Many people are still adjusting to remote work environments. While there have been many advantages, the transition has also brought many challenges. With more people working from home, it becomes harder to connect and coach when you lose those face-to-face interactions. Even those that are embracing virtual and hybrid approaches to workforce management are waiting to see the full effects. However, there are a few common strategies that WFM teams agree will help minimize the negative impacts of a remote environment.
Ensure Your People Are Where You Need Them
The only way you can successfully do business is to ensure that your employees are where you need them when you need them to be there. They were hired to do a job, and your overall performance will be negatively affected if your agents are not in place to help customers.
Although working from home saves a ton of overhead costs, it decentralizes your workforce. Therefore, it becomes harder to interact with people on a personal level and ensure they adhere to their schedules. It doesn’t require a lengthy conversation, but having managers follow up with people who are consistently out of adherence or miss their shifts can greatly improve your KPIs.
Look for Consistent Patterns and Absences
Another successful method is to look for patterns. For example, you may notice people toggling between states to avoid incoming calls. Or, perhaps there are agents who constantly experience system and equipment issues that prevent them from helping people. And let’s not forget employees who habitually arrive late or sign off early. All of these behavior patterns increase wait times and have a spiraling effect on your call center’s performance.
While there are circumstances when people need extended leaves and times when emergencies interfere with your work schedule, there are also people who abuse the lack of direct supervision. Simply noticing the patterns and having a conversation to address them can prevent bad phone behaviors from becoming worse. Coaching and correcting these behaviors becomes an even more critical component in a work-at-home/remote environment.
Establishing New Communication Loops
Since there are fewer social interactions between employees, you also need to use the tools at your disposal to create new communication loops. It’s important to find new ways to reach out and engage your employees. Sometimes, a slight change can have a huge impact.
However, P3 understands that every business is different and requires a customized approach to WFM management and employee engagement. And as you are transitioning and adapting to new work environments, it can be hard to identify areas of improvement outside of KPIs. The expert consultants at P3 can flag blind spots and help you find ways to improve performance while minimizing the negative impacts of a remote environment.