There is a lot of advice out
there on what to do to improve performance management (PM). We’re going to
approach that question differently, with three tips on what not to do. Why?
Perhaps by framing the advice this way, it will be easier for some call centers
to realize that these mistakes are all too common. If you want to set a new
goal for this challenge, the place to start might be in breaking some
long-standing bad habits.
Don’t Do This: Set General Goals
Why try to hit specific
numbers and performance targets?
“As long as things seemed
headed in the right direction, that’s good enough.”
The problem with this
approach is it doesn’t last. Without clearly defined goals agents tend to be
less vigilant. The targets on KPIs should be established and disseminated to
all personnel, with those who get there receiving acknowledgement and reward,
while those who do not receive additional coaching and training. With the data
delivered by a workforce management solution, call centers can know exactly
where they are, and where they need to be.
Don’t Do This: Subjective Scores
Some performance management
systems rate an agent on average handle time or quality of greeting on a 1-10
scale. The problem is what constitutes a ‘4’ or an ‘8’ or any other score in
that range. One manager’s ‘6’ might be another’s ‘9.’ Scoring must be
consistent, or agents will not buy into the program.
Don’t Do This: Deal With PM When It’s Convenient
When performance management reviews are not built into a weekly or
monthly schedule, they are easily delayed when other business pops up and takes
precedence. Scoring sessions and agent meetings and reviews should not be
rescheduled unless a genuine crisis arises. If they are postponed regularly,
agents will eventually realize they’re not that important to management – which
suggests that performance itself is not a priority. That will impact how some
agents do their jobs.