In today’s workforce (especially in customer service), employee engagement plays a significant role in employee retention. Standing out in a crowded consumer marketplace can only happen with the help of our employees—making them the single most valuable component of any organization.
With that being said, are we treating the people we hire like the MVPs they truly are? This is a question we want all “higher-ups” to ponder. At Bonfire, we see first-hand that leaders are constantly looking for ways to engage employees—and we’re here to say: it starts with you!
Keep reading to learn how leadership can encourage employee engagement with practical customer service training and an empathetic mentality.
OFFER & PARTAKE IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The best way to keep your employees feeling valued and engaged is by offering professional development and training opportunities. People want to be invested in, and leaders who take this seriously tend to see an increase in team morale, communication, and overall retention.
Offering training that helps customer service teams approach their work with more ease is a great way to show you care about their growth. And don’t forget the importance of getting in the ring yourself! Being a boss or manager that does training alongside their staff sends the message that all team members, no matter their title, are in this together.
SET THE TONE
The way leaders approach their day-to-day work directly affects their team’s behavior. Believe it or not, your staff will look to higher-ups for cues on how they should engage in their work. If the leaders at your organization are checked out, your staff will pick up on this and likely follow suit. Not ideal.
Leaders should be demonstrating their commitment to their workplace through actions—not just words! You know what they say: actions garner more respect and trust than words ever will. If you’re a “do as I say, not as I do” type of leader, it’s time to kick that mentality to the curb. Do you want your staff to be on time? Start arriving at meetings 10 minutes early to demonstrate respect for people’s time. Make your actions count and set the tone for a vibrant, collaborative work environment. We promise your employees will thank you!
HAVE MEASURABLE OUTCOMES
As a leader, are your expectations reasonable? Are you intentionally setting your team up for success, or are you overlooking obstacles hindering their performance? It’s upper management’s responsibility to ensure the organization’s goals are well communicated and that there’s a safe place for employees to voice any concerns.
No one wants to work for a “because I said so” leader. Showing respect for your staff and giving them insight into “what’s in it for them” is crucial when it comes to reaching certain outcomes. People won’t try to reach goals that feel unattainable—especially if there’s a lack of support! When leaders take the time to explain the “why” behind goals, teams are more likely to stay engaged and dedicated to reaching said goal.
AND REMEMBER TO BE NICE!
With so much outside of our control, one pivotal thing leaders can do to improve employee engagement and retention is to be nice.
- Praise lavishly
- Congratulate wholeheartedly
- Console easily
- Encourage frequently
- Reward generously
- Coach positively
- Mentor continuously
Give your front-line customer service representatives precisely what you would have needed when you were in their shoes. A little compassion goes a long way! Instead of being a “power over” leader, make a conscious effort to be a leader that is more concerned about “power with.” Provide engagement, validation, and support to the best of your ability, and you’re sure to keep seeing your team thrive.
Customer Service & Leadership Training You Can Rely On
At Bonfire, we help teams develop valuable skill sets that stand the test of time! That’s why we encourage leaders to get in on the fun and set the pace for impactful training.
Research has shown that the best group outcomes after the training come from leaders who have provided active support before the training. Practice leading by example, and you’ll find that your customer service training experience will be even more memorable and effective. Get started today!