Call Center Burnout – How to Motivate Your Call Center Employees


As a call center manager, you would manage your call center team daily and along with that bear the responsibility for the motivation of your employees. This is why it is important for call center managers to instill inspiration and push for higher levels of productivity, but also keep an eye on the well being of the employees.

Sometimes it may look as if impossible to turn an employee that has lost motivation into an employee that will be a hard-working achiever. However, it is important to monitor the signs of agent burnout and be on top of them as they appear. Sometimes it is better to prevent a situation than to try and resolve it.

There are plenty of practical ways that you as a call center manager can make a big difference. Start with motivation and recognition and implement a reward and incentive program and your customer service team will be transformed. Great managers always strive to create a better working environment and to communicate effectively with their team. Along with this, it is important to invest in correct technology and to work on empowering call center agents to work harder and smarter.

In the article below we will explore a couple of ideas on how to motivate your call center agents.



Overcoming the Burnout


The work of a call center agent is one of the most stressful job positions in the modern society. Focus on keeping your agents motivated, because satisfied agents make for satisfied customers. 


The best way to keep the motivation of your team is by helping your team set their goals. If every day is just the same as the day before it, it’s easy for the work to become mundane and meaningless. This is why establishing goals for every agent to strive toward is an important step in learning how to motivate your call center agents.

The role of a manager in a call center would here be to provide their employees with a reason to work harder. These goals have to be communicated with the team and they need to be specific and attainable. If the goals are something that is far off, your agents won’t be able to see their improvement. Immediate results and immediate rewards usually work the best.

Along with this, as a call center manager, you should take the time to come up with goals for each agent and separately goals for the team as a whole. This depends of the size of the call center and the company culture. However, it doesn’t matter if the objective is reaching a certain level of calls within a day or achieving a certain average score for the call quality, you can still set up a valid reward and incentive program.

The goal should be relevant to your overall company mission and have a clear and meaningful benefit. Also, note that the set goals should also have a set deadline. Time for achieving something with an incentivized reward can be a great motivator for employees who are struggling to move forward.

Another way to motivate your call center employees and help deal with call center burnout is by providing optimal training and opportunities. Working within the same position for years without any opportunities of advancement may not be motivating for every employee. It is true that not all of your call center agents are looking to advance within the company, however it is crucial to present everyone with growth opportunities.

The role of the call center manager here is to encourage agents looking to grow. You could do this through setting up career development plans for your call center agents and giving them a path to promotion. By helping your call center agents identify the areas they can improve in and giving them opportunities to learn new skills would work well to motivate your agents to push themselves and work harder.

Even if your call center agents are not looking for position advancement, you should still try to set up regular training sessions. Not only your call center agents, but your entire team will benefit from regular training sessions. These sessions can serve to teach your employees new skills and help them retain old ones.

Your regular training sessions can help give new agents the experience they need to handle customers alongside more seasoned agents confidently. Don’t forget that some of your agents may not intend to stay at the call center as a long-term career. However, all of your call center agents will still benefit from training opportunities that help them become better workers and help keep the daily grind feeling fresh and stave off burnout.


How to Motivate Your Call Center Agents Through Incentives


Moving from preventing call center burnout through motivation, the next step is to create an excellent incentive plan. This is a major motivating factor that goes well with goal setting. Your call center agents’ opportunity to receive rewards or commendations for achieving those goals is something that should be on the agenda. 


This is why rewards programs are an excellent arrangement that allows call center agents to accumulate a certain level of awards. The way this is done is through their achievements. These rewards are usually redeemable after a certain number of points collected, making this a fun gamified activity. In order to provide your employees with the opportunity to earn things like gift cards or tickets to a show is a unique and fun way to incentivize hard work. This is how you reward those who go above and beyond.

Another way to incentivize work within your call center is by rewarding excellence at work. You can do this by offering additional work benefits as a reward. For example, an additional 15-minutes lunch break or the opportunity to go on a company-sponsored trip. These are all are great incentives to motivate employees. 

As a manager you should also provide your agents with regular rewards to show your appreciation for the team. This doesn’t have to be anything huge, as long as it is thoughtful. For example, small touches like a holiday card or a catered lunch can remind your employees that the company values their hard work.

The first step to incentivizing the work is by recognition. This is one of the most effective ways to reinforce the call center’s culture, and also support its objective while retaining top performers. The role of managers and supervisors is to provide recognition for improvements, initiatives, as well as recognition for results.


The way to set up incentive programs is by recognizing desired behavior so it will be repeated. Recognition within your call center should be provided right away, with goals that are attainable and rewards that are immediate. It should be in both verbal and written form. For example, you as a supervisor could write the word “recognition” on a calendar and make this a trigger word to quickly think of people who deserve recognition. Decide on the goals that might warrant recognition, for example, include perfect attendance, volunteering for a tough assignment, helping others meet their goals, cost- or time-saving suggestions, or going above and beyond for a customer.


Along with this, the supervisors of your team should be checked to see if they are giving recognition on a regular basis. To do this, supervisors should be asked to make a list of all the people who work with or for them. After the list is finished, the supervisor should write down the last time they gave recognition to each person on the list for a job well done. The point of this is that if the supervisors can’t remember the last time they recognized or praised most of the people on their list, they are probably not doing it enough. This is something that should be remedied as it will lead to better teamwork and better company culture.


While recognizing desirable performance make sure to also to reward it in some way so that it will be repeated. While designing a reward and recognition incentive program, keep in mind that the program should encourage continuous improved performance by providing ongoing measurement and feedback.


While striving for a better company culture and a way to motivate your employees, it is important to create an optimal incentive program. Create excitement for your reward program at the program launch. Before it is started, make sure the objectives are clearly defined. During the set up of the incentive program, take time to explain the rules, awards, and provide ongoing communication.


Your reward and recognition program should provide a wide range of positive consequences while also encouraging recognition by management and peers, and including rewards that have value, choice, and are easy to administer.