If you are considering moving top performers home as either a reward or to pilot a home agent model, you should consider evaluating them for the home agent role. Just because they are successful as a brick and mortar agent does not mean they will be successful in the home agent role. In our experience, many organizations move employees home and then see deterioration in performance because they are not fit for the remote agent role. FurstPerson research, as noted earlier, shows that competencies required for successful brick and mortar performance are not the same competencies required for successful home agent performance. This demonstrates that agents who are successful working in brick and mortar customer care positions might not have the same success if they performed their jobs from home. An agent’s success in their brick and mortar location may not have required him or her to demonstrate autonomy or perseverance or time management to the extent that he/she would need to in an at-home environment. Contact center organizations should therefore take care to ensure that agents being sent home (often as a reward for successful brick-and-mortar performance) are actually equipped for such an environment; otherwise, what is intended as a reward may actually be setting the agent up for failure.
Before moving agents home, ask the following questions:
- Are they the self-motivated ones that strive to out-perform their peers and their own historical performance because of the satisfaction it brings them, not the praise they may receive from others?
- Are these the “low maintenance” call center agents? Do the supervisors give them little supervision or direction to complete their job responsibilities? Will this still be true when they work-at-home?
- Do these call center agents typically learn new systems, platforms, or programs more quickly than others
- Do they have a natural interest in technology and can therefore help (not impede) remote trouble-shooting?”
Sending successful on-premise agents into an at-home setting without evaluating their readiness for such an environment is like promoting the best agents to supervisory positions without assessing their leadership potential. Certainly on-premise agents can be successful in the at-home space, but if you don’t evaluate their potential for success specifically in that environment, you might be setting them up for failure by sending them to at-home jobs.