Increasing Remote Employee Engagement and Productivity With Call Center Incentives

Call centers are considered one of the most stressful places to work. According to a Cornell University study, over 80% of call center employees experience “high” or “very high” levels of stress in their workplaces. Constant stress, difficult callers, and high performance expectations can all contribute to call center agent burnout. Employee burnout can then result in lower productivity and higher turnover rates. Many managers may wonder how to prevent burnout in high-stress remote employees in order to reduce the negative impact of these stressful working environments. Implementing an employee incentive program can increase productivity and engagement while decreasing stress, burnout, and turnover.

What Is an Employee Incentive Program?

Employers often create employee incentive programs to incentivize their employees to achieve goals, participate in workplace wellness programs, or ensure compliance. Incentive programs can be set up in various formats, but they typically include a non-monetary gift, like swag, financial compensation, or an experience, like extra vacation time or a retreat.

These programs are designed to motivate employees to do their best work, improve workplace productivity, and encourage teamwork. For example, if an employee hits their quarterly sales target, they may receive a cash bonus or commission.

Monetary compensation is a powerful motivator. It’s a tangible way to show employees their hard work is paying off and their employer values their contributions to the company.

How Incentives Increase Engagement and Productivity

Employee engagement is the commitment and connection an employee has to your business. Qualities of engagement include feelings of togetherness, support, and recognition within the workplace. High employee engagement can increase retention, performance, customer satisfaction, and stakeholder returns. Incentive programs increase engagement by showing employees that their hard work is noticed and appreciated.

When implemented and measured correctly, employee incentive programs can also help increase performance. According to the Incentive Research Foundation, employee incentives in the form of money or awards increased team performance by 22%. Team incentives, on the other hand, can improve performance by as much as 44%.

Types of Incentives

The effectiveness of an employee incentive program comes down to how well it’s executed. Some incentives or programs may fit your company better than others. The type of incentive program you implement can be just as important as the incentives themselves.

Quota-based Incentives

Quota-based incentive programs reward employees for reaching or exceeding specific workplace goals. These incentives can be applied to sales, customer satisfaction, or even wellness goals. They work well because they give employees a clear target to aim for and a tangible reward to earn. According to the Incentive Research Foundation, these are the most effective incentive programs.

Spot Bonuses

The second type of effective employee incentive program is a spot bonus. Spot bonuses are one-time, on-the-spot rewards given to employees for exceptional work. These are often given to employees who achieve the highest number of sales, effectively de-escalate customer interactions, or have the highest number of calls per day. A Towers Perrin analysis found that 68% of firms with recognition programs offer spot bonuses. They're effective because they show employees that their work is noticed and appreciated at that very moment.

Tangible Incentives

People often think of cash, swag, or physical gifts when thinking of incentives. These all fall under tangible incentives. But it’s important to note that not all tangible incentives are created equal, and some may be more effective than others. According to Allan Schweyer, Co-Chief Researcher at the Incentive Research Foundation, “When people receive a cash reward, they tend to treat it like salary and use it for forgettable things—paying the electric bill, for example. Tangible rewards…on the other hand, stand apart from salary; perhaps especially when they address what an employee wants as opposed to what they may need.” Tangible incentives work well because they give employees an immediate sense of accomplishment and a physical reminder of their hard work.

How to Deliver Incentives

With a digital rewards solution in place, organizations can build an incentive program that hits the mark and addresses common pain points. Reward Link® is the fastest, easiest way to send a choice of digital gift cards—a reward your employees actually want. It never expires, so your employees can redeem it immediately or save it for a rainy day. They can also split the balance across multiple gift cards or spend it all on one.

Request a demo or email our sales team to learn more about call center incentives.

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