Gone are the days when corporate culture was stifling and restrictive, limiting employees to a one-size-fits-all mold. Today, corporate culture is more like a bespoke suit, customised to fit each unique employee, while still aligning with the company’s values and mission. Just like a well-tailored suit elevates one’s style, a positive corporate culture elevates employees, unlocking their full potential and bringing out the best in them. It’s time for your contact centre to embrace a corporate culture that inspires, motivates and supports employees.
How to transform your Contact Centre
The new hybrid and work from home model has thrown how leaders interact with employees and how coworkers connect with each other on its head. Contact centres have rapidly adapted to remote work arrangements in order to maintain operations. Most contact centres operated in physical office spaces with large numbers of employees, however, in response to Covid-19, many contact centres made the move to work from home (WFH) models. This need to remain flexible during the pandemic revealed the ineffectiveness of a top-down leadership approach which doesn’t allow for quick adaptation and decision making at the ground level, where most of the changes and challenges are being faced. Company culture has grown in importance, thanks to recent high-profile culture crises such as those at Uber, pushing for diversity, equity and inclusion alongside the continuing fight of the #MeToo movement. It is because of these cultural shifts that the bottom line is now affected by how strategically important culture has become. It can no longer just be divided up and delegated.
EMPOWER EMPLOYEES AND TEAMS TO BUILD HEALTHY AND VIBRANT MICRO-CULTURES THAT ARE FREE OF TOXIC BEHAVIOURS.
This approach to culture-building is known as a “bottom-up” or “holistic” approach, where the responsibility for shaping the company culture is shared by all members of the organisation. It recognises that every individual has a role to play in shaping the culture and creating a positive and inclusive workplace environment. This approach also involves a continuous process of evaluation and improvement, ensuring that the company culture remains relevant and aligned with the company’s values and goals.
In a contact centre, culture encompasses the behaviour and attitudes of all individuals, from agents to management. To remain competitive, companies must empower their employees and teams to cultivate healthy and thriving micro-cultures devoid of negative behaviours. As Sonja Van Den Bosh, Co- Founder of ONE Beyond Success, explains, when businesses “empower employees and teams to build healthy and vibrant micro- cultures that are free of toxic behaviours. [Because] as humans we are more likely to be connected to and care about something that we helped build, shape and influence.”
The Remote Revolution: Navigating the Challenges of Maintaining Strong Corporate Culture in the Contact Centre Industry Amidst the shift to WFH
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of remote work, particularly in the contact centre industry. An Australian Bureau of Statistics report shows 40.6 percent of Australians are working from home, and two-thirds of managers in the industry are now working from home regularly. The shift towards remote work has brought about numerous challenges for contact centres, one being the challenge in ensuring a strong corporate culture is maintained. It is crucial for contact centre organisations to ensure that their values, beliefs, and work environment are preserved even when employees are working from a different location, to maintain the high level of customer service that is expected in the industry.
Sonja Van Den Bosch noted that “connectedness becomes the most common consistent cultural experience. More important than physical proximity is emotional proximity. It’s about being seen, heard, and valued for who you are and feeling that you are contributing to something larger than yourself.”
The Key to a Thriving Contact Centre: Empowering Employees with the Right Tools and Support
The corporate culture within a contact centre plays a pivotal role in determining the success of the organisation. Given that contact centre employees engage with customers on a daily basis, it is imperative that they are empowered with the necessary resources and support to provide a positive customer experience.
Creating this positive culture for both on site and WFH agents, is essential for the wellbeing of employees and the success of your organisation. A thriving culture can lead to higher morale, job satisfaction and a sense of pride in the work they do. To achieve this it’s important to focus of key elements, such as promoting open communication, facilitating professional development, recognising and rewards merit, encouraging collaboration and promoting a healthy work-life balance.
Incorporating these elements into the culture of your business can foster an atmosphere of support and inclusivity resulting in increased employee engagement and therefore, enhance customer experiences.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is paramount for remote agents. This can be achieved by offering flexible schedules and the proper technology and support for their remote work. It is important to understand that achieving this balance is a personal and situational matter, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Rather than striving for perfection, recognising and rewarding top performers can motivate others to strive for excellence, regardless of their location. As Vincent Nair, from SmartTech Business Systems notes, “cultural balance for people who work from home is very situational and cannot be seen as a one-size-fits-all situation. Try to avoid the pressure to find the perfect balance, because it’s impossible to get right all of the time.”
Implementing these elements into the organisation’s operations can significantly enhance the corporate culture, yielding positive results for the call centre. This will increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and motivation, leading to enhanced customer service.