It’s a challenge for organizations to retain and keep great employees engaged. Gallup’s 2022 employee engagement research finds that only 33% of employees say they are engaged, defined as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” And more than 63% of executives agree that retaining great employees is harder than hiring them.
And it’s only going to get more challenging, as skills, technology, and the job continue to evolve. According to the recent Genesys/MIT Technology Review Insights report, Customer Experience and the Future of Work, successful customer experience workers will require enhanced skills including:
- Data and analytics
- Customer journey and process improvement
- Deep product knowledge
- High emotional intelligence
The report also predicts that by 2024, 89% expect to use on-demand “gig employees” for CX. Going deeper into this topic, employers are looking for the flexibility and scalability with gig, but aren't willing to give up the level of quality that is traditionally associated with full-time employees.
Here is where a daunting challenge can instead turn into a tremendous opportunity.
Flexibility as a brand differentiator for employees
Besides salary, a majority of employees prefer to work for employers that value their work-life balance, well-being, and give them a chance to use their strengths, according to Gallup research. This translates into flexibility and willingness to allow employees to be their authentic selves.
Throughout my career and here at TTEC, I’ve advocated the concept of being REAL: Relevant, Empowered, Accountable, and Learning. To that end, we are developing ways to be relevant to the reality of today’s workforce and empower our employees to do their best and learn every day. We are creating employee workforce options that consider the realities of contact center employees. Rigid, regimented staffing and training styles just aren’t practical for many potential employees. We want to tap into people’s passions and interests to help employees, customers, and organizations alike prosper.
It's what we at TTEC call FlexEX – a contact center model that allows employees to enable a better work-life balance and fits their individual needs. FlexEX is designed to provide contact center associates with a greater level of control and the flexibility to manage and adjust their schedules as needed. It opens up more part-time options for associates looking to earn additional income, as well as full-time options that don't need to correspond with traditional eight-hour shifts.
The goal is to attract and retain highly skilled talent who may be looking for non-traditional employment options or a chance to work in multiple settings. It also increases flexibility for employees to work on different projects, learn new skills, empower them with more control, and enable a greater level of scalability for our clients, both on a day-to-day basis and for seasonal demands. This flexible operating model allows us to provide the flexibility that's often associated with gig-style workforces alongside the quality associated with full-timers. It’s the best of both worlds.
We see improved overall productivity and efficiency, as well as improvements in associate satisfaction. Better aligning staffing with demand allows us to run at higher levels of occupancy, without any of the burnout that's historically associated with it.
Employee engagement remains a long-term priority
We’re happy to report that FlexEX approach is just one of many TTEC employee-focused strategies at work.
I’m really proud of the success we’ve had so far to engage and empower employees, as well as the positive results our employees have working with our clients’ customers. And I look forward to what the future will bring as we expand FlexEX and to deliver value for our employees and by extension, our clients.