Incentive Programs for Home Agents
By Bob Cowen
Driven by today’s
tight economy and increasingly strong and vocal consumer preferences to speak
with onshore agents, home agents are now commonplace. There are numerous
benefits for both the agents and the organization. However, the few but
significant differences between home-based and office-based agents create
challenges. Unless you recognize the differences and update your employee
recognition and incentive programs accordingly, you’re wasting time, effort, and
The most significant
and obvious challenge is that traditional workforce motivational practices are
no longer as effective because the agents are not on-site. To a high degree,
you’ve disarmed yourself. Thus, delivering effective employee incentives that
drive KPIs (key performance indicators) becomes a more formidable challenge.
Some of the losses
that affect KPIs and morale include:
The feeling of
camaraderie and belonging to a team
Public recognition, such
as “wall of fame” and award presentations
One-on-one and peer
recognition – for example, the boss personally delivering a handwritten
Social relationships and
interactions, including coffee breaks, lunches, pizza parties, and ride
To update your
employee incentive program, here are some critical recommendations:
Use simple, easy to
explain, specific motivators.
identifiable goals visible at all times.
Show current status
compared with goals.
Allow for the easy
review of goals, accomplishments, and reward history.
Give little rewards
frequently for small, precedent activities rather than big, infrequent
rewards for large goals.
Make having fun a key
element in the reward process. For example, games played at the office can
be replicated electronically and should be offered at every opportunity,
such as spin the wheel, draw a ticket from a fishbowl, or select a sealed
Provide immediate and
visible reward credit for every achievement.
Offer a wide choice of
Home agents have
reached critical mass, and they constitute the biggest growth segment of contact
centers. If your agent incentive and employee recognition program correctly
addresses and compensates for the lack of a physical, common presence, you will
achieve the maximum benefit of using home agents.
Bob Cowen is with
provider of Internet-based employee incentives, recognition, and loyalty
programs. For more information, call 877-766-9359 or email
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