You're probably in a leadership role because you have genuine enthusiasm for your business. Its mission is probably near and dear to you, whether you inherited it when you came on board the company, or whether it was your inspiration that brought it to life. But do your call center agents share your excitement and enthusiasm?
Getting behind a mission is more than just being engaged with a job. The mission is the company's core purpose and ultimate objective. It's what your call center agents should have in mind during every customer conversation, even if their day-to-day tasks seem quite removed from the company's overall mission.
You might want to include alignment with company mission in your call center quality assurance metrics, but before you do that, you have to help agents adopt a positive attitude aligned with what the company is all about. So how do you get agents excited? It comes down to communication and connection.
1. Communicate the Mission
You know your mission, but do your agents? It's estimated 60 percent of employees don't know the mission of the company writing their checks. They may know what a company does, but are fuzzy on why. As you know the why and how are your main selling points. It's the focus of what you do at all levels of the company.
A mission can be a tagline used inside the company that summarizes why everyone is there, but it's hardly a marketing slogan; it's the guiding principle behind each individual’s role. Whenever a call center agent reaches an impasse, she should return to the mission to decide how to handle it.
So put your mission statement in the breakroom, on company materials, and vocalize it in training sessions. If you think your mission needs tweaking to become actionable, think of a few examples, like Oxfam's "a just world without poverty," and Nike's 1960s-era goal, "Crush Adidas."
2. Connect the Mission to Specific Tasks
While it's all well and good to imagine a company that "Crushes Adidas," Nike couldn't have achieved that goal without each team member participating. It is therefore essential to translate the mission of the company into concrete, executable tasks performed by your call center agents.
You can do this during team meetings, reviews of quality assurance metrics and one-on-one feedback sessions. Discuss how each agent's work helps the company reach its goal. If you're Oxfam and your agents are taking donations for development projects, emphasize how their work is a direct connection between the donor and the goal of eliminating poor communities.
3. Emphasize Shared Goals
It might be easier to get agents excited about your mission when you're a non-profit looking to make the world a better place. Public and Private businesses face a greater challenge if they don't define their mission in terms that are meaningful to agents. To that end, part of generating excitement around the mission can be an emphasis on good works the company performs that serve the wider community.
Part of aligning with mission is sharing ownership of the company's success. In order achieve this, give agents a stake in what they do. Through team meetings or feedback sessions, give them a voice in how a product is created or a service delivered. Bonus and incentive programs are another option to give agents a feeling of shared purpose with management.
4. Commit to Transparency
Cynicism is the death knell of company culture. It prevents employees at all levels from performing their best. When it comes to mission, management should demonstrate its commitment to following its principles in order to maintain employee morale.
There's no doubt that agents quickly lose their excitement for the mission when they sense management isn't sticking to its own lofty goals. So, for the sake of transparency, share how leadership objectives align with the mission. Make it a regular part of team meetings to discuss how daily tasks at all levels help reach the main objective.
You don't have to lay out the nitty-gritty of your business plan to all employees. Just be open enough to show you're also willing to put in the work and that you're ultimately chasing the same goal as the agents chatting one-on-one with customers.
5. Focus on Authenticity
It's the nature of business leadership to narrow in on your competitive advantage. This mindset of "what makes us different" can translate into a mission that's unique but teeters on the edge on inauthenticity. It's tough to get agents excited about an empty internal marketing slogan, so state your mission in a way that's real and transparent.
In order to get your agents on board, you have to stay grounded. It's less important to be unique than to be authentic. If your mission is the best customer service, stick with it. Your mission won't win any awards for innovation, but it's clear and actionable for the front-line employees upon whom your company depends.
By properly communicating a clear and actionable company mission, you're making life easier for your call center agents. Knowing the ultimate objective and gaining inspiration from its tenets, your agents know how to handle all types of customer interactions. Your quality assurance metrics will improve and employees will be happier working for your company.