Simple Ways Team Leaders Can Develop and Display Integrity
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People want to work for those who are ethical. With a leader they trust people tend to more satisfied and committed to them and more willing to be open and vulnerable in a good way. They know that if their leader acts with integrity, they will treat them right and do what’s best for the team and the company.
Over the many years I’ve been running call centers around the world and consulting with organisations coaching Call Center Managers and Team Leader, one of the things I’ve found is that when people 0believe you have integrity they associate that trait with kindness and having good intentions as opposed to selfish motives.
And, when a leader is also competent… it shows they can act on their character and are considered a really valuable employee and seen as a more effective leader.
Of course, everyone values integrity, but when you ask most people what integrity actually means many can have a hard time telling you, much explaining how they show their integrity.
Here are some simple ways you can develop and display integrity to your team, peers and managers that demonstrates you are a person they can trust to do the right thing.
The first way you can develop and display integrity is fairly obvious… simply be honest and treat people well. Don’t exaggerate success and be quick to praise the contributions of your team members and
Secondly, treat everyone fairly regardless of their position in the organization, and hold yourself accountable not just to your boss, but also to your team members and other Team Leaders.
Think about doing a self-audit. Think about those you admire and what you admire about them. Think about their attributes that you emulate and how successful you are at emulating those attributes.
If you find you’re lacking in an area, try to figure out why. And, find out how others view you…. its one thing to think about how we’re perceived, but quite another to know for sure, right?
So, talk to your boss, your team members and other team leaders and people outside of the company about what you do well, and what you can do better.
And, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your team. If you make a mistake, say so and do all you can to fix it. Your team doesn’t expect you to be perfect, and you can alienate them if you don’t admit to your screw ups when things go wrong.
3 Traits You Must Find When Hiring Team Leaders
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15 Essential Habits of Amazing Team Leaders
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Creating amazing Team Leaders takes a lot of work and it’s certainly not always easy, but, the surprising thing is it isn’t the hardest thing in the world either… especially if your Team Leaders adopt positive habits they consistently apply every day!
Over the past 35 years I’ve been involved with Call Centers either as a Call Center Owner, consulting with businesses or coaching and mentoring Call Center Managers and Team Leaders, I’ve seen the best habits in action that amazing Team Leaders use to successfully nurture, coach and lead winning teams!
And, I promise. If your Team Leaders learn these habits and effectively apply them every day, in a few quick months’ senior managers and team members will recognize them as a truly amazing Team Leaders.
Habit 1: Knowing Their Numbers
Amazing Team Leaders are obsessive when it comes to knowing their team metrics. They know these numbers are how they are measured every hour, day, week and month, so they keep track of where their team is in relation to their KPIs and sales targets every day and every hour of the day.
Habit 2: Setting Expectations
Amazing Team Leaders always remember they are leader, coach and mentor and they set the direction and expectations for the team and team members individually early and often. They set expectations on the key performance metrics and other areas like work behaviors and even dress code.
They also set expectations on what the team will get from them be it coaching, extra training or being a cheerleader and celebrating team and individual achievements.
Habit 3: Walking the Talk
Amazing Team Leaders handle calls each week to stay sharp and on top of any issues the team may be facing to show the team they’re invested in its success.
They know taking or making calls earns the team’s respect, and also helps them in other ways because if the team knows their Team Leader can do the job they’re more open to being coached and listening to suggestions and tips.
Habit 4: Clearing Roadblocks
Amazing Team Leaders find out what is getting in the way of their team members hitting their targets and doing a great job. They know it’s their job to try their best to address these issues and fix them.
And, for any issues they can’t fix, they let the team know why because they know the team will accept an issue once they know why it can’t be fixed.
Habit 5: Helping Team Members Be Great
Amazing Team Leaders remember how scary it was and how unsure they were when they first started on the phones, how much there was to learn and take on board. They remember how they needed reassurance and support from their Team Leader and how they wanted and needed constant feedback especially in the beginning.
So, amazing Team Leaders evaluate team member’s efforts often and give corrective feedback and reassurance to help team members become really good at their jobs.
Habit 6: Effectively On boarding New Members
When a new team member joins the team, the first thing amazing Team Leaders do is get feedback from the training team to get an understanding of what they were good at and what help is still needed.
They also want to check on the new team member’s attitude, their attendance, how they participated in training and how they interacted with others to get a sense of what still needs to be worked on.
And, amazing Team Leaders ease them into the job by having them sit with an experienced agent for a few shifts to settle them into the job and into the team and get comfortable with the job by watching and listening to how the job is done.
Basically, providing a safe place to ask questions or bring up any concerns they may have regarding the job, and make connections with people in the team.
INDUSTRY SERVICE TIPS
1. Eliminate stagnation by hiring from the outside. People with varied experiences from other companies and industry add value. A good blend of inside and outside hiring can keep your management team strong.
2. Instill the desire to improve. Continuous improvement is a value to everyone. Lead by example and those will follow.
Site culture all starts at the top with a solid site leader who has the knowledge, experience and understanding of how to facilitate a new management team through the team development stages. Finding and choosing contact center managers is both an inside and outside recruitment task. You will find candidates internally who have the institutional knowledge and the outside candidates who bring fresh ideas and experiences to policy and procedure. This balancing of candidates requires a steady flow of candidates provided by a strategically planned leadership sourcing model. It’s a great thing to have managers on the bench ready to perform!
Amazing Team Leader Scoring Model
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Team Leaders are the backbone of any call center and depending on who you have in that critical role can make or break you.
Many Call Center Managers usually promote a really good operator as a Team Leader thinking they should be able to show others how to be as good as they are, but the sad reality is that not all really good operators have the characteristics and traits of amazing Team Leaders.
Over the years I’ve been managing call centers and consulting with small to large businesses around the world, and having owned a call center myself, one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen that call centers face is ineffective Team Leaders.
The major problem is that many of the people responsible for running call centers don’t really have a firm grasp of all the best traits and characteristics of really successful Team Leaders. As a consequence, they don’t have all the information they need to identify amazing or potentially amazing Team Leaders.
To fix this I created a scoring model based on my 35 years experience running and consulting on call centers, and a lot of research where I came across the Lominger Standard 67 Competencies and Definitions of Great Leaders.
I deconstructed those competencies to come up with the 43 characteristics and traits of amazing Team Leaders used in this scoring tool, which I share with those who enroll in my Creating Amazing Team Leaders online self pace course.
With this scoring model you can quickly identify how each of your Team Leaders rate against each of the criteria and subsequently identify areas that you can work with them to improve on.
The tool also includes a tab with my top 15 characteristics and traits, together with a list of open ended interview questions one can use to gather the information needed from prospective candidates to determine their scoring.
The first thing you’ll notice with this scoring tool is that I created it in Excel to make it easier for every to use and make any changes they wanted to customize it their specific needs.
In the first column is a list of each of the 43 traits and characteristics of amazing Team Leaders along with a description of each.
The next column is the Criteria Rating, and as you can see I’ve set each trait with a high score of 10, but
you can change these scores for each individual trait if want to give greater weight to certain traits over
And, you can see on the row next to the Criteria Rating is where you’d list all your existing Team Leaders.
Then all you do is give a rating from 0 to 10 for each trait in each Team Leader’s column and their final
score will automatically tally up in the Team Leader Score cell.
You’ll also see I’ve included a Criteria Rating % that calculates each Team Leader Score against the
accumulated score value set in the Criteria Rating column.
This helps you quickly see how each Team Leader compares with each other against a perfect score to
quickly identify those that need the most help first. Or, if their score is just awful, maybe indicate that a
change needs to be done quickly.
Now when you’re looking for a new Team Leader, usually promoting from within is the best place to look
before looking outside, and when assessing their suitability, just be careful of any bias you may have in
If you feel you’re too close to them, consider scoring them with someone else or have someone else do
the scoring instead. And, if they score higher than the minimum mark set for the scoring model that
should give you more confidence about selecting them for the role.
However, as you would with any outside candidate, you should still conduct a formal interview.
When you do conduct interviews make sure you ask a series of open ended questions that speak to the
top traits you’re looking for in a Team Leader. The answers to your questions will give you important
insights into a candidate’s suitability and give you more confidence in selecting them.
In the 3rd tab you’ll find 26 open ended questions you can use for interviews and an explanation for each
question to help you get the information you need to effective score them on.
Now before you start using this tool it’s very important that you calibrate the scoring and determine
what a minimal acceptable score would be, either with current Team Leaders and definitely when
bringing on new ones.
How you do that is by pulling a group together from different levels in the organization to get 360 degree
view of what the team thinks each different trait and characteristic should be scored for either exiting
team leaders or future ones.
When you pull the group together, make sure you have the person who the Call Center Manager reports
to, the Call Center Manager of course, and also be sure to include at least one high performing Team
Leader and a high performing team member.
When the groups together go through each trait and characteristic, discuss its relevance and decide on
the maximum rating number for it. After you’ve done this, see if you can come up with a really good
Team Leader who worked with you in the past and have the team score them.
And, based on that score you can determine the minimally acceptable overall score.
Now, if you can’t come up with someone who used to work there to use for calibrating, then simply list
each current Team Leader and score them. See what the overall ratings were for each of them and from
there; determine the minimally acceptable overall score.
Make any changes you feel are required and you’ll be ready to go! Of course, after you’ve used the tool a
few times review it for your needs, and make any necessary changes.
Now that you know the traits and characteristics of amazing team leaders and how to score them, you
should consider how to identify these traits in people you’re looking to recruit as Team Leaders.
Usually, promoting from within for a Team Leader is the best place to look before looking outside, so let’s
And, as you already know the person you’re considering promoting for the role, you should be able to
score them against the Scoring Model. Just be careful of any bias you may have in scoring them. If you
feel you’re too close to them, consider scoring them with someone else or have someone else do the
Now, if the person you’re thinking about hits the minimum mark on the scoring model that should give
you more confidence about selecting them for the role.
However, as you would with an outside candidate, you should still conduct a formal interview them.
When you do, ask a series of open ended questions that speak to the top traits, behaviors and
characteristics you’re looking for in a Team Leader.
And, when asking open ended questions that require them to discuss situations where they’ve
demonstrated these traits or characteristics like:
Would you let me know how you go about organizing your work week and the activities you make sure
you set time aside for to get the best out of your team?
Their answers to your questions will give you important insights into their suitability and give you more
confidence in selecting them.
Here are 10 traits and characteristics I look for when interviewing to give me confidence in selecting a
candidate, whether I’m promoting from within or looking outside the team:
4.Developing Team Members
5.Directing Team Members
6.Ethics and Values
7.Integrity and Trust
8.Motivating Team Members
9.Effective Team Builder
Promoting from Within
Everyone agrees it is time to start hiring for the new contact center management team. The leadership team must determine whether redeploying someone internally or recruiting externally best serves the organization.
The decision to promote someone into the role should be strongly considered, especially when a succession candidate has been groomed for this role. The promotion is part of the strategic succession plan. This internal candidate has the institutional knowledge from day one. The external candidate would be at a substantial handicap without institutional and industry knowledge. An internal candidate makes sense when there is a plan in place to fill that newly promoted candidate’s old role. You don’t want to leave an important management position vacant, creating vulnerability. And finally does this candidate have the capacity to continue to grow into future positions? Many times, managers reach their full potential and then block the succession path to most senior leadership roles.
If you have a few employees who know your company well, consider which ones have leadership potential. Often, the people who already work in your company will make the best managers. Consider the qualifications of your current employees, and if you have someone who meets the criteria for a management position, promote them. Communicate to your employees that you are recruiting for a new contact center management team, and you are looking to promote. Approach current managers and see if they have any ideas about employees that are management material. Talk to the employees who you think might make good members of your management team. Discuss their level of interest and your overall vision for the organization. Select internal candidates that have management potential. The most successful management teams are a balance of internal and external candidates so don’t sweat it if you don’t have enough to promote from within.
Site Culture and Leadership
The most important thing a new management team will do is create the contact center culture.
Creating a culture that nurtures best practices, communication and collaboration isn’t easy but is possible. This requires daily communication of the company’s core values to managers and contact center agents. Leading by example means living these core values every minute of every day. By demonstrating company core values to employees and customers, leadership will set the tone and carve out the site culture.
When it comes to selecting the site manager and the management team, finding people who live and breathe the company core values and know how to demonstrate them daily is just as important as contact center experience, industry knowledge and management proficiency. When setting up a new contact center, culture isn’t something that just happens, it is something that is carefully created. You want a site leader and management team that gets that.
Why Look Outside
Why look outside your organization for contact center talent?
Companies that only promote from within and never hire from the outside suffer stagnation. Hiring from outside is a great opportunity to bring in some fresh ideas and experiences. These people have been around the block and have seen things that work and don’t work. This is invaluable information especially if they come from a competitor. Recruiting managers from other industries is a good way to reduce stagnation as they see it for the first time and see all the things that internal managers overlook due to its staleness.
Managers hired from the outside also motivate current agents to achieve new heights due to the higher expectations placed on the manager and the desire to do a great job by the agents. Hiring from the outside is a good thing.
Leadership Sourcing Model
Does your organization have a leadership sourcing model or it does it start from scratch every time there is a leadership role that is vacant?
Developing a thoughtful and strategic leadership sourcing model will ensure candidate flow before a position is available. Having a “bench” to recruit from will save time and money and, if you’re offering the right value proposition, don’t worry if candidates already have a job. Most will make a switch for the right opportunity.
To have a bench filled with qualified leaders requires a leadership sourcing model that continually supplies candidates. Don’t fly by the seat of your pants!
VIDEO FROM OUR EXPERTS
Established in 2009 to provide consulting services to businesses involved in B2B and B2C lead generation and telemarketing activities.
With 30 years of direct marketing experience as a call centre proprietor, senior marketing executive and consultant Marc has been employed or provided consulting services to a wide variety of businesses involved in B2B and B2C activities in such diverse markets as Australia, Canada, Fiji, México, The Bahamas, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Companies out team has worked with – Accor Vacation Club, Club Noosa Resort, Diamond Resorts International, Elkhorn Resorts, GeoHoliday Club, Groupo Costamex, Holiday Resort Properties, Interval Property Management LTD, Resort Hotels of Australia, Shell Vacations LLC, Telstra Australia and the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
NETWORKING FOR CONTACT CENTER PROFESSIONALS
NACSMA brings together like-minded professionals focused on advancing the customer contact industry and creating career growth.
Management of a best-in-class contact center sites require the continuous review of Agent Sourcing Models, Organizational Training and Management Development Programs.
NACSMA is a professional, non-profit association whose members represent customer contact organizations and the vendors who support them.
When a contact center organization expands to an additional site or requires new space, the steps to properly implement are unique to each organization but do have standard phases.