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Improving workforce management for healthcare: 4 steps to set goals and increase agent performance
Workforce management for healthcare can be tedious; especially when your agents perform repetitive tasks. Align your team with these 4 steps to set goals.
Goal setting is one of the most effective ways to improve workforce management for healthcare and achieve higher levels of productivity. The process is very straightforward, but it must be tailored to your operations. In order to reach higher levels of effectiveness, the process must include short-term, midterm, and long-term goals.
At the agent level, the repetitive labor can turn into a tedious experience, so it is key to keep these goals present at all times. In the call center space, team leaders must set daily, weekly and quarterly goals. But, given the high pace nature of the contact center's day-to-day operations, how do you keep this process front and center for each one of your agents?
Before we explore the goal-setting process at the representative level, let’s first look at why setting goals is important to keep your workforce motivated and produce optimum results.
Why is goal-setting important—especially in healthcare?
You may have heard about goal-setting or the process of setting objectives in the past, but as you continue to work in environments such as healthcare that need quick decision-making, effective goal setting becomes even more important. Learning the importance of this process and its benefits can become a competitive advantage for you and your team members.
Goal-setting methods are plentiful, and, in order to foster great execution, you must determine which method is more suitable for your organization. Without goals, you might find yourself lacking direction and focus, which leads to pointlessly wasting your resources. This applies to all business settings, including the contact center business.
So to answer the question of why is goal-setting important, it’s because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose.
This is especially helpful if you are in charge of a team and need to help motivate your agents. Goals will help you manage your workforce and keep everyone aligned versus disjointed and aimless. It has the added benefit of helping direct your resources and gives everyone a purpose.
The four steps you should take to set goals and help manage your workforce
For all of us that work in the contact center space, it quickly becomes apparent that the work our agents perform is highly repetitive. The repetitive tasks pose a risk to a person’s mental and physical health. These tasks are not just done on a day-to-day basis, but instead, agents are doing the same thing hour after hour, day after day, and week after week.
This is where setting daily goals is so important for teams that work at the grueling pace characteristic of the call center industry. Goal-setting methods, such as the SMART goals methodology (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely), offer a near-term target that can aid in adding a dynamic feel to the grind of daily life for your representatives.
So, how do we make this process work for our teams?
1. Start with why
Before you even start the goal-setting process, there are a few key aspects that you must consider:
Find the key success factors for your team by studying them. These may include critical KPIs and other important attributes that may dictate performance trends. Effective workforce management is all about listening to your team. Use various communication channels to listen closely to what your people tell you. But, most importantly, make sure you acknowledge them when they decide to tell you how they feel about the work they are doing.
Build relationships with your people to find out what’s important to them and the company culture. Do this through a process of 1-on-1 meetings that have the potential to reveal aspects that you may not have had the opportunity to notice during the daily grind.
Establish a robust objective review process. This will allow you to detect which areas of work your agents excel in, and which they need support to grow. The difference between an average team and one that performs to the best of their abilities is how effectively they can be led toward achieving all their objectives.
2. Set the goal and identify obstacles
Once you’ve established the objective review process, it’s time to set goals in the most important areas your agents need to grow and improve. The key here is to set a goal in an area of importance for the agent and write it down in clear and concise words. It should be quantifiable. For example: answering all calls within 60 seconds but doing so with empathy and compassion to create a positive experience for the patients.
Any goal is going to have obstacles, or it would not really be something worth working towards. Take time to identify the challenges that may come up or stand in the way of your team to accomplish their goals.
3. Make a plan and set a timeline
Now that a quantifiable goal has been set, you must create a plan to give you a step-by-step roadmap to accomplishing that goal. Keep the obstacles that may set you back front-and-center so that you can incorporate steps to overcome those obstacles if they occur.
Of course, a plan is important, but without a due date, plans are ineffective. All plans should have a timeline with a start and stop date. Setting a stop date will help your agents stay motivated to pursue and achieve their objectives. This helps to ensure that all objectives are given importance and priority in your vision of what your team wants to accomplish.
4. Commit to the plan and get an accountability partner
With your goals in place and plan to achieve them, the only remaining component is to act. It is imperative that you take immediate action if you want your team to achieve its goals. Make sure your team is constantly moving toward completing the plan. Set frequent check-ins on your calendar to review progress, giving them the necessary importance so that you will not miss them.
Just like every professional team has a coach, high-performing teams have someone that holds them accountable to the goals they set. It’s no different when it comes to workforce management for healthcare.
Think about that sense of accountability and how you will transmit it to your team members. The more you hold them accountable to the objectives and plans they have set, the higher the probability that those goals will be achieved.
Align your goals with outsourced patient care
Set goals to give your team direction, alignment, and purpose to ultimately manage your workforce effectively. If your goals are to enhance the patient experience and grow your business, align with CCD Health. Our team of specialists will elevate the patient experience and turn it into your competitive advantage.
Our goal-oriented team will help you grow your business with scalable, flexible customer support service, workforce optimization, and business intelligence. Contact us to learn how you can partner with CCD Health.