How to Keep Service Desk Morale High and Turnover Low

Employee engagement can be a tough battle in any environment, especially in a call center. Are your reps getting burnt out by taking call after call? Do they feel they are making a valuable contribution or are they just another person at a desk?

If agents do not feel connected to or supported by the business they are much more likely to leave. In fact, call center turnover averages 30-45% – with some centers having a triple-digit turnover rate annually.

Turnover is costly. Training a new call representative requires managers to leave their work to perform the training. That’s hours and hours spent redoing what you’ve already done before. Deloitte found that replacing an employee can cost as much as 1.5-2 times the position’s salary.

Here are a few ways to keep service desk employees engaged:

  1. Soft skill training (not just technical training)

  2. Career development plans

  3. Constant team lead or manager coaching and mentoring

  4. Recognition or incentive programs and competitions

  5. Teambuilding events

5 ways to keep your morale high and your turnover low

  1. Soft skill training, not just technical training

  • Each position will require technical training to build comfort with what you’re supporting. What most companies miss is soft skill training, for example, how to deal with an angry user. When you focus on the “people skills,” you’ll find that your employees are naturally more engaged and comfortable talking to people and building rapport.
  • Soft skills don’t come naturally for everyone. In a service desk environment, one of the most important measures of success is customer satisfaction. If your agents, and business, are being measured on it, then it makes sense to have regular training on how to improve it.
  • When your leadership shows they care by giving the team as much training and development as possible, you will naturally see more positive energy in your call center or service desk team.
  1. Career development plans

  • Career driven individuals make the best employees. Driven employees want to excel, and want to excel fast. One of the top contributing factors in employee turnover is that there’s no clear path for growth.
  • Having a clearly defined career path for each level or position keeps your employees engaged and enables their growth.
  • Team leads and managers have a responsibility to check in with individuals on their career goals and progression. Demonstrating investment in employees’ success builds closer, and more productive, relationships.
  1. Constant team lead or manager coaching and mentoring

  • Micromanagement can become standard practice in a call center or service desk environment because success is measured in call and ticket statistics – time on call, resolution rate, customer service rating. While these sorts of metrics are important to the day-to-day operation of the business, it’s important that your supervisors and managers spend time with each representative discussing outside topics, such as career goals, improvement suggestions. These meetings show that leadership is invested in their continued growth and not just how to drive their talk time down by 20%.
  • A mentor program is a great opportunity to give new employees an additional level of support as they start their journey with your organization.
  • One-on-ones should happen at least once per month and should revolve around the positive aspects of the individual’s performance. Remaining positive and encouraging keeps the focus on continuous improvement and development.
  1. Recognition or incentive programs and competitions

  • Competitions can be great motivators. As call center and service desk environments are naturally metrics-driven, incentivizing top performers is a great way to keep employees engaged.
  • Recognition programs also help drive employee tenure. Incentivizing tenure, milestone metrics (1,000 calls, 10,000 calls, etc) will keep your employees looking forward to their next accomplishment.
  • Publicizing outstanding performance will keep morale up and encourage employees to engage in positive competition.
  1. Teambuilding – socials, celebrations, and community contributions

  • It’s important to celebrate the little things like birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishments, certifications, or graduations. As noted previously, leadership remembering and showing an interest in employees outside of performance can reap big rewards.
  • Frequent social opportunities encourage “non-work related” interactions. Building relationships with your employees is a huge driver in employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Giving back to your community as a team is a great way to build bonds amongst your employees. Not to mention a great way to serve your community!

While it seems counter-intuitive that a company that provides help desk services should be advising on how to keep your help desk employees, we are more than anything invested in our clients’ success. When you need to outsource help desk activities to supplement your team, or need extended hours of support, we can offer professional agents engaged by the activities listed above.

If you are looking to join a team that engages and develops you, then please check out our careers page here.