An atmosphere of optimism in the workplace encourages employee growth and increased performance. But a negative, hyper-competitive environment can stunt the growth of individual employees and lead to higher turnover rates.
One of the best ways to boost employee morale and establish a happier workplace environment is with an effective feedback culture.
A culture of feedback at work is an important part of professional development for staff. Not only will a strong feedback culture help your contact center grow, but it will also help your agents build a more extensive skill set as they learn to handle both positive and negative feedback.
What Is Feedback Culture?
A healthy workplace environment depends on honest feedback between employees at all levels of a contact center. Without a feedback culture, organizations remain stagnant and can hold themselves back. A robust culture of feedback at work helps shape individuals by correcting their mistakes, recognizing their strengths, and setting objectives to help them grow.
In practice, a culture of feedback at work comes to life both formally and organically. Regularly scheduled, structured performance reviews are one avenue, but organic feedback, delivered in the moment, is just as significant. If a contact center employee struggles to handle a customer interaction, for example, delivering insights for improvement on the spot can help them navigate their next interaction better.
While we often consider feedback to be negative, positive feedback is equally important.
Gallup research shows that employees whose manager’s feedback left them with positive feelings are 3.9 times more likely to be engaged than employees who felt hurt by feedback. A staggering four out of five who walked away with bad feelings say they’re looking for other employment — but only 3.6% of those with positive feelings are job hunting.
Think workplace feedback is top-down only? Think again. Horizontal feedback is equally significant. In a collaborative culture, agents can offer suggestions, ideas, and kudos to each other.
A great feedback culture doesn’t just happen overnight, but it’s a crucial aspect of your contact center that can improve overall performance.
Related Article: How Corporate Culture And Values Affect Customer Relations
Why You Need To Create A Culture Of Feedback At Work
According to OfficeVibe, 39% of employees don’t feel appreciated at work, and companies that implement regular employee feedback see 14.9% lower turnover rates.
In today’s workplace, the paycheck is no longer the sole reward. Employees have other needs that go beyond monetized rewards to feel valued and engaged at work.
With the contact center industry having relatively high staff turnover, it’s more important than ever to make sure contact center agents feel listened to by their manager and highly engaged in their work. A feedback culture allows everyone to feel rewarded. It gives employees a platform to deliver and receive constructive feedback — and the contact center a chance to identify and fix problems.
How To Create A Feedback Culture
1. Create A Regular System Of Feedback
According to Officevibe, 65% of employees surveyed said they wanted more feedback. Employees want to improve themselves! And they want recognition for their hard work. This benefits not only the team of agents but also the company. Feedback builds engagement, commitment, and a culture of tenure. Establishing a feedback culture is a win-win.
Related Article: How to Deliver Contact Center Quality Feedback
By incorporating a feedback system into your organizational structure, you can stop issues before they grow into bigger problems. Whether it’s weekly one-on-one sessions or daily conversations, creating a culture of feedback at work is expected.
2. Develop A Safe Feedback Culture
Contact center agents need to feel comfortable giving and receiving honest feedback.
You want your employees to feel safe enough to express their honest, authentic opinions, feelings, and most critical viewpoints. Without the assurance of safety, team members may hold back their very best insights for fear of backlash.
By fostering an environment where honest conversations can take place, you can get to the root of issues and iron them out. However, an employee should never feel forced into having a feedback conversation. If an employee isn’t in the right space to receive insights, postpone the conversation until they have cooled down and are more open to having the session take place.
Related Article: Coaching: the art of providing meaningful feedback
3. Don’t Make Feedback A Special Occasion
If you want to foster a culture of feedback at work and incorporate it into your organizational structure, it can’t be irregular. For feedback to feel normal, it shouldn’t be limited to an annual review.
Think of it this way: If you deliver feedback right away on a customer interaction gone wrong, the agent is less likely to repeat that mistake. If you deliver feedback on an interaction gone right, you maximize the potential for even more wins.
Give feedback throughout the work day, whether it is over a cup of coffee or during a quick meeting. The sooner it is normalized and becomes part of your agent’s everyday work life, the stronger your feedback culture will be.
4. Have More Than One Feedback Channel
Everyone gives and receives feedback in a variety of ways. Hey, we’re all different! By implementing various feedback channels, you’ll get your contact center agents more engaged in the process.
Some of the different types of feedback channels you can implement are:
- One-on-one sessions
- Feedback forms or written feedback
- Anonymous feedback
- Peer-to-peer assessment
- Closed-loop feedback
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5. Encourage Helpful Feedback
If everyone is only saying what an employee wants to hear, you defeat the purpose of a productive feedback culture, and you won’t be able to unearth any issues until it is too late.
While it can be tough to hear negative feedback, if it’s not addressed, agents won’t know where they’re going wrong. By being honest with your employees, you can help them grow by becoming more self-aware.
6. Enforce Accountability
The final step in creating a productive feedback culture is accountability. There needs to be a degree of transparency filtered down from management to contact center agents. Everyone needs to be aware of how the system works and its benefits.
Accountability ensures action. After receiving feedback, how will an agent change? For example, if the feedback is about their low customer satisfaction score, the next right step may be coaching on effective empathy skills or listening techniques.
By intertwining accountability within your feedback structure, you create a contact center environment where there is a strong sense of mutual trust, collaboration, and respect.
Contact center agents who feel heard by their managers will be happier at work and their productivity will increase, leading to higher rates of customer satisfaction. This positive ripple effect can’t be ignored.
As you implement the above points, remember to involve the whole team to fully reap the rewards. Lay the foundation for a strong feedback culture by getting every team member on board every step of the way.
Schedule a demo with Playvox to learn how we can help.