Contact Center Agent to Supervisor Success Path

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Accelerated Skill Development for Call Center Supervisors infographic

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Being able to accelerate the path from successful contact center agent to supervisor success is a top priority in the contact center industry.

Some may contend it’s always been a priority. But now we could be entering a crisis scenario. As of now, only 18% of organizations feel they have a supply of capable employees to fill frontline leadership roles, according to a study conducted by Development Dimensions International.

Contact Center Agent to Supervisor Issues

In addition, more than 50% of newly promoted supervisors fail and only 33% of employees say they feel their supervisors are effective; because the skills for being a successful contact center agent to supervisor success do not translate. They are vastly different.

In addition, Jennifer Hofmann stated in the Report: The State of Learning and Development in 2017, we’re experiencing a period of evolution in learning right now, thanks to the digital revolution. Our organizations, our learners, and our jobs have changed dramatically.

Nowhere is this job change more evident than in the contact center. The technology, the workforce and the customer have all changed within the past 3 years – and the rate of change continues to accelerate.

Learning and Development Must Disrupt Itself

Jenner adds that confusingly, though, classrooms remain strikingly similar to those we learned in over 20 years ago. We know that traditional approaches like multi-day workshops don’t build skills efficiently. But our organizations change slowly, and prefer to operate in ways that worked in the past.

Just like your external customer wants an effortless experience, so does your internal customer want an effortless learning experience. This was recently highlighted by CEB’s 2016 L&D Digital Learner Survey, which highlighted that more than 54% of employees surveyed reported that learning was hard to access, hard to consume, and hard to apply.

What’s Missing in Developing Agents to Supervisors

We’ve had a gap in the contact center industry. Recently, a discussion I had with Michael Pace, President, Northeast Contact Center Forum reminded me of a possible root cause as to why the industry stumbles to have such a low percentage of only 18% of organizations feeling they have a supply of capable employees to fill frontline leadership roles.

Call center supervisor training for agents can no longer be after they are placed in the role. They need to be groomed and ready to hit the ground running. They need a success path and journey framework to get there quickly.

I covered this in the article How to Build a Supervisor Dream Team in Your Contact Center where I discuss how to develop your contact center frontline leadership into a high-performing team. Contact center agents that have the potential to be frontline supervisors, can leverage the same approach and path to supervisor success.

After meeting with Michael and sharing the Supervisor Success Path and blended learning framework, he mentioned that there’s nothing else out there that addresses how to take a successful agent and develop them into a successful supervisor – until now.

There’s nothing else out there that addresses how to take a successful agent and develop them into a successful supervisor – until now.” – Michael Pace, President, Northeast Contact Center Forum

Will You Lead or Lag?

A great opportunity exists for you. Only a few forward-thinking contact centers have taken their learning and development forward by combining development with succession management. The goal here is to build a steady and reliable pipeline of frontline leadership talent in the contact center.

This combined approach is a critical and proactive way that can greatly benefit contact centers. Because it’s the skills agents develop in the contact center that are so highly desired by other parts of the business. While retaining an employee in the organization is a plus, the contact center still experiences a loss of talent that they must replace. The contact center must be proactive in developing agents to the next level (quickly) or else risk a leadership crisis.

With a Supervisor Success Path and an Accelerated Skill Development approach of blended learning success management becomes significantly easier for a contact center to implement.

As the rapid pace of change continues and the war for talent blazes hotter, be prepared to see more and more contact centers use succession management as a means to attract and retain their top talent. So, the question becomes, will you lead the way down the path or lag behind?

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