Change in Dynamic of Agent Performance Reviews
When you make a transition from using spreadsheets or access for measuring performance to a specialised QA scoring tool like Scorebuddy that provides agents access to their performance scores via a dashboard the agent performance review process is likely to change.
Before using Scorebuddy many of our customers would have brought printed-out paper versions of performance scores into agent performance sessions and more often than not this would be the first time agents would see their scores. Furthermore the paper versions were often binned after meetings.
With Scorebuddy users can give agents access to their performance scores and if Agent Insight is in place agents have their own dashboards too. The agents are informed when going into a performance review meaning that the whole dynamic of the review has changed.
Although many organisations giving access to agents or dashboards still opt for not posting the scores until after review, there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
Knowledge is power
By giving information to the agents upfront they have time to react, digest and consider it. This approach is training the agent to learn for themselves and apply cognitive learning. It gives agents the chance to go into a meeting prepared and already have suggestions for improvements or questions about their score if they don’t understand the logic. It’s an empowering approach to performance improvement.
Why Real-time Performance Scores can be Challenging
Real-time performance scores might be challenging for three reasons; emotions, personality and situation. The above described approach is an ideal scenario, it’s very positive, forward thinking and embracing a culture of empowerment but are all your call centre agents ready for this? Some agents will thrive in a situation like this and others won’t.
Emotions Experienced from Receiving Performance Scores
Agents can experience an array of emotional reactions from performance results, whether the scores are good or bad;
It’s important to consider these emotions and be confident that your agents are equipped to react to performance scores in a rational way. In Scorebuddy we introduced an inbox so that supervisors can communicate with agents on their team between reviews about the quality scores. This is beneficial for scores that are below average as supervisors can use the inbox to send agents a message of encouragement or reassurance and help prevent the agent from repeat offence.
Personality Types can Impact Reaction to Performance Reviews
Personality is mentioned because some people will prefer the option of getting the information immediately and it will drive them to improve performance others may prefer it so they are armed to defend themselves at review time. Some people might prefer to get the results beforehand but are unable to deal with the results in a healthy way, for example becoming stressed over scores.
Situations Can Influence Positive and Negative Behaviour Towards Performance Scores
Situation is an important consideration, especially if the score highlights compliance errors or critical failures, you might not feel particular agents are suited to be given this information before a review, but you should consider what your agent would prefer too. Another “situation” could be that there was a two week period of understaffing which could easily impact performance, if you fail to recognize that fact agents may feel underappreciated and disappointed that their efforts in a busy period are not recognized.
Consider the scenario where a competitive person gets a bad score and they are aspiring to be promoted and while one score is unlikely to affect their chances they might become defensive. Many situations may arise where real-time performance scores are trickier to navigate around; employee sensitivity, new hires, agents under stress, etc. The one common solution to all potential problems is open communication.
A Culture of Transparency Breeds Trust
While it might be well intentioned trying to hide performance scores from agents until reviews it still may not be the right answer. Ultimately you need to trust your judgement when you scored their performance and trust your agents’ capacity to handle the result. If you pre-empt that they might react negatively act upon it immediately, don't wait until the review where you need to spend a half an hour justifying your evaluation and boosting their confidence. Your action can be something as simple as having a quick chat with them at their desk, sending a message telling them 'not to worry' or 'great job' or if its critical you could send them a link to training resource. Build a relationship with your agents where they don't fear their performance scores but that they welcome them.
A dashboard of real-time performance scores as opposed to spreadsheets will bring about change but the risk of negative impacts can be manoueverd past easily.