3 Myths About Millennials and Agent Motivation

 Millennials: it’s the name given to the generation following Generation X. Millennials were born around 1982. They are confident, civic-minded, highly connected, and – in many contact centers – they make up a large percentage of your new frontline workforce.

Agent motivation for your Millennials is a must, or they will ultimately become part of your attrition. But motivating and incentivizing this workforce is different than with any other generation. Here are three of the biggest myths around dealing with this new generation of agent:

Myth #1: Millennials are primarily motivated by money.

Not necessarily. Obviously, you must offer a reasonable starting wage in order to be competitive and attract the best employees, but unlike Baby Boomers and Gen X, who could be motivated by monetary rewards and incentives, Millennials like time off and schedules that fit their lifestyle.

Incentives for them could range from compensatory time off for outstanding performance to rewards of iTunes downloads or Netflix subscriptions.

Myth #2: Millennials are totally flexible because they said they were.

Scheduling is critically important to Millennials, so it is important to discuss schedules with them in a meaningful way.

The standard “You signed up to be totally flexible, therefore you should work whatever schedule is given to you” approach won’t work with Millennials. They will say they are flexible to get the job, but it is implied that you will work with them to give them a workable schedule.

Myth #3: You can train Millennials just like you train everyone else.

Millennials love technology. The more games, e-learning, and self-directed training you can offer them, the better. This generation is more effective at multi-tasking and likes to be challenged.

They want to learn new things and they thrive on variety. Standard instructor-led classroom training isn’t the most effective training method for Millennials.

So, are Millennials a good fit in the contact center? They are! Even more so if your agent motivation initiatives fully appreciate your Millennial workforce.

These agents are typically quick learners and eager to work, as this is often their first job. They are highly trainable and recognize good customer service, as they have come to expect it through their own experiences dealing with some of the best in the business (companies like Amazon, Apple and Zappos.)

Dispelling these common myths and communicating with Millennials in a way that they are comfortable ultimately leads to a more productive frontline workforce that is happy and satisfied. The result is better customer service, better key performance metrics, and an agent population who is less likely to leave your company.

About the author

Bob Fletcher

Bob leads the sales and solution delivery initiatives for Intradiem’s global business process outsourcing (BPO) clients, helping to transform their business models and drive profitability via Intraday Automation. He brings a wealth of operations, management and consulting acumen to the BPO practice, having delivered guidance to more than 1,000 call centers and trained over 5,000 managers and supervisors worldwide. Bob's experience includes executive management of Arvato's customer service operations and as executive vice president for Deutsche Telekom. Bob has also served in critical management roles in engagements with leading companies such as T-Mobile, Verizon, Pitney Bowes, TeleDenmark, Gateway of Dublin, DecisionOne, Delta Dental, Wells Fargo and Cox Communications.

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