Employee Engagement is certainly a topic that I encounter on a regular basis. Service leaders are always curious about 2 things:
- Why is my frontline team disengaged?
- How can I make them engaged?
And most of the time the diagnosis is either an absence of effective coaching processes or an absence of culture…a culture promoting frontline behaviors and judgment absolutely necessary for the new “Quality 2.0” world. However, it has come to my attention that maybe you and I (who are supposed to be the experts) focus too much of our attention on the Why and the How. In the process, we overlook another important question…the Who. Who are these individuals that are filling the seats in the contact center…the individuals we are looking to engage and manage?
Our latest data from our major research initiative this year showed that within the last 2 years, the percentage of Millenials operating in the contact center has increased from 41% to 65%. I think it’s safe to say that the contact center is not getting any older. Certainly, many service leaders I speak to attach a negative connotation to the idea of managing Millenials. The challenges of understanding an entirely different generation are well documented. However, it is not impossible. In fact, it’s as easy as learning how to play Call of Duty on Xbox360…err…well maybe a little easier.
Tips for Managing Millenials
1) Offer Career Pathing and Mentoring – Millenials possess high aspirations particularly because they are new to the workforce and have something to prove. Try to take a vested interest in their development. Have conversations about their professional goals and if possible, help map out a career growth path. (See how Dow Chemical did it.)
2) Provide Feedback and Recognition – Millenials expect immediate feedback and validation. Be transparent around expectations. Be sure to discuss performance and ways to improve on a regular basis. Provide acknowledgement where necessary to make the Millenial feel they are working with purpose and that they are part of a team (See how companies have implemented incentive programs.)
3) Be Flexible – Millenials possess many ideas and opinions and are confident in their convictions. They don’t take kindly to having their thoughts ignored. Be open to hearing their perspective and afford them opportunities to find their way to achieve the desired results. They value trust in relationships and have an affinity towards learning and on the job training. (See how Fidelity did it.)
4) Offer Job Rotations – Millenials have short attention spans and are always seeking ever-changing tasks within their work. Provide opportunities for them to explore their passion for learning new things and exercise their ability to multitask. (See how Cadence did it.)
5) Provide a balance of Work and Play – Home, family, and spending time with friends are priorities for Millenials. Don’t overlook this. Allow for balance between life and work, while still maintaining some semblance of structure. (See how companies have implemented flexible scheduling.)
The Millenials are here to stay and service leaders have no choice but to adapt. How will you choose to unleash the great potential behind this emerging resource?
Redefining the High Performing Supervisor
Modernizing the Quality Assurance Function
Attracting and Retaining Generation Y