The 4 Essential Ingredients every supervisor needs to drive high agent engagement and commitment.

#4: Creative Communication Tools: Storytelling Sessions    

Trust is the cornerstone of employee engagement. When an agent knows her supervisor values the contributions she makes and genuinely cares about her as a person (not a number), she is much more willing to perform to best of her ability.

It takes time to forge a relationship built on mutual trust and understanding. Most supervisors who work in call centers are under enormous, unrelenting time pressures. They would like nothing better than to have the luxury of spending 10 or 15 minutes off the floor regularly engaged in a relaxed, informal conversation with each of their agents, finding out more about their families, learning about their hobbies and special interests, and getting to know them as individuals with unique talents, abilities and aspirations.

If you are one of those supervisors, I’ll let you in on a little secret –  the fastest, easiest, and most enjoyable way to build a strong trust relationship not only between you and your agents, but between agents and each other, is to meet regularly as a group and use a short, easy-to-read business fable book to guide the discussion.

Top 6 Reasons Leaders Use Business Fables to Connect With Their People         

1) Stories have a unifying effect on groups of employees.
Reading the same story creates shared experience that can be referenced again and again.
2) Stories validate the employees’ own experiences.
Agents are relieved to discover that others often feel the same frustrations and stresses they do.
3) Stories make it safe for employees to be candid and open.
When supervisors create a relaxed, informal, not-just-about-work meeting setting, agents are  eager to share their points of view — and tell their own stories.
4) Stories help employees communicate.
The shared experience of reading the same story gives agents a unique vocabulary they can use to communicate with each other throughout their work day.
5) Stories are a quick, easy read.
Unlike other “business” books these simple stories are informative, entertaining and easy to relate to. (Even “non-readers” say they enjoy them.)
6) Stories and the lessons they offer, apply to all areas of the employees’ lives.
The fable stories that get the most traction with agents are stories that teach universal lessons anyone can use to make their life easier and more enjoyable.


Copyright 2012 Barbara Burke. All rights reserved.