Due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and lockdown, most of the business enables working from home model, customer service, and support leaders must focus on the following three key areas to successful work from home model. These three areas are Leadership Approaches, Performance Management, and Incentive Programs, and these will help to keep the workforce engaged.
1. Leadership Approach
Communication is one of the key differences when shifting to work from home program, so customer service and support leaders must ensure they communicate clearly and regularly with their teams.
Take a proactive approach to work from home culture building, inspire the team to collaborate, communicate, and give avenues and chances for teams to express feedback and participate in work from home program improvement.
Tap into emotional intelligence to read and react to employees virtually and without other physical cues to help simulate that same open-door environment.
2. Managing Performance
To efficiently monitor work from home worker’s performance, customer support, and service leaders should take the approach of trust but verify. Implement standards, controls, and management systems to enable the workforce to stay accountable while being able to thrive in this new setting.
Example: take the time to understand the performance peaks and personal commitments of individual team members, and develop daily, weekly and monthly performance management reviews.
3. Incentive and Rewards
Customer support and service leaders must rethink how to best motivate the workforce in different-different ways. Incentive and reward programs that worked on-site may now be irrelevant in work from home setting. Instead, recognize team members for qualities and behaviors indicative of successful work from home employees, such as productivity, accountability, collaboration, and communication. Incentive and reward programs will need to be augmented as well.
These rewards in work from home setting may include preferential schedules, micro shifts, additional paid time off, ergonomic desks and chairs, larger monitors, etc.
John Quaglietta, a senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice, said, “a work from home workforce, if managed and nurtured properly, can raise productivity, engagement and employee retention. Overseeing a team of work-from-home employees doesn’t come naturally to many leaders who are accustomed to engaging with service reps frequently throughout the day. This will require changes in leadership and management approaches to ensure engagement and productivity, but service leaders should understand that most day-to-day functions will remain relatively the same.”