The Science behind Employee Engagement

There has been a marked increase in the focus on employee engagement in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly, this coincides with a major shift in HR philosophy: the employee - or agent in our industry - is the most important asset in your company.

Sure, technology is important for increasing operational efficiency, but we all know that employees drive the real value in today's contact center. And research in this area over the last decade has culminated in scientific proof that the same drivers that create engagemetn and motivation at work are linked to dopamine production in the brain.

Your most important asset is an engaged employee

Your most important asset is an engaged employee

The 3 pillars of employee satisfaction and productivity

1. Ensure Employees Understand The Significance Of Their Work

Making sure that your agents are aware of exactly how their individual efforts come together to create success in the contact center is key to operational efficiency. The best way to accomplish this is to measure performance on KPIs and metrics that are directly related to your department's score at the executive level.

2. Create programs and/or contests that leverage intrinsic motivation

According to a 2003 study, that was validated over the last decade across various follow-up surveys, money does positively impact motivation - but only up to a point. it's important to complement salary with other factors for true workplace engagement. 

And here is the science that backs that claim.

3. Recognize and reward effort

It’s important for managers to recognize these increased efforts with a simple “thank you” or “great job.” Take it a step further and create an program around employee performance.

Jim Goodnight certainly did: during tough economic times in 2009, instead of laying off employees like the competition, he held a company-wide conference call to ask that everyone contribute to reducing costs during the lean times ahead. Guess who came out on top?

Jim Goodnight: Co-Founder and CEO @ SAS

Jim Goodnight: Co-Founder and CEO @ SAS

"HSM Global described Goodnight's leadership style in a framework of three pillars: "help employees do their best work by keeping them intellectually challenged and by removing distractions; Make managers responsible for sparking creativity; eliminate arbitrary distinctions between 'suits' and 'creatives'; Engage customers as creative partners to help deliver superior products." Source: Building a Winning Corporate Culture – Jim Goodnight and SAS, HSM Global.

To summarize, both the scientific community and today's top business leaders share the same opinion: treat your employees right, and they will help you be successful.


Want to learn more about this topic? Download our free Aberdeen report entitled "Contact Center Workforce Optimization: Secrets to Unlock Agent Productivity & Performance"