24 May HOW OUTSOURCING CAN LEAD TO A HAPPIER (AND MORE PRODUCTIVE) WORKPLACE
At Netcall Solutions, we like to remind our readers of the many benefits of outsourcing. Sending certain non-core processes (such as answering the phones) to a third party can do much to streamline operations and bolster the bottom line. But there are other less tangible – but just as real – benefits to outsourcing. In this article, we’ll look specifically at how sending phone-answering responsibilities to a third-party can create a happier workplace environment. We’ll then offer insight into how this can, in turn, contribute to greater productivity.
It’s easy to dismiss workplace happiness as a secondary consideration – something that’s nice to aim for but not central to success. However, there is plenty of research suggesting that a happy team is going to produce better work – and more of it.
How Outsourcing Phone-Answering Services Can Boost Morale
Before we go any further into the benefits of a happy workplace, let’s spend a few minutes to consider how outsourcing your phone-answering services to Netcall Solutions could boost workplace morale to begin with:
ü It gives your team a chance to focus on what you hired them to do.
Unless you have a dedicated customer service department that handles all incoming calls, then it’s safe to say that most of the people on your team considering answering the phone to be outside of their core responsibilities. It may be something they find themselves having to do despite the fact that it isn’t in their job description. Unburdening them of this responsibility is going to free up their time so they can focus on tasks that they enjoy doing more.
ü It reduces overall stress levels.
Assuming that answering the phone is not one of your core responsibilities, then every incoming phone call is going to be a disruption. Any time an employee has to be pulled away from one task to tend to another, a low level of stress is going to be involved. If the employee balks at the prospect of frontline customer interaction (i.e. if they’re not well-suited to customer service work), then the stress level is only going to increase.
ü Employees feel that they’re accomplishing more.
Those disruptive phone calls steal more company time than the straight time that it takes to answer the phone and speak to the person on the other end of the line. There have been several studies to suggest that the cost of distraction compounds significantly when you take into account the time needed for the brain to switch gears, settle into the new task and then switch back. In other words, a 60-second phone call could end up costing substantially more time in terms of productivity. Needless to say, when employees feel that they aren’t being as productive as they could be, morale is going to sink.
ü It could free up resources for in-house training.
Situations vary from one company to the next, but many of our clients find that outsourcing their phone-answering services actually frees up company overhead for in-house projects. These extra funds can be used for incentive-based programmes, in-house rewards and professional development for your staff. Any of the above are going to make your employees feel that they are more valued by the company, and this is only going to serve to make them feel better about working there.
The Connection between Happiness and Productivity
We’ve listed a few of the key ways in which outsourcing your company’s phone-answering services can lead to higher workplace morale. But what sort of impact is that going to have on actual workplace productivity? As you’ll see in this section, a happier workforce could actually end up contributing directly to the company’s bottom line.
Many of us naturally assume that greater success breeds greater happiness, but the reality could actually be the other way around. Indeed, emerging research suggests that people are more productive (not to mention creative) when they feel more positively.
One poll conducted by Gallup (and covered here by Bloomberg Business) found that employee disengagement was costing US businesses up to US$300 billion every year. A separate study by the same group found that employees’ feelings about the company could be used as a predictor of the company’s profits.
This held over extended periods of time. In other words, employees were likely to report higher levels of happiness and satisfaction during periods when the company was also reporting higher profits or better sales figures. It’s just a correlation – but it certainly provokes further thought and consideration.
Another study conducted by the University of Warwick yielded similarly thought-provoking results. The study’s participants were either shown a funny video clip or were given treats like chocolates or fruit before they were asked to perform a task. Others launched straight into the task without any morale-boosting activities at the outset.
The results were unambiguous. Those who were shown the funny clip or given a special treat ended up performing at around a 12 per cent higher rate of productivity than the control group. The study involved around 700 participants, and it was heralded as the first causal evidence to suggest that happy thoughts are directly linked to higher rates of productivity.
The list goes on. The idea that a happy workforce is going to contribute more than a disengaged one is nothing new, but there’s a growing body of peer-reviewed research backing it up. This is why so many Fortune 500 companies are so keen to invest in the emotional health of their employees (Google and its parent company Alphabet come to mind). As it turns out, a happy team is a productive one – and by the same line a thought, a more profitable one as well.
We’ve witnessed over and again how much of a difference outsourcing phone answering can make in terms of workplace satisfaction. Take a look at our customer testimonials page to see how much better we’ve made life for our clients. And if you’d like to learn more about how our services can help boost productivity for your workplace, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.