Team management dilemma: Should you fire lazy agents right away?

Team management dilemma: Should you fire lazy agents right away?

Faith Ocampo Published on June 20, 2016

lazy-call-center-agent-sleeping-watching-customer-service-coworkers

In a productivity-focused setting like a call center, it seems there’s no room for lazy agents. Or is there?

As a manager, we’re sure you’ve encountered this employee before: the one who never seems to get any work done. Either you’ll find them wandering about and chatting with their teammates or just sitting in front of their computers, physically present but are really busy daydreaming.
How should you deal with these types of agents?

bored-lazy-call-center-agent-idle-feet-up-table

Your impulse might be to consider firing them immediately. After all, they may be dragging down your team’s productivity or possibly annoying their teammates who want to focus on doing actual work. Slacking off, or appearing to do so, always has a negative connotation, and this bad reputation multiplies exponentially in a result-driven setting, such as in the customer support field.
As a team leader or manager, performance management is one of your key responsibilities. You’re in charge of improving less than ideal situations so you can maximize the organization’s productivity. But before you fire your “lazy” call center agents, we suggest you consider the following.

1. Is it possible to transfer them to another position?

businessman-welcome-new-employee-with-box

Even professionals who have a lot of potential may, at some point in their careers, appear sluggish. It can happen to each one of us, especially if our job doesn’t match our key skills.

Often, managers forget that effective team management is a result of harnessing the potential of employees. You can only do that if you hire the right people for a particular job. If not, those employees will be wasting so much of their knowledge and talents by doing a job that doesn’t let them maximize their expertise.

 

2. What are their biggest contributions, so far?

boss-one-on-one-meeting-employee-evaluation

Before firing a lazy call center agent, you first need to review all of their contributions to the organization. An employee may be judged as unproductive, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they’re unsuccessful in all subsets of their job. They may, for example, excel at some tasks like upselling or cross-selling but be ineffective at resolving the technical problems of customers. For a more holistic performance management, you should take a closer look at every single one of your employees’ contributions. This way, you can also evaluate them in a fair and accurate way or design training programs to target their weaknesses.

 

3. What do these lazy employees do best?

female-call-center-agent-typing-on-keyboard

Team leaders and managers are in a position to help their staff nurture their individual potential. The greatest leaders allow their team members to shine by letting them do what they do best. Have a one-on-one talk with your agents and let them know that you’re willing to make rearrangements if it’s possible. This way, you’re letting them make more significant contributions to the organization while making room for a new member of your team who has the right customer support skills.

 

4. How do they affect team dynamics?

sleeping-female-customer-service-agent-call-center-coworkers-watching

Team dynamics greatly affect employee engagement. When team members work harmoniously with one another, each of them becomes driven to accomplish more. But if there are gaps among some members, productivity may suffer.

If your “lazy” call center agents affect others’ performance, you may feel the need to cut them loose. The other option is to transfer them to more individualistic tasks that won’t require much interaction with others. Remember, when you do move them to another department, make sure that their new task suits them better than the previous one.

In reality, different leaders have different team management styles, and what works for one may not work for the other. This is because you’re operating on varying contexts and there are unique considerations in almost every case. Tell us how you deal with lazy agents in the comment box!

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO2 days ago
#CustomerService metrics indicate the level of service your brand is capable of providing.
They can also reveal just how effective your strategies are, including your
• staffing
• training
• quality assurance, and
• service/people management.

Metrics are more diagnostic than curative: https://buff.ly/3RiolyQ

----------
Make dismal #CustomerService a thing of the past when you outsource your #CustomerSupport needs: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CallCenterOutsourcing #CallCenters
#CustomerExperience
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO3 days ago
Customers appreciate brands with #eCommerce websites that have #LiveChatSupport because of its convenience, speed, and humanized interaction.
You need to optimize these 4 features to make your #ChatSupport exceptional: https://buff.ly/3fhVflL

----------
Upgrade #CustomerExperience with our 24/7 multichannel #CustomerSupport solutions: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerService #eCommerce
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO7 days ago
#Repost | Team Allied Services and You:
𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗕𝗣𝗢 is once again supporting #RyansRun during the TCS New York City Marathon this November.

Ryan's Run is a nonprofit organization and NYC Marathon Charity Partner. This #sponsorship supports #charity healthcare system Allied Services and their goal to improve the lives of people with disabilities, life-changing injuries, and chronic illnesses.

Photo shows Open Access BPO CEO Ben Davidowitz presenting the multilingual #CallCenter's donation to Allied Services' Jim Brogna and Steve Davidowitz.

----------
Open Access BPO is a multilingual call center with locations in both the Philippines and the United States. The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Ben Davidowitz, grew up in Kingston, PA. His brother, Steve, has been part of the charity campaign since its inception in 2010, and will be running the TCS New York City Marathon once again this year as part of Team Allied Services and You. He will be joined by an Open Access BPO employee.

Thank you @openaccessbpo

#openaccessbpo #teamalliedservicesandyou #pinoyrunner
#tcsnycmarathon #partnership #support #WeSpeakYourLanguage
#NYCMarathon2022
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO1 week ago
Open Access BPO, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, is holding a #BloodDonation drive on September 28.

Employees who haven't signed up as #BloodDonors may do so by filling out this form: https://buff.ly/3dvNyI6

𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗕𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮
September 28 | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM PST
Open Access BPO Makati, Glorietta 2 site lobby

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#DonateBlood
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO1 week ago
#Gamification works to create healthy competition and camaraderie among your #CallCenter agents while ensuring productivity and high quality support for your customers.

But it only works if done right. Here are several tips you can use to gamify your contact center: https://buff.ly/3dvR6Kt

----------
Ensure high quality support for your customers: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO1 week ago
Having a branded #CustomerService strategy sets your business apart from others, helping grow your customers base and enhancing #CustomerExperience.
Here's how you can develop a branded customer service strategy: https://buff.ly/3Smzv6A

----------
Outsource #CustomerDelight without losing your #BrandIdentity: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerSupport #branding
Open Access BPO