We get it. Analytics is big business. But what message are you sending your employees when you display management information on TV screens, and what impact does it have?

Publicly displayed information is influencing the mood of your employees every minute of every day; the way it’s displayed, the colours you use, the messages it sends to our conscious and subconscious. Making sure you get the right message to your employees takes some thought, but get it right and the benefits are enormous.

There is a pervasive mentality in our industry around, “if something can be measured, it should be measured.” What usually follows is then something far worse: If something is being measured, we should use it to control people and punish them when the numbers aren’t what we want them to be.”

SJS CEO Steve Pace worked as a commercial analyst for TNT Express for two years and then spent 3 years analysing KPI’s and mystery shopper results. He regularly used this information to help increase the performance of customer care centres, and fell into the same trap: A one-dimensional view of human performance.

For the last 17 years, Steve has devoted his life to helping organisations get the most from their Customer Care personnel. SJS frequently encounter organisations who make the mistake of taking management reports and displaying them in full in their call or contact centres.

’So, what’s wrong with this’ we hear you ask? After all it’s a cost-effective way to inform agents, supervisors and managers of call volumes. Well, in order to be effective and avoid any negative impact on morale, engagement and employee satisfaction, all communications need to be audience specific. Taking reports designed for managers and displaying them in front of agents will create negativity and increase disengagement. This is because these reports tend to highlight the negatives and often include information agents have no control over. More importantly, Management Information does nothing to tackle Employee Engagement in any way. In fact most agents we have spoken to over the years dislike their Wallboards and Dashboards for that very reason.

So, what’s the solution? How do you motivate people with metrics? First of all, start by asking yourself three simple questions:

  1. What improvements do we need to make to help us reach our goals?
  2. What do we want to achieve by having information publicly displayed on TV screens?
  3. How will this data help my agents be more autonomous, productive and better equipped to master their role?

By reflecting on these questions as you design your contact centre visuals, you gain deeper insight into the power of the numbers, and the damage they can do if you pick the wrong ones. To increase morale, engagement and satisfaction, to recognise excellence and support your teams, you need to question the value of every metric you display, and not just have numbers on a screen because they represent things than can easily be measured.

So, can you use metrics to motivate people. The answer is “Yes,” – but probably not in the way you currently think! SJS can help you to develop SCARF-compliant environments which support employees, rather than penalise them for numbers they have no control over. Our approach uses metrics in the correct way to shape behaviour, drive improvements and keep everyone happy.

Click here to request a free, no-obligation branded demonstration today, and we’ll show you how.

I recently sat down with Steve Pace – SJS Solutions CEO – and asked him a really difficult question. I asked him how he feels organisations can create certainty in uncertain times.

Our industry, like many others, is facing unprecedented stresses and challenges as a result of the devastating impact of COVID-19. We know that our clients are facing challenges never faced before. This is all leading to huge amounts of uncertainty. The impact that uncertainty has on employees simply cannot be underestimated. Uncertainty causes an increase in social pain. When you increase pain, you increase the production of stress hormones, which increases stress, decreases productivity, increases disengagement, increases sickness… the list goes on and on and the cycle is unstoppable.

Before we could address my question, we needed to establish what we mean by term “Certainty.” At SJS, everything we do informed by the research coming out of the Neuro-Leadership Institute. In the SCARF framework, Rock (2008) defines Certainty very simply as, “our ability to predict the future.” This doesn’t mean that we need to develop psychic powers! Rather, “Certainty” means how confident we are about what is going to happen to us in the future. The more confidence we have about this, the more certainty we have.

Back to the question I asked at the start of the interview: Given all the changes every person and every organisation is facing right now – how can employers create certainty in the middle of all this uncertainty?

As someone with years of experience in this field, Steve explains that there are a couple of simple – but effective – things that organisations can do to give their employees certainty, lower their stress levels and protect their well-being:

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate! This is very much a two-way street. Clear, purposeful communication from managers really increases certainty. When people know what is happening in the business, they are more able to work out how things are going now, and might in the future. This helps to build consensus and lower stress. Remember: listen to your employees as well. And I mean really listen! Give people the opportunity to talk about their work and how they see themselves in their role. Ask them how they can help the company to meet its goals and they will be more engaged, productive, happy and certain.
  2. Share common goals, resources and strategies that everyone can use to help the organisation reach its goals and meet its targets. This gives everyone certainty because they are able to row together in the right direction! When goals and resources are shared, you have increased transparency as well. When everyone can see the goal – and how they are going to work as a team to get there, certainty is guaranteed.
  3. Repetition increases people’s sense of certainty, and the research on this is crystal clear: Provide regular opportunities for people to repeat desired views and you will increase their certainty. For example, monthly staff surveys can be used to gather people’s views. During meetings, you can ask colleagues to re-state their position on something. Ask them to state other people’s position on topics or decisions made as well. Some companies ask employees to be very active on social media by liking and sharing company content. All of these things increase certainty and will help lower stress and improve engagement.

In closing, Steve offered one final piece of advice: Certainty is essential to the healthy operation and wellbeing of any organisation. “Without certainty, you have uncertainty… and you don’t need a background in psychology to understand why that’s going to kill your productivity.”

Optymyse Version 6 has a number of innovative features which – when used properly – will help build confidence, increase certainty and protect the mental well-being of employees at every level of the contact centre. Get in touch with us today to book a free consultation call and we’ll show you how to do it.

Image credit: Tim Gouw. Pexels. 2020