Put the Right Person in the Right Seat
The four building blocks of a high-performance call center team
By Patty Azar
A few years ago, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that read: If you think education is expensive—try ignorance! For the call center industry, we should create a bumper sticker that reads: If you think employee development is costly, measure your turnover!
Forward-thinking call centers are embracing technology and refining their methods to recruit, hire and develop team members. Competition and the need to find and keep the best talent make it critical to put the right person in the right seat the first time.
Hire to Match Your Strategic Initiatives
The responsibility for the development and tenure of call center reps keeps falling on the shoulders of supervisors who have no power to change the employee development system. This explains the huge attrition numbers. Why are companies sanctioning an employee revolving door, and then pressuring front-line supervisors to perform? Why is it OK to hire and hire again?
Hiring is a true strategic issue initiative that must be owned, executed and properly rewarded throughout the senior executive team. This responsibility cannot be delegated to lower-level managers within the organization. The executive team has to recognize the turbulence and the costly result of call center rep turnover, and set standards for hiring and development that are in line with the company's strategic plan. This plan should not be limited to the number of call center reps. A smart plan outlines how a company intends to maintain a greater percentage of tenured workforce, which, in turn, requires a timeline and budgeted money for staff development.
All Members of the Organization Must Drive Strategic Sales
It is imperative that your call center challenge its current recruiting, hiring and development processes to hire the "whole" person. If skill is your first indicator of hiring and developing, you have already missed about 75 percent of the whole team member. This 75 percent shows up in behavior that drives creativity and critical thinking and taps into his or her ability. Without looking at the whole person, you miss key indicators that will help you determine what role best serves him, how he thinks, how he prefers to perform in the marketplace, how to stretch his performance and thinking, and how to put him on the right teams to drive results.