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Here come the Millennials, also known as Next Gen and the Baby-On-board Generation. Regardless what call you them they are nearly 98 million young adults born between 1980 and 2000 and by 2020 they will represent nearly 50% of the workforce.

 

Millennials are quite different then any generation before them.

They view the world differently and have redefined the meaning of success, both personally and professionally.

 

A growing trend with employers is modifying their traditional approach with how they are managing their workforce. Business leaders today are forced to get the most out of the millennials unique competencies and perspectives.  Call Center’s are incorporating innovated technology and modifying their cultures to encompass agent training programs and daily operations.

 

Millennials have practically grown up with technology. They are in fact the first generation to have grown up 100% with video games. They have always been able to open multiple tabs in an internet browser to conduct research and search for music while simultaneously playing Candy Crush. They are tech savvy multi-taskers because that is all they have ever known. This the very reason why Companies need to ensure their technological appetite is satiated in this new, professional environment.

 

By example, this new frontier of employee demands why most of the call centers’ agent onboarding and ongoing training curriculum needs to be modulated accordingly.

 

Here are some suggestions to be considered when training Millennials.

 

1. Let them touch it!

Millennials are very analytical and practical when it comes to learning and implementing their skill set. Agents learn more if they can get acquainted with what they are expected to do, interactive training with technology or peers is a great way to optimize the training session.

 

2. Make yourself sexy!

When trying to attract millennials to join your organization as a call center agent, you need to make it sexy, i.e innovative. Do you look like an Archie Bunker show of the 1970’s or Modern Family 2016? Let them know about the organization’s culture, how you are employee centric, communication flows in all direction, flexible working conditions, etc. Many organizations are increasingly using technology to deliver this information, which can be via video streaming or social media. Having fresh, innovative technology says a lot about where you are going. Do you want them to go with you?

 

3. Pump up the juice.

They are not only tech savvy; they are tight with their money as well. Often millennials are living on credit cards. Compensating them slightly above regional averages can provide organizations a recruitment edge with this generation.  Aside from this, finance department’s can work out creative ways to provide options to earn extra money, which can include performance based incentives, education allowance etc. which will really help in developing that hire into a valuable Call Center asset.

4. Promote innovation and diversity

Encourage leaders to show and live an appreciation for diversity in your organization. It starts at the top. This will help all generations avoid stereotyping that gets in the way of valuing the skill sets of each employee. This can be a major deciding factor for Millennials to choose your business over any other. They love innovation and experimenting. Millennials are often fun loving and want a less formal atmosphere.  Such activities can boost their inclination towards innovative learning and engagement at work. Which ultimately leads to a more effective agent.

 

So basically it has happened, Millennials are here and a lot more are coming, that is for sure. Noah built his arc before the rain came. Is your business ready? 

Holiday_Stress-e1418683100217.jpgThe holiday season can be really stressful and that only increases the challenge of keeping your employees engaged at work, here are a few reasons why employees may be stressed:

 

1. Companies push their employees harder to meet year-end goals, yet often fail to give them adequate recognition.

 

2. Kids are out of school, making a mess of the nicely organized schedule. Leaving employees hastily trying to arrange child care.

 

3. Employees are thinking about friends and family members who may have passed away or are not in town, leaving them reminiscing or melancholy.

 

4. Workloads can get heavier as co-workers take time off.

 

With less than 30% of employees engaged at the best of times, it’s critical not to lose focus of employee appreciation and recognition during the stressful holiday season.

 

How can you maintain or even increase employee engagement in such tricky circumstances? One of the best ways is to ramp up the utilization of employee recognition best practices and reinforce positive relationships between employees and employers.

 

Here are a few tips on how to improve employee recognition during the holiday season:

 

Know what makes your Employees “tick” An Ernst & Young survey of global workforces reported that one-third of employees found maintaining work-life balance is getting more difficult. During the holidays, employees have extra demands on their personal time, so maintaining work-life balance gets even more challenging. One option to illustrate your care for employees well being during the holiday is consider their working preferences during the holiday period, such as offering flex schedules and the ability to work remote. Also, promote peer recognition particularly when it comes to employees covering their co-workers time off.

 

Share Company Goals and plans for the holidays Make sure employees understand the “destination”. Inform employees on year-end goals and communicate your guidelines and policies for schedule flexibility. Healthline research found that 62 percent of people feel very stressful or somewhat stressful during the holidays. The more transparent your organization is about year end goals and the more they give employees recognition for successfully meeting them, the more your workforce will believe your organization values their effort.

 

 

Collaborative activities Sponsor holiday activities that encourage your employees to collaborate as a team, such as planning a holiday party or charity event. A fantastic way to do so is to allow employees to leverage their Employee Recognition Points to donate them to a charity and support people in need. This is a powerful intrinsic motivator.

 

No denying it! Do not avoid recognizing the holiday’s because you think it will disrupt business. It will be more of a disruption and is likely to create employee resentment, says Bob Nelson, president of Nelson Motivation and author of “1501 Ways to Reward Employees.” Acknowledge the holidays and celebrate with festive mood. The holiday period is a great time to recognize people who “give” of themselves or donate their time to decorate for the holiday season to enhance the holiday cheer.

 

 

Use Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivator’s Giving a nice pair of wool socks is a nice gesture, however it doesn’t do much to increase employee engagement.  An employee engagement program focused on recognition and rewards that tap the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators allows employees to recognize each other for work contributions and successes throughout the year, and especially during the holidays. It also broadcasts achievements to the entire company, boosting morale up and highlighting employee accomplishments on a daily basis.

 

Employee recognition should not be reserved for just the Holiday Season. Businesses need to continue employee engagement efforts throughout the year to keep employee morale high and the appreciation momentum strong. Employees want to feel recognized every day. If employees recognize each other throughout the year they will feel valued and motivated. The workplace then has the momentum to no longer contribute to the stress of the holiday season but can become a highly engaged sanctuary for all employees.

1.jpgFidoTrack’s first blog in Engagement Optimization revolves around a simple employee emotion but one that is incredibly absent in today’s workplace; happiness. One can argue about the reasons why it is important or why it is missing, however what is ultimately an undisputable net result of employee unhappiness is disengaged employees.

 

So why should managers or owners really care if employees are happy at work? Really, employees just need to show up, butts in the seat and do what they are told right?

 

The old Personnel Department’s and Human Capital Management 1.0 focused on just keeping track of their employees without a real strategic commitment or result. In addition, the Command and Control approach assured that the information train was Top Down. However today, true industry leaders have migrated to Human Capital Management 2.0, where Employee are truly at the CORE and information is flowing in all directions.

 

From the looks of it, there's certainly room to improve on the happiness factor. A recent Gallup survey found only 13% of all employees are engaged at work, meaning the vast majority of working adults don't enjoy their work. By one recent measure, this costs US businesses $450 billion annually. Looked at another way, poor worker engagement is an opportunity for companies to boost their productivity by investing in employees' welfare and workplace happiness.

 

Much like Bob Dylan’s song “The Times They Are a Changin’ “, companies who understand that happy employees are engaged employees and engaged employees ultimately are more productive and generate less costs are becoming industry leaders. Our friends over at SnackNation assembled a cool infographic illustrating why it's important to build a thriving organizational culture that drives employee engagement.

 

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About FidoTrack

We are located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, on the shores of Lake Champlain where we also have a tremendous view of the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Vermont is not easy to get to but a real cool place once you are here… so we stayed!

 

Many years ago we were Call Center Operators ourselves, using several different systems and software solutions to power our call center. It was not cost effective, it lacked flexibility and we were not able to make real time decisions hence hindering our production. We knew it wasn’t ideal, but we basically just "dealt with it".

 

We finally got fed up and decided to develop our own solution. The result was software that removed the IT headaches, it was pliable, lightening fast and certainly cost effective.

 

So we said good-bye to Call Center Operations and made our Company’s mission to offer Fidotrack as an elite Call Center Productivity Software that powers call centers around the globe. Proudly today we serve Fortune 500 Corporations as well as small centers that are just starting out in the business.

 

In Vermont we have some things we are known for; skiing, dairy and maple syrup. At FidoTrack we are working on adding another reason to love Vermont.