for improvement and makes your back office feel valued.
Take the time to listen to concerns
Don’t discount the need to sit down and listen to the concerns of your back office team. Keep an open door policy to discuss and share issues they face within their department whenever necessary.
Like weekly psychology appointments, meeting with management can resolve operational ticks and interpersonal frustrations. Your team needs you!
Meeting with them one-on-one or collectively so they can chip in and build off each other’s ideas is a great way to smooth out the kinks they need addressed to help them execute their jobs effectively.
Get together outside of the office
Break up the monotony by taking your office out of the office! Take your entire back office team out for karaoke, bowling or any other type of team building event to build relationships or refresh on existing knowledge.
Not only will this serve to strengthen coworker collaboration, but by breaking the routine and changing the chip, your back office staff can go back to work with new ideas and increased motivation.
But if organizing a team building seems too much of a challenge, consider simply going out for lunch together regularly, or breaking the workday with some birthday cake and small talk. You’d be surprised how discussing other matters apart from work could improve your workplace.
Offer bonuses beyond cash
In the past, monetary bonuses were the way employees were rewarded for their efforts. However, today we now know that employees aren’t always motivated by monetary compensation and motivation based on money can be temporary and in some cases only last a few weeks!
Especially with Millennials, money is no longer the strongest motivator. Instead, the real incentive lies in being part of a winning team, feeling valued, and being able to bring contributions that make a real impact and leave a footprint.
This might seem like a hurdle as all this happens on a psychological level. Yet, actions such as listening and acting on employees’ suggestions and letting them innovate is a first step to building a winning team and contact center.
Provide educational opportunities
Your back office can’t progress without ongoing training and education. No matter how competent your back office team is, to stay on top of the game, they need to stay updated about the changes in their industry.
To help them do so, it’s essential to provide consistent training and educational opportunities to your back office staff. By providing them with the right tools and knowledge, it drives them to advance professionally and develop their expertise.
While empowering individual back office staff members is necessary, encouraging them to collaborate with other team members helps boost motivation thanks to the powerful results it yields.
Like atoms fusing together, although each back office employee can efficiently work on their own, by fostering a collaborative environment, coworkers can share their particular niche of expertise and create new, practical ideas when combined.
Such fusions are exciting and motivating as they allow staff to give their input and produce real results.
At the end of the day, keeping employees motivated sounds a lot like rocking at parenting. Orienting your staff in the right direction while giving them room to grow and being there just in case they need your guidance or a shoulder to lean on. Motivating is just about providing the right tools. Your employees will do the rest.