We post a lot about coaching here at the Impact Blog! One key reason why it’s important to be a great coach is that your actions and approach to coaching can seriously affect your employees’ attitudes and the overall level of morale in the workplace.
In contact centers where positive coaching occurs and morale is high, employees approach their work with energy, enthusiasm, and the willingness to succeed. They want to come to work, or at least are enthusiastic about work once they get there. On the other hand, when coaching is always negative or non-existent, morale is low and employees can become bored, discouraged, and lethargic.
It’s not impossible to have high productivity and decent bottom-line results in an environment where morale is low, but it is unlikely. As a coach (or a manager who routinely coaches employees), you should care about how your employees feel, if for no other reason than because it’s the right thing to do. But even if you’re not a convert to that way of thinking and that style of management, here are some other good reasons for you to care about your employees’ morale and apply principles of positive coaching:
Positive coaching leads to high employee morale. High morale in a contact center environment can lead to:
- Increased job satisfaction
- Lower turnover rates
- Higher productivity
- Reduced absenteeism
- Higher ownership of customer concerns
- Less job-related stress
- Increased identification with the company’s mission
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Increased customer loyalty
It’s good for you, it’s good for them—and it’s good for the bottom line. In a survey conducted by David H. Master, the author of Practice What You Preach, it was found that happy divisions outperformed unhappy ones by as much as 42 percent.
It’s easy to make the assumption that the key to higher morale is simply to give the agents what they want. But that isn’t always the case. What they want—or think they want—may be minimal work, lots of play, and plenty of pay. But we’ve found in a number of centers that what really makes employees thrive is a dynamic, positive environment in which agents are continually learning and their performance is continually improving. So how do you make this happen? Good question!
It’s important for you as the manager or coach to create and foster a climate of enthusiasm, open communication, and active participation. It’s in this kind of environment that agents will be productive and committed to your goals. You’ll find that a little goes a long way: if employees see you—and the organization as a whole—making an effort to meet their needs and treat them well, they’ll be inclined to give you their best efforts.
On the other hand, if you create a climate of mistrust and uncertainty, your agents will tend to do just enough to get by. And they’ll probably only do that until it becomes more appealing to find employment at some other company. Of course, in almost every organization there are some “get by” people who will always be “get by” people no matter what you do to encourage, inspire, motivate, and transform them. If you’re serious about improving the morale of your team, the time may come when you need to give stern warnings to those agents whose attitudes are weighing down the morale of the group. Then, if they continue to create problems, it may be best to terminate them.
Here are some tips for becoming a more positive coach:
And if you need to train your supervisory staff on positive coaching techniques, please take a look at Making It Happen™. This training program, specific to contact centers, includes everything you need to improve the coaching skills of your supervisors and team leaders so you can reap the rewards of a positive work environment and good employee morale.