Tips for Reducing Stress in Your Contact Center

Written by KOVA Corp

Regardless of the type of contact center you manage – stress levels have a tendency to run high from time to time. Not only can stress have a negative impact on a person’s health, it can also affect productivity and turnover in a contact center. Acknowledging that stress is a reality in your organization and helping employees deal with it in a proactive fashion can work wonders.

Offer a formal stress management program

When your employees know that there are programs available to help them, it relieves pressure off them to do it on their own. It also shows that their company cares about their well-being and will do what is needed to in order to see that they succeed—mentally, physically, and otherwise. This program can include paid visits to a medical professional to check their health vitals, access to human resources professional or therapist, or life coaching and goal setting.

Make access to exercise easier

“I don’t have the time” and “It’s too expensive” are two of the biggest excuses individuals make for reasons why they can’t exercise. Prevent your employees from saying these phrases by providing easy access to exercise. Options include an in-building gym, paid membership, or in-building classes taught by outside instructors. One option is to bring in an instructor to teach calming exercises such as yoga or tai chi in a larger conference room once or twice a week, during lunch or dinner hour. You could also establish a walking group if there are safe paths (or hallways and stairwells) nearby.

Whatever your choice, know that having this option readily available to your employees will make them more likely to utilize it. And then you can be ready for some happier, healthier employees!

Give me a break

Even on relatively “easy” days, it’s important to encourage your employees to take a mandatory break (not including lunch) for about 15 minutes. This allows the employee to mentally recharge and get their body moving again. Light stretching, such as getting up and walking around, will benefit the employee in the long run (think avoiding back and neck trouble). Encourage them to take this break by offering light, healthy snacks in the break room.

Communicate about stress management frequently

Be consistent about your commitment to the program by reminding employees of the health risks associated with stress. Provide them tips on how to keep it under control by offering seminars, informative posters in the break room, or wallet cards to take on the go. During particularly stressful seasons (like holidays), remind your employees of the value of their work and your appreciation for all that they do. Sometimes a reassurance that the job is being done—and done well—is enough to alleviate work-related stress.

De-clutter and de-stress

An orderly office with vibrant yet calming wall colors and décor can help get your employees into a positive mindset that will help ward off stress. Encourage your employees to have clean desks by setting up quarterly de-cluttering sessions and provide them accessories to organize papers and office supplies. Invest in a fun yet practical stress ball for each employee for when things get rough. Or get them in a Zen mood with a small tabletop Zen garden (turn it into a fun group activity by having each person make their own!)

Make proper training a priority

If your agents are well trained to handle a variety of call scenarios and to achieve the best possible outcomes, they can feel more confident in their jobs and less stressed out. Proper training can also help them become more successful which can lead to higher job satisfaction, less stress and ultimately, higher productivity. Commit to have refresher courses for employees, whether that is a group seminar or digital course to be completed. When your employees know what they’re doing and why, they’ll succeed stress free!

Keep it positive!

The job can be stressful, especially for 9-1-1 dispatch centers. But no matter what type of calls your contact center handles, remember to keep the culture fun, happy, and positive. Focus on the positive achievements of your team and acknowledge successes – big and small. Offer workable solutions to agents who are struggling instead of using negative reinforcement. Nobody enjoys being reprimanded: Agents are more likely to strive to improve if they believe you are on their side and committed to their success.

Lastly, your software can be a source of stress too! Working with a program that is too slow, confusing, or outdated? Kova Corporation offers a variety of workforce management solutions that can help reduce the stress in your contact center. From simplifying processes to integrating state-of-the-art training programs, we can help. Learn more at our contact center page today.

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