Team leaders need to take an active part in maintaining morale – it’s not enough for them to remain isolated at their desks and assume employee motivation will be maintained. They need to be out there ‘on the floor’ supporting their staff, listening in to calls and offering quick tips to improve performance, providing effective customer service training whenever necessary. This way, relationships between management and staff will improve, and staff will feel like they’re being developed personally, as well as professionally. In addition, there should be a clear people development and appraisal plan in place, as well as regular customer service training for all frontline staff.
When we work closely with our staff as they develop in their roles, it should be obvious when someone has genuinely outgrown their job. In such cases, it’s important that you make clear to the member of staff that the decision is theirs – they can continue in their current role and stay bored and frustrated, or they can find another role to which they may be better suited. This will create a win/win situation for everyone involved – the staff member will be happier and more fulfilled and the company will no longer have a demotivated employee representing their brand.
A different set of problems arise if a frontline operation has very tight targets and performance metrics, as people can easily become stressed and anxious due to the constant pressure. While it’s important to have targets, it’s also important that you don’t forget how to build internal and external relationships, because rapport is the golden thread through the recipe of effective communication. Your targets can’t be so ambitious that your staff become overwhelmed, because this will adversely affect their level of commitment and your customers’ experience.
While motivation doesn’t last, it does always work! Injecting regular bursts of motivation through the leader’s day-to-day coaching and morale-building activities will maintain a happy workforce, which we’d all like to be part of, wouldn’t we? More than anything else, we need to treat our staff like real people, just like we do our customers.