View original article on Forbes.com
“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”
This King of Rock' n Roll quote may be the purest basis for considering any personal or business challenge. Honesty forms the bedrock from which all legitimate success derives, and customer contact organizations challenged with attracting and retaining personnel should obsessively seek and share truth to create a culture of trust that can elevate employee and customer experience along with business performance.
Truth At The Core
Contact centers depend on a wide range of technologies to operate effectively. Numerous disparate systems generate perpetual flows of valuable data — the analytic raw material that can yield truth and intelligence about your people, performance, processes, culture and more. According to Mckinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain them and 19 times more likely to be profitable.
Despite the benefits, spreadsheet-based systems serve as the analytics foundation in most customer contact operations, presenting serious expense, risk and functional limitations. People want on-demand access to data and analytics tools so that individually or in teams, they can investigate and solve problems on their own when it matters. Implementing a performance management system with a robust data architecture that automates data integration and delivers performance intelligence to any business stakeholder is vital.
Once in place, establish a data management and analytics assessment program to identify data challenges and coordinate and prioritize projects. Canvas the organization for siloed initiatives to mitigate data and data management duplicity and reduce cost and resource overhead. Avoid programs that absorb time and resources but do not advance legitimate business objectives.
Truth In Compensation
Research indicates that compensation models that tie individual performance to rewards and financial incentives positively impact job satisfaction, employee engagement, organizational commitment and trust in management. Performance-based pay programs, to be effective, must align employee achievement to performance goals and apply impartially to others in the same role.
Contact centers with advanced data management capabilities can easily leverage performance-based compensation strategies. Scorecards codify key performance indicators and targets for most of the workforce while separating individual performance from the contributions of others. Performance-based pay enables employees to see a clear and truthful connection between the quality of the work they do each day, its actual value and how it impacts their total compensation. On top of the potential to earn more, pay-for-performance plans increase employee autonomy and boost the individual desire to develop professionally and improve. Equitable compensation plans enhance workforce trust, commitment, productivity and reduce turnover costs.
Truth In Processes
We're all aware of how the global response to the pandemic triggered an acceleration of enterprise digital transformation. Essential business workflows were converted in warp speed from time-consuming, error-prone, manual processes into intelligent and adaptive digital systems.Digital workflows generate actionable insights that can help the organization improve almost every element of its operations. For example, a digitized agent coaching system enables team leaders to document their support interactions with agents and simultaneously capture key metrics about every touchpoint relevant to their routine. Machine learning and AI can add predictive and prescriptive guidance for the end-user. Senior managers gain insight to maximize their support role and their organization's supervisor training and skills development budgets. Analysts can correlate workflow intelligence with desired outcomes such as CSAT, NPS, FCR and other vital metrics.
Truth In Voice
Open dialogue and continuous listening are essential to a positive employee experience — either by themselves or integrated within business workflows, ratings, surveys, polls, and other mechanisms that allow the workforce to assess, advise, and debate strengthen the organization and ensure that employee input and contributions are heard and appreciated. In the digitized coaching scenario, agents can rate the value of support delivered by their supervisors in real time. More complex processes like performance reviews, quality and compliance audits, and even gamification provide similar opportunities to gather, analyze, and act on named or anonymous employee feedback in a structured, systematic way.
Contact centers should gather and mine employee feedback at every logical opportunity. Text analytics tools can help identify issues and trends quickly and at scale. The information can be studied and correlated with performance metrics to align employee insights with business objectives. Employee voice is a strategic priority for engaging the workforce and producing actionable insights into every aspect of the business that can positively impact your people and customers.
Most organizations espouse core values such as integrity, honesty, trust, and accountability, but none can be achieved without an empirical, accurate, and accepted source of truth. Knowledge and transparency empower everyone to work and succeed together.
Creating a data-driven culture sounds easy but may be trickier than you think. Planning and effort are required to assemble the skills, technology, and processes needed to develop a functional analytic foundation. Because ambiguity can provide cover for personal agendas, procedural discontinuity, subjective management or sub-standard performance, you may encounter resistance to transparency despite its direct advantages. In addition, as analytics become increasingly embedded into business applications and decision-making, employees will have to learn to become more adaptive and adjust to more frequent change.
Transition doesn't occur overnight, but improved mission clarity and workforce alignment, rising incomes and legitimate recognition, strengthened retention and employer brand, and other benefits to individuals and the organization will quickly materialize to boost advocacy and adoption. "Truth," as Elvis tells us, "ain't goin' away," and although it has all the time in the world for you to let it in, today's business landscape is neither merciful nor patient. It's incumbent on contact center leadership to equip the workforce with the vision, tools, and support that reveal the truth in performance, value, process, and voice. We win where truth and trust gleam brightly — let it rise and shine.
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