Contact center training is never over. Many contact centers make the mistake of disregarding ongoing training after new-hire orientation and initial training is complete. The goal of any contact center’s ongoing training program is to provide training for the skills necessary to perform the job and continually improve agent performance.
Measuring Progress Through Milestones
In order to have a successful ongoing training program, it’s important to define what employees should be able to do and what they need to know. To properly measure progress, create milestones which define what skills and critical knowledge is needed at a that time so that training gaps and performance issues can be identified.
Typical questions to ask at each milestone:
- What learning objectives have been met or not met?
- What behaviors should be reinforced?
- What information should each agent know?
- Have they reached a plateau in their performance?
- What tasks can be assigned to improve growth?
So On-boarding is Complete. What’s Next?
You will know when an agent has reached the competence phase when they begin offering suggestions on how their performance can be improved. At this point, they’ve discovered how things really work and have developed the competencies required for the job. Their productivity meets or exceeds expectations and many agents may even become unmotivated if there’s no opportunity for growth.
Contact center supervisors and trainers need to keep an eye on performance plateaus and implement ongoing training so agents can remain motivated and focused. This is a perfect time to provide specialized skills training based on their specific job functions. If an agent is already proficient in particular skills, they will benefit from advanced training to enhance those skills. Also, ongoing training can expand their abilities in their current roles, there may also be opportunities to learn new skills or enhance general skills such as time management, problem solving, active listening, telephone and email best practices, emotional intelligence, and written communication skills.
Cost of Hiring New Employees
Many employers lose about 25% of their employees due to a lack of training and learning opportunities. The cost of hiring new employees is high therefore businesses should invest in ongoing training. A survey on training and development by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 95%of employers believe training can not only improve retention, but also avoid hefty recruitment costs and reduce sickness absence.
Investing in further training might seem expensive at the time, but in the long run it will prove worthwhile, especially when the cost of hiring and absence is taken into account. The easiest and most effective way to deliver ongoing training is with e-learning. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to acquire new skills and knowledge. In addition to it’s effectiveness, e-learning is affordable and easily tailored to address learning gaps.