Your team makes a last-minute shot just before the buzzer and… it scores! You jump to your feet and the crowd erupts in cheers. Who doesn’t love great competition? It raises the adrenaline and demands our focus. And, the workplace is no different. According to a Refresh Leadership poll, “…52% of respondents said competition was a big motivator”.
But wait… I can already hear the groans from agents who anticipate overzealous co-workers bragging about their wins while others just want to “do” good work. In fact, the same poll says 22% of employees feel competition stresses them out more than it motivates. These employees are seeking collaboration at work—not competition. But, what if we could have both?
It’s definitely possible with a creative supervisor and robust software to help manage contests. In fact, a well-planned contest brings healthy competition to the workforce, a new excitement to the day, and a focus on increased productivity. To motivate your staff and keep the competition friendly, consider these tips:
- Start Small – If you’re new to running contests, try warming your agents up with a simple challenge tied to a straightforward achievement, such as recognizing the agent that takes the most calls. While that challenge is generating some excitement, consider the KPI’s that you really want to improve. Maybe it’s how well agents perform upsells during the holiday season or the number of times an agent resolves a customer’s issue on the first call. Then create contests to develop those skills.
- Be Tactical – Running a contest all the time creates an expectation among your agents, and it lessens the excitement that a contest should naturally generate. Instead, run targeted campaigns meant to lift morale or improve specific key metrics.
- Inspire Teamwork – Consider structuring your contest so agents can work together as a team, while at the same time striving to improve personal bests. For example, you could create a contest that rewards each agent who reaches a specific goal, and offers a special “team reward” if all agents achieve the goal. This opens opportunities for agents to learn from one another while competing against their past performance.
- Learn Too – As managers, it’s easy to focus on agents who do well. But don’t forget to consider why agents might be struggling. Maybe it’s a process issue, confusion with software, or an actual need for improved skills. Contest results can shed light on areas that need focused training.
- Have Fun! – To keep the competition light and inclusive, be sure to have some fun with it. Remember contests are there to change up the regular routine and bring a little excitement to the workplace. Knowing that the competition is friendly and fun might encourage your agents to step out of their comfort zone and try a new upsell skill, ask their co-worker for help with that pesky software screen, or spend a little more time meeting your customers’ needs.
Managing contests can consume way too many hours in your already busy day. So, be sure to find a reliable, flexible system that can help you administer and run contests. To increase agent engagement, use a tool that lets agents know how they’re ranking in contests as well.