We want to pose a quick question: What do you think of the team you manage? Are they the crème de la crème, or would you rather pass this question? The interesting bit is that as harsh as this inquiry might sound, the answer may well have a lot more to do with you than with them. Do you have an effective performance management system?
Before we get into that, we would like to look at something a little different.
In the story told by the Roman poet Ovid, Pygmalion is a sculptor who falls in love with a statue he has created. The statute he sculpted was so perfect he fell in love with it and started wishing it was a real woman, even naming her Galatea. Well, the Goddess Venus saw this and actually made Galatea into a real live woman. Thus arose the Pygmalion effect, where you get what you wish or expect.
Just think about it, when you have a high expectation of how an agent should perform, the agent in question will tend to pay more attention to your expectations and set more ambitious goals to reach them. Simply put, managers who believe in their team members’ potential will bring out the best in their people. That is by helping them believe in themselves and continuously challenging them to grow while supporting them along the way.
At Call Criteria, we believe a good management system’s main objective is to create an agile, involved, and dedicated workforce. We often see contact center managers who are quick to judge and label their agents as underperformers.
When the agents finally perform poorly, the managers pat themselves on the back for their sharp judgment of people’s poor performance and continue to label others as underperformers, too, creating a vicious cycle. If this is you, we advise you to think out of the box and develop a system that motivates your team to perform better.
If you ask people what performance management is, you are likely to be told that it is an annual performance appraisal. A review process discusses key results from the year, performance expectations, and goal setting for the year ahead.
Some people will say that it is a self-assessment for employee development and reflecting on individual goals, team goals, and strategies to improve those objectives and key results. However, not many people will tell you that performance reviews include real-time feedback on a day-to-day level using performance management software.
Though, the truth is that if you look at goal setting and employee engagement on a day basis, you can have a real and positive impact on your company culture.
Therefore, the bigger, more prominent question should be; how do you incorporate these practices if not through an annual performance review?
Team goals and strategies are not as simple as a performance appraisal, no matter how often you do them. Effective performance management systems require regular check-ins by both you and your employees.
To create an effective performance management system that takes advantage of more than the immediate boss’ view while emphasizing the future more than the past, you need to ask yourself these key questions.
Forget about creating bonus targets to justify compensation decisions. Do your employees know which practices and goals you expect from them? Do they understand why they are supposed to behave in such a manner and how their employee performance affects the organization and their personal career goals?
The best performance management systems will ensure your expectations and strategies are clear, and your employees know how their contribution will be measured. For example, Call Criteria works with call center managers to create custom scorecards based on expected behaviors along with a detailed report. That ensures all agents know how to contribute towards the success of the organization.
As a third-party call center quality Assurance Company, we have noticed that most managers only talk to their agents about short-term tactical details without focusing on the long-term goals they’re trying to achieve as a company. Furthermore, that is often at their annual performance review.
Efficient performance management systems will accommodate regular and real-time performance feedback between managers and agents to ensure the organization is moving forward as a whole with little or no friction.
While the most common way to discuss performance feedback is through annual review, you have much more success with regular performance appraisals.
How often do you meet with your agents to review the set goals against their current performance? Do you frequently coach your agents on how they can improve future performance? Do you use performance management software to track their progress and report if they meet the goals set?
As you create your management system, be sure to provide a platform where feedback on performance set against set requirements are easily accessible to both agents and managers.
Let’s face it; everyone in your contact center has plans for a bright future. In fact, this might be the main reason your employees come to work every day. Therefore, it is essential that your performance management model factors in development planning, allowing managers and agents to discuss future career growth opportunities periodically.
Leaving this crucial part out of any check-ins may leave you with a team of disengaged agents who have lost track of their long-term career plans. Performance management software can help you with taking notes of their ambitions, too.
An efficient performance management model ensures the organization is working together with the managers to monitor top performers and poor performers. With such data, managers can quickly make decisions about retaining talent, addressing counter-productivity, and shaping future actions to improve performance.
For example, Call Criteria offers 3rd party call center QA services to help managers know how each agent performs based on a custom scorecard.
While you may argue that other facts apart from performance influence pay, your performance management system should acknowledge that performance is a critical factor in pay decisions.
Furthermore, your organization’s performance model should treat training and compensation as investments to motivate, retain, and develop employees based on expected future contributions. And as we all know, the best way to predict future performance is to use historical data.
Keeping in mind that staffing decisions send a strong message about the company’s priorities, your performance management model should provide accurate data on agent performance to ensure staffing decisions are backed up by reliable data on how an agent’s past performance supported your organizations’ goals and values.
There is no silver bullet for performance management systems. Nonetheless, as a business leader, you need to understand that the management model you create should align with and support the types of behaviors that drive your contact center’s performance.
Would you like to know the behaviors that drive performance in your call center? Talk to an expert.