South East Wales Water Headquarters requested this report, to investigate the concerns made by the headquarters regarding the productivity level at their call centre. Management Consultant O. M did the report, and the purposes are to undertake an analysis of the motivational techniques currently employed at the call centre to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the methods employed, a set of relevant conclusions and to suggest a series of recommendations which support the ways of improving motivation at the call centre.
A call centre is a telecommunications system, provided by some of the organisations as a part of their customer service. Answering queries, selling products and many other purposes could be the main duties for a call centre. Staff is especially trained to deal with the system, which is based on telephones and computers. One of the corporations (1) described the call centre: using the call centre makes sense for many businesses. Your customer's calls are always answered professionally.
They are not left hanging on the phone or kept within from a business point of view, it means you do not have to worry of under utilized over head with staff simply waiting for a call. In call centres, people skills come first before the use of technology, and in this report the people who work in the call centre is the issue that will be looked at in relation to motivation. There are several motivational techniques currently employed at the call centre. The first one is the Team leaders distribution, which provide a direct supervision over the Customer Service Representatives (CSRs).
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Secondly the number of (CSRs), where a relatively big group of people share the work (teamwork). Thirdly, come the breaks offered by the management in order to reduce the pressures made on (CSRs) during the course of his/her shift. Next productivity monitoring commenced by Human Recourses staff, which give the employee the sense that he/she is monitored by the senior management, so the employee will be motivated to achieve more, as well as the big screen placed above the workstation, which visible to all (CSRs) and display the productivity i.
e. the number of calls waiting. This will make the process more organised and will spread the competition between the individual (CSRs). Finally, comes the reward system adopted by the call centre management, which is used as a side promotion scheme to increase the level of both motivation and productivity. The techniques used above seem to be unbalanced and strict to some of the employees. This appears to match the opinion that says: no hard and fast rule as what motivates, as well as we are individuals and are motivated by different things.
Motivating factors often change as we move through our life. The job vacancy provided to staff in this organisation that provides a secure, major and maybe the only source of income to people live in the locality, could be motivated by itself. Maslow (2) would appear to support the above in his theory, the safety need section. Being assured of adequate sustenance and shelter, an individual will then look for a measure of security, of protection against lowering of living standards, of his job and of the fundamental physiological elements of life.
The Team Leaders distribution in the call centre with their direct supervision, and productivity monitoring done by Human Resources staff could be an extra pressure that has been put on the employee in addition to the current ones. Some could interpret the sense of being watched and followed al the time in the course of employment as a trust or even harassment. However, D. M. McGergor would appear to agree with the management action. In his Theory X, he stated that mangers sometimes have to persuade, coerce, reward or punish employees in order to achieve the organisation main goals.
In other words, people cannot be trusted without supervision. In Taylor's (3) principals of management, he stated that the organisation is like a living organism and the degree of centralization versus decentralization depends on the organization's needs. The need in this situation is to control and monitor the achievement of relatively a big number of employees. The breaks offered by the management between what could be described, as a long working hours shift is an issue to be raised. This could be classified under the hygiene factors in F.
Herzberg theory, which will lead to dissatisfaction in their absence. It is important to bear attention to the comfort of staff in the organisation. In this call centre, long working hours, limited breaks and the Saturday compulsory shift all could lead to dissatisfaction by employees. Further more, the permission that to seek from the team leader, could lead to a sort of complications, as it will be given according to the availability, and not necessity. Finally, the reward system adopted by the call centre is one of the major issues to tackle.
The high numbers of calls that have to be dealt with are inadequate to the amount of reward, from some point of view. This could be one of the major reasons for the high percentage of staff turn over, and the low team spirit, which was very noticeable. Maslow believed that in the Esteen need, self satisfaction through achievement recognition and feeling adequate is of a major importance, and the failure to achieve that often lead to a sense of inferiority and a lowering of morale. Poor statistics can be read about the sufficient numbers of calls dealt with by staff to achieve the reward system.
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