It’s been proven that highly engaged frontline team members create superior experiences for customers. And the closer a company’s stated values align with its real culture on the ground, the better the outcomes for achieving higher employee engagement and lower attrition. When this unique equation exists, so does sustained financial performance. It’s called the Culture Value Chain, and we’ve seen it happen.
The Culture Value Chain starts with corporate culture and engagement, so here are a few keys to engaging your people. If you embrace these ideas, there’s a good chance you’ll see your team member engagement — and your top-line — grow.
- Coach your team members — often
As with any new skill, becoming a master requires training, coaching and practice. Using a formalized approach, where coaching is regular and consistent, helps ensure the ongoing personal and professional development of team members. When done properly, coaching can also promote critical thinking and accountability while moving away from a “check the box” quality assurance mindset. Instead, empower your leaders to drive meaningful employee development while focusing on what good looks like for customers.
- Adapt to millennials — completely
Engaging any generation requires a commitment to meeting their needs, and Gen Y is no different. It’s important to provide Gen Y team members with a clearly defined job structure without micromanaging them. Work to ensure that they know their role (with clear expectations), but empower them to tackle the job on their own terms and have their voice heard along the way.
And perhaps most importantly, keep their work environment fun. This means providing outlets for sports and special interest groups, community outreach and other social avenues both in and out of the office. A fun environment builds community where millennials want to come to work versus looking for greener pastures elsewhere.
- Hire for fit — really
Not many BPOs do it, but it’s critical to hire team members for their fit with the company culture and within a specific client program or department. For instance, hire fitness aficionados to work your personal fitness technology clients and gadget geeks to staff your consumer tech accounts. It’s often more challenging to find people with the right profile, but it pays off in higher engagement levels and lower attrition. Team members chose to stay around when they feel like they “fit” with the company and are working with people who care about the same things that they do. In the end, tenure is the secret to great performance.
- Build inspiring workspaces — everywhere
Great people need great spaces to work and thrive. That’s why it’s important to create offices that inspire and engage. This means offering spaces to reboot and recharge — such as fitness areas, game rooms and quiet areas — as well as spaces for both formal and informal collaboration — such as café style break areas and themed meetings rooms. In our business, contact center jobs are notoriously challenging, so when our people take a break from the call floor, we need to help them unplug and recharge as fully as possible.
- Give opportunities to give back — consistently
For most companies, there is a symbiotic relationship between the success of the company and the health of the communities in which it operates. Addressing basic needs, such as housing, education and clean water, increases goodwill toward the company. You become a sought-after employer, making it easier to recruit and retain great people. Team members feel proud to contribute to their community well-being. Giving back feeds their souls and revitalizes them for their next day on the job.
The Culture Value Chain proves that team member engagement drives sustained financial outcomes, but the equation only holds true when the company culture lives up to its aspirations. That requires authentic commitment from the top and true dedication to engaging and developing the whole team member. When you make that commitment, the results will come.
Marilyn Tyfting is chief corporate officer at TELUS International, a global BPO and ITO company with more than 21,000 team members around the world, including in Canada, the United States, Central America, Europe and Asia. TELUS International is the global arm of TELUS, one of Canada’s largest telecom companies, with CDN$12.5 billion in annual revenue and 12.5 million customer connections. Learn more at telusinternational.com