Working during the holidays is, unfortunately, often a fact of life for contact center agents. It can be hard to be one of the people for whom the holiday season means just another busy day on the job, instead of spending time relaxing with family.

When you’re manning the phones while everyone else is digging in to their holiday feasts, it can be understandably hard not to feel a little resentful. That’s why it’s so important for contact center managers to go the extra mile when it comes to agent morale around this time of year. Here are a few ways to keep your workforce happy during the busy holiday season.

  1. Get in the holiday spirit with a free coffee-and-cookie break. Consider having your managers or team leaders hand out free coffee and Christmas cookies to agents while they’re at their desks. This way, leaders and supervisors can offer a small token of gratitude for agents’ hard work while also getting some face time with their agents. And at the same time, the treats won’t affect call handle times, as agents can enjoy them as they work.
  2. Host a volunteer event or fundraiser for a local charity. Giving back to one’s community can be a huge morale booster, both on a personal, individual level and an office-wide one. Choose a local organization to either volunteer or fundraise for—or both! With fundraising, you’ll almost certainly get better results (both in morale and the amount of money raised) if you throw in a little competition. Have teams compete to see who can raise the most money, and celebrate your efforts with an office-wide celebration at the end of the fundraiser. And offer a prize for the winning team—it could be 15 extra minutes of break time, or a catered lunch, or anything else that you think your employees would appreciate.
  3. Keep work celebrations during the working day. Holiday parties and celebrations are a great way to boost morale—but not if they mean that in order to attend, employees have to stay late after work. Agents have to be away from their families enough this time of year, so if possible, keep any parties during the workday. Then you won’t be asking them to give up more time away from home and family. If necessary, you can arrange the party as more of a drop-in, so that agents can come in during their break times and enjoy food and drinks together.
  4. Host a holiday feast. Another fun way to celebrate the holidays is to host a potluck holiday feast, with employees bringing in their favorite dishes from home to share with their colleagues. Sharing a meal is a wonderful way to make connections with those you work with, and make your work environment feel a bit more homey. The people you work with are another type of family, after all—treating them that way will improve your own morale as well as everyone else’s.
  5. Take the time to express your sincere appreciation for your agents—face-to-face. This is something you should be doing year-round, but during the holidays it’s especially important to remember that your agents need to know that you appreciate their work. Parties, fundraisers, and volunteer days are all well and good; but those alone won’t make your employees feel truly valued. Take the time to personally express your appreciation to your team, acknowledging that it’s hard to be at work when everyone else is home relaxing or celebrating.
  6. Above all, make sure that you’re taking your agents’ morale into consideration year-round, not just during the holidays. Let’s face it: you can be as generous as you want with breaks, cookies, food, and fun come December, but if you’re a veritable Scrooge the rest of the year, all your efforts will be for naught. Employee morale is something that must be tended year-round—celebrate birthdays, be free with praise when your agents succeed, and make sure you smile. It’s true what they say: a simple smile can go a long way.

We at KOVA hope that you, your families, and your work families have a happy and safe holiday! If we can help you improve your contact center with our workforce optimization solutions, contact us today!

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.