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Managing Your Team and Becoming a Leader - Shivani Verma - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Managing Your Team and Becoming a Leader

Managing multiple call centres spread over many provinces and continents one thing hit home with me. The most important message for anyone in a management position is that it is never about achieving the service level or meeting your KPIs. All the statistics, goals and measurements could be met if you do one thing right: manage your people. The key to good management is good leadership. How often have you stopped and asked yourself if you are leading your people or are you too busy putting out fires?

Here are some lessons from the trenches that really work.

 Become a manager

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You have gone from only having responsibility for your own work to now being responsible and answerable for a group of people. Some people fail as managers because they don’t know how to make the transition from managing themselves to managing people. So the first thing to learn when you are managing people is to become a manager.

Find the motivational triggers:

 Everyone has their own unique motivational triggers. Things that make them jump out of bed in the morning and get them to work. For some it is the work environment, the people, for some money, responsibility, empowerment, encouragement, a pat on the back, recognition of potential, respect etc. A good manager finds these triggers for his/her people and then manages through them.

 Delegate and develop

Some leaders newly promoted to management have difficulty delegating. They continue trying to do their previous job, rather than developing their agents to do the job well. Good managers recognize that to be successful, they need to develop and delegate. Here are a few tips:

  • You can develop people to look after routine tasks that are not cost-effective for you to carry out
  • Transfer work to people whose skills in a particular area are better than yours therefore saving time.
  • Transferring responsibility develops the agents, and can increase their enjoyment of their jobs

Remember a leader is only a leader if he/she knows how to develop and grow new leaders.

 Set clear goals, expectations and consequences

 To develop high performing teams it is important to clearly define:

  •  goals that need to be achieved and how they align with the corporate goals
  • outline clearly and establish the expectations from your agents
  • assign consequences to the expectations

Communicate

 Communicating effectively—both understanding and being understood—is much more difficult. That is what managers need to do.

  • Take corporate objectives and breaking them down to agent level so that they may understand the direction of the company and the role they play in it
  • Make sure your team has a two way communication where questions are welcome
  • Ensure that your team understands the reason for change in policies or processes
  • Always keep your team in the loop and encourage upward feedback

Recognise achievement

It is always important not to get bogged down by everyday fires and recognise the efforts and achievement of your team. A pat on the back goes a long way so don’t wait till yearly appraisal to tell your team how good they are. Award the most improved team members as well as the high achievers to motivate the others to emulate them.

Get your team noticed

All call centres directly or indirectly contribute to the company’s revenue and directly contribute to customer satisfaction. Understand how your team links into these and then showcase their accomplishments. Recognize the team's role in the company’s successes and give praise and credit to specific individuals for good work and to your team as a whole. This will help build the visibility of your team and empower and motivate your agents.

 In summary here are a few characteristics of a successful leader:

Leaders have/are

  • Flexibility
  • A sense of urgency
  • Creativity
  • An openness to learning
  • "What can I do for you?" attitude
  • Ability to handle stress and confusion
  • A team mentality
  • Authenticity
  • Ability to have fun

 Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. These tips on being a great leader will help you go a long way.

Publish Date: November 19, 2009 7:43 PM

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