How to Improve Agent Onboarding

By Monica Kohn   |   August 10, 2017
How to Improve Agent Onboarding
Stellar onboarding programs result in lower turnover and higher productivity. Your company can take several steps to improve agent onboarding and realize the benefits. It begins by creating a culture to improve agent onboarding and bringing together the tools and resources that your new talent will need to succeed. Below are several tips to help improve agent onboarding.

Stay Connected with Remote Staff

Many call centers rely upon remote employees, which presents a challenge to the onboarding process. To improve agent onboarding across different countries and time zones, video conferencing is highly effective to make a personal connection. Orientation can be done with programs such as Google Hangouts. Human Resources staff and key managers can gather in the conference room and new hires can join from home. This is a particularly good method for instilling a positive culture despite the geographical distance between home base and virtual workers, as well as giving peers a chance to connect face-to-face.

Make Onboarding a Team Effort

To improve agent onboarding, make the process a team effort that includes executives, managers and other individuals across your organization. Human Resources can initiate the onboarding, provide a warm welcome, and gather feedback on the experience. Managers can delineate the day-to-day objectives, set goals, and describe the performance assessment methods. Executives can share the company vision, mission, and values while providing a sense of community.

Maintain a Resource Library

For new agents, the first day is all about learning, digesting information and meeting new people. However, questions will arise later on despite the most effective training. Creating and maintaining a resource library will empower employees to find answers as questions come up. This could be an internal online encyclopedia or a robust learning system. As your company builds out the library, it can include video interviews with management and executives on your organization’s history, mission and vision in addition to information on daily tasks.

Make Onboarding Fun

Onboarding a new agent is an excellent time to introduce a little lightheartedness. You want the day to be memorable. Icebreakers make effective conversation starters, or you can introduce some other methods depending on whether the onboarding is in-person or virtual. The main objective is to create a sense of camaraderie that stresses team building.

Gather Feedback

To improve agent onboarding, gather feedback from new hires through face-to-face discussion, surveys, roundtables, or small group meetings. You can use a combination of ranking, ratings and open ended questions.

When employees feel valued, productivity benefits. This is especially true during the onboarding process. Even if a new idea won’t play out, ensure that the agent knows the suggestion is appreciated. In addition, gathering feedback on a consistent basis, especially from remote staff, will improve the feeling of community and being a part of a team. You will have lower turnover, happier staff, and better call center metrics.