Laid Back vs. Structured Which is Better for Your Agents?

25 / Mar / 2013

By Jordan Linford

booksI recently spoke with my younger brother, who is a full-time college student that just got a new job in a call center. I knew he had worked in the call center environment before and was a very good phone agent. As we began to talk further he told me about the differences between the two centers. The first center employed a management style that was very laid back. He was allowed to come in whenever he wanted and was able to take breaks when he needed them; all he had to do was hit his total hours and meet his quota. The second center is much more involved in driving agent performance. He will have set hours that he will be required to work and he will take only scheduled breaks. His performance is constantly monitored and, if needs be, corrected. Call center number one paid him a higher hourly wage than call center number two will.

As we continued talking about the differences between the two centers I was shocked to hear that he was much more excited about the second center than he was the first. His reasons for making the move were not even centered on money; he was actually taking a pay cut by moving. I never would have guessed that my lil’ bro would have been one to take on a more demanding workload by choice, but that is what he has done. To him the second call center was a much better work environment. It provides structure. He was excited to know that instead of running free, he was a part of something that ran like a real business. He is starting out at a lower hourly rate, but is still excited because he knows that hard workers are given advancement opportunities within the company. I asked him what he thought about being monitored more closely. “What if they aren’t happy with the type of performance you gave at the old center?” I asked. “Then I will work hard and they will help me become a better agent.” was his reply.

I think this simple experience has shown me that in our industry employees really do want to be successful. My brother, the millennial, took a pay cut and an increased workload just to have a steady job where he knew he would be helped to succeed. I think that many of our phone agents are just like him. They want help to do their jobs well. They want to earn opportunities to move into management positions. And they want to feel like they are important and that they have a purpose in the company. If we can help our agents to do these things then they will help our business to perform at higher levels than ever before.

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