NobelBiz | Blog Employee Recognition, Rewards & Incentive Strategies for Contact Centers Published on 03. May, 2022 Creating a high-performance work environment and retaining employees requires much more than benefits, a high salary, or even brunch catering. Nowadays, most of the employees nowadays can also obtain compensation conditions from your competitors, as well. And although compensation is key to attracting top talent, it’s not what will keep your employees in your organization. Honesty, trust, and recognition of employees are reported to be the most important critical elements to mobilize mobilizing employees and to making them feel appreciated. Recent studies indicate that employees leave their jobs Latest studies indicate that the main reason employees leave their job is primarily because they don’t feel sufficiently recognized. Employees are the heartbeat of your call center. However, they won't stick around for long without proper recognition and reward. In fact, the average call center turnover rate is a high 36%, according to Call Center Helper. If you think about it, employees are the most important asset of your company. They define corporate culture, drive performance and deal with customers. Therefore, the fact that managers are not recognizing and appreciating their work, can be highly costly for the company. This article will explain why employee recognition is based on creating a culture of recognition, and whether you can use reward and incentive strategies for contact centers. What is employee recognition? We often associate employee contribution with high performance, but that is not entirely the case. Teamwork effort, involvement in daily tasks, and overall ideal behavior contribute to a vibrant culture of recognition and should be appreciated. An employee who stays late to help another employee and goes beyond what is expected, delivers before the deadline, and constantly exceeds your expectations are examples of behavior that should be recognized in a strong culture of recognition. If you can’t remember when was the last time you congratulated your highest-performing team member, you are not alone. 40% of employees believe that recognition is not a priority in the company. When you appreciate somebody for their efforts in a meaningful way, this instills a sense of belonging, boosts employee morale, and reinforces that somebody values and recognizes their efforts. Along with boosting employee morale, recognition can boost retention, productivity, and employee engagement. Authentic employee recognition can show that the employee has achieved a goal, and words of appreciation can mean a lot for somebody who has worked hard to achieve that goal. By reinforcing behaviors that align with the company’s values, an employee recognizes what is expected of him and more likely will continue to do so in the future. ‘’Anticipating, recognizing, and meeting your agents’ needs is now more important than ever. Not every-one is motivated in the same way, so understanding what’s going to work to motivate your agents to succeed is crucial for maximizing your call center's performance. By designing new, fun, innovative recognition programs and providing the necessary tools for proper training, you will allow them to grow as individuals.’’ Praise and rewards are directly linked to job satisfaction. Unfortunately, the Contact Center industry is famous for having the highest turnover, and call center agents often lack job satisfaction. The concerning high turnover, high shortages, and increased absenteeism rates tell us that agents come and go in a vicious cycle that has gotten only worse with the emergence of The Great Resignation. Millions of employees have been leaving their jobs since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and call centers have been impacted nationally by The Great Resignation. As a result, a significant numbers of roles remain open. The mass exodus of employees driven by pandemic workforce management issues and unpredictable supply chain are adding to the challenges contact center were already facing. Some of the main reasons impacting this is not feeling valued at work, low employee morale, and lack of recognition. What is the difference between incentives, rewards, and recognition? You've always known that your employees are the key to your company's success, but you need to do more than just tell them that. It would help if you showed them. While it might be tempting to think about employee recognition strategies as a wish list for when you have time or money to spare, it is important to remember the bottom-line impact of motivated, engaged employees: they deliver better service and sales, which boosts revenue and improves customer satisfaction—and both are good for business. But where do you start? The first step is understanding the difference between incentives, rewards, and recognition. First and foremost, recognition is often associated with rewards, and these terms are used interchangeably, but we should start by differentiating them. Recognition is an intangible form of appreciation, has emotional value, consists of something experienced, and helps build bonds and create emotional connections between the company and employees. The concept is broad, but mainly any gesture made to recognize your employees’ great work and a person’s intrinsic value, can be referred to as employee recognition. On the other hand, rewards are a tangible form of appreciation and recognition and are often attached to monetary value. Flexible rewards, a digital recognition platform, and gift cards are often used to give positive reinforcement for staff behaviors. Some other employee rewards can include bonuses, days off, or shorter worker hours. Incentives are programs with a specific goal, like increasing sales by a certain percentage by the end of the year or reducing absenteeism by half. When asked about the difference, 80% of the employees say that recognition is more satisfying than gifts or rewards at work. Because there is no size-fits-all approach, each employee has unique needs. Here are some call center rewards and recognition ideas and strategies that you can review and implement at your company: What are the best ways to reward and recognize call center employees? 1. Highlight actions and employees that stand out During team meetings, take the opportunity to highlight a good move, behavior, or effort and try to be precise and authentic. You can start with a sincere ‘thank you’ and a personalized message highlighting the importance of their work. 2. Share decisions Inviting employees to decide together on the next steps or a future project, demonstrates your confidence in their judgment, empowers them, and makes them feel more involved. 3. Write a birthday card by hand This might sound like an old-school method, but it’s much appreciated! Your writing can be most effective when the birthday is accompanied by highlighting recent accomplishments and efforts. 4. The recognition table Another great example meant to boost workplace engagement is the recognition table. This is a tradition used by several companies, like SnackNation, where employees stand in a circle and take turns mentioning why they want to recognize an employee. It’s a great way to increase teamwork between departments and boost peer recognition. 5. Have an employee recognition day Or an ‘employee week’, any of these two examples work great for developing team spirit as long as you show employees that you are grateful and create activities that offer a good time with colleagues (escape rooms, indoor potluck, etc.) 6. Individual lunch/dinner Taking the time to have dinner or lunch with different employees will help you gain insights into their motivations, career ambitions, personal needs, and preferences. It’s quality time meant to develop bonds between employees and managers and showcase the employee's importance in the team. Employee rewards programs are a great way to increase engagement and motivation, but some prefer money while others prefer experiences (activities, travel) or gifts. The practical way to go about this is to ask your employees what could contribute best to their motivation and preferences and adjust the program accordingly. 7. Opportunities for promotion within the company Offer opportunities for promotion within the company. When employees feel like there's no way up in their careers, it can be demoralizing and demotivating. Promoting from within as often as possible gives people hope that they, too, might one day reach their goals if they work hard enough! Celebrating important milestones, rewarding behaviors and recognizing success makes all the difference when bringing people on board, connecting them with the organization and positively impacting those around. Michael Tamer talks about this in First Contact Podcast: Stories of the Call Center. Conclusion Each employee is motivated differently, and the main idea behind a call center employee recognition and rewards programs is to recognize the value of each individual. This will have a positive impact on engagement levels and create stronger bonds through emotional connection. In this way, the recognition strategy will improve the overall culture of call center work. Having an employee recognition program is no longer just a good thing to have in your company, . Nowadays, it has become an essential part of a successful business, and companies go above and beyond to make sure recognition is a natural part of their culture. By taking the time to appreciate your employees, they will give back tenfold. People respond to authentic, sincere, and attentive ways in which managers can appreciate them based on what they value. Work Remotely with our True Omnichannel Solution: NobelBiz OMNI+ Brings Your Contact Center into the Present You need a solution that lets you do everything remotely, from a single platform with as little effort as possible. That’s where NobelBiz OMNI+ comes in!