Teamwork is the buzzword that stood the test of time. From pre-school onwards we’re told, quite rightly, that combined effort can achieve more than that of an individual. For businesses, this concept in itself is a great advocate for the benefits of teamwork; with everyone pushing towards a common goal, greater volumes of work will be done.

However, the rise of technology, and a shift in priorities accompanying the arrival of the millennial workforce, have enhanced the importance of teamwork further. Let’s delve into why teamwork is so important for contact centers in the 21st century.

Listen to your employees about ways to optimise your business. Teamwork is taking on new meanings in the digital age.

Greater productivity

It makes sense to start with the most conventional advantage of teamwork: greater productivity. This concept may seem self-explanatory, but understanding that aligning your workforce will result in a higher rate of task completion isn’t enough. You need to know why that is the case if you, as a contact center leader, are going to benefit from this collaborative culture:

  • You create an environment of shared responsibility: If you make it clear to staff how their efforts contribute to the success of the team, they will want to make sure that they’re pulling their weight, and not dumping extra work on their colleagues. This can be achieved by setting goals at a company level, departmental level or however you organize your office.
  • Teams create healthy competition: Setting individual targets in the context of these overarching aims can also instigate healthy competition among team members who want to be seen to lead the pack.
  • There’s protection against the unexpected: Cross-training means skilling staff in different roles so they can cover each other in case of unexpected absences. By allowing your agents to learn from each other you can ensure that productivity remains high even when disaster strikes.

As we will see later on, simply setting goals isn’t enough to keep your team members engaged. They need to be consistently measured and reviewed so that you can supply informed feedback to help your agents further their career objectives.

Setting team goals can improve performance at individual and departmental levels.

Idea sharing

One of the traditional characteristics of effective teamwork is good communication. In the past this has mainly referred to sharing information at a peer to peer level, or directives coming down from management.

Both these concepts are still important to the effective functioning of a team, but this shouldn’t be where communication ends. Contemporary scrum models of working encourage employee feedback to improve the ideas and methodologies currently being employed. This is especially important to teamwork in the digital age, where new technological solutions are springing up all the time. Regularly engaging staff not only empowers them to feel involved with the improvement of the company, but also gives management a better chance of staying abreast of the myriad of changes going on in the world of business.

Provide opportunities for millennials to upskill and network.Millennials expect a cohesive company culture.

Building a community

Another reason why teamwork is important in the workplace is building a sense of community, something that will be of increasing importance as we welcome more millennials into our offices. This demographic will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, according to Deloitte, and they have some clear expectations when it comes to choosing where to take their skills.

When it comes to teamwork, these desires manifest themselves in two important ways, as shown in a survey by PwC:

  1. Shared values – Employees are drawn to employers who they perceive to share their values.
  2. Inclusivity – In addition, compared to previous generations, millennials place more emphasis on being engaged in a cohesive team, and less on salary.

Popular scrum business models emphasize the importance of employee feedback.

The concept of a cohesive community also feeds back into communication, but in a very specific way. In addition to the two points above, millennials are highly focussed on being able to progress their careers. This means leadership should provide regular feedback on performance, reward success and present opportunities for upskilling.

As well as the obvious business benefits that come with increasing staff skill levels, by listening to millennials’ desires employers make themselves more attractive. It’s no secret that the job market is becoming increasingly competitive, so if you’re interested in attaining, and holding onto, the very best emerging talent, you should consider bringing your company culture into line with these changing expectations.

Great team spirit among your agents requires concerted effort and planing from management – it isn’t just going to spring up overnight. Sometimes you can simply be too close to your current way of working to see the problems, which is where Call Design comes in. We offer a tailored consulting service to review how your team operates, and iron out any problems. For more information, get in touch with our team.