Creating a Safe Environment for Your Inbound Call Center
Efficient teams work well with one another and strive to meet a common goal. As a leader, your responsibility is to encourage cooperation and ensure that the needs of stakeholders are taken care of. The environment you create when you start your inbound call center will serve as the foundation for future employees and business success. If you want, your employees to give everything to help the company succeed you need to create a safe environment.
A recent podcast on Firepole Marketing focused on good leadership skills and the benefits of a safe environment. The guest speaker was Simon Sinek, the author of several books on leadership, as well as online coaching programs. He discussed the attributes of an effective leader, including encouraging trust and cooperation among employees.
Environment Makes the Person
Sinek discusses how important environment is when it comes to how people behave. People will respond and adapt to their environment. A good person is capable of bad things and an individual who is considered bad will react positively depending on the situation they are in.
Leaders need to create a safe environment so that people don’t feel threatened, by their either fellow employees or managers. Once workers feel safe they will be able trust one another and work for the benefit of the group. If a threat is sensed then these same people will focus on their needs and not the good of the team.
If you are the owner of a small business or a start up every day can seem like a struggle. Can we get enough clients? Can we pay our bills? Can we pay our employees?
This constant sense of urgency can make everyone on the company feel as though they are constantly on red alert. When you try to run an inbound call center under such duress, it can be difficult to succeed. Why should employees give 100% today if they may not have a job tomorrow?
Rank Isn’t a Privilege
According to Sinek, one mistake many business owners make is paying themselves first. This may be what you are taught, but it sends the wrong message to employees. In order to create safe environment leaders need to prove that they are focused on their workers’ best interests. In companies where people think that management will take care of them no matter what the employees will do whatever it takes to make that company successful.
In businesses where people believe that their leaders put the needs of the company first individuals will only service their needs. This may include leaving the company when times get tough.
Inbound Call Center Success
What does this mean in terms of your inbound call center? You need to abandon the rank has its privileges philosophy and develop a servant leadership approach. Servant leadership is a management style that ensures employees have the tools they need to work productively. They also put the needs of the team first and don’t think of their success.
The servant leadership approach takes practice. It isn’t always easy to go against traditional business practices, but the payoff is a company filled with employees who will put everything on the line to find opportunities for the business and ensure its survival. You may need to consider how you appear to your call center agents. Do they think that you have their back? On the other hand, do they believe that you would sacrifice them to ensure the company’s survival?
You will also need to talk to your people and gain their feedback on ideas to improve the call center. Do they think that new tools are needed? Is there a lack of training for new agents or support for long-term employees?
These people are receiving the calls and working with the equipment. They have a perspective you don’t share and what they see can mean the difference between shutting your doors and a profitable business.
Creating a safe environment may also include outsourcing certain aspects of your business. If maintaining an inbound call center isn’t sustainable for your organization, you may want to consider outsourcing. Contact us to find out how we can help you with help desk, tech support and call center services.