Supporting front line staff through the festive period

Supporting front line staff through the festive period

10th December 2021

By Gemma Banks

For contact centres, Christmas is a juggling act. You want to meet increased demand, avoid Christmas burnout among your advisors – and hopefully, enjoy some office festivities too!

At Connect Assist, our incredible advisors are some of the best in the sector. They really are Christmas angels for so many people in need.

Here’s how we support them, so they can support others throughout the season of goodwill. 

Christmas: a merry time?

Many people find Christmas a huge strain. According to mental health charity Mind, reasons include: loneliness; stress or anxiety; remembering past traumas; missing people who’ve died; difficult family relationships; or frustration that Christmas won’t be as perfect as they want. 

Added to that, many services and networks close down for the holidays, so even small problems can fester. 

That’s why helplines are more vital than ever during the festive season, with call volumes rising in December. And it’s why so many advisors are motivated to keep supporting callers in need, even working on Christmas Day itself. Christmas helplines are a real lifesaver! 

Health support

At Connect Assist, we know that advisors can be affected by distressing or traumatic calls. At Christmas, when the volume of calls ramps up, it can be particularly hard. 

So, as well as fostering a supportive workplace (see below), we provide our employees with access to a digital health and wellbeing platform, HealthShield. 

It offers 24/7 counselling and support, including face-to-face or video chats with trained therapists. That means that, if ever our advisors have a problem that they don’t want to discuss with their team leader or colleagues, there’s a counsellor ready for their confidential call. 

HealthShield also provides video or phone chats with GPs, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals, plus a whole range of wellbeing and fitness programmes. We encourage all our staff to make the most of it, because there really is no shame in asking for help. 

We introduced HealthShield at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, and staff feedback has been great. 

Could you introduce a similar scheme in your workplace? It works out far cheaper than you might imagine. And investment in your people always gets a fantastic return in terms of staff loyalty, engagement and retention. 

Team spirit

Perhaps even more crucial is the supportive team spirit that we nurture at Connect Assist, both formally and informally.  Our advisors know they can turn to their team managers at any point: we promise a listening ear, plus action if appropriate.

Our team managers are also on the look-out for signs of stress in advisors, offering regular one-to-ones, plus debriefs after difficult calls. We’ve found ways to translate these to the remote working environment, too. 

Last but not least, this year, we will have Christmas decorations in the workplace, and will have a myriad of office Christmas activities to keep morale high during the busy period. However, there’s a great atmosphere at Connect Assist all year round! We have huge fun, with coffee breaks, quizzes, competitions and other activities, both in-person and virtual. That builds more cohesive teams, with members quick to support one another when the going gets tough.

Outsourcing your helplines

One of the key ways to support staff during Christmas at work is to offer them a healthy work-life balance. 

So, if you’re looking to ease the strain on your advisors this Christmas while still meeting the needs of your service users, get in contact with us at Connect Assist.We can operate overflow or out-of-hours contact centre services, ensuring that the quality of advice and guidance your callers receive remains high at all times. 

Meanwhile, your own staff can take a break and enjoy time with their families and friends over the festive period. They’ll enter 2022 with a spring in their step!

To find out more, give us a ring or drop us a line. We’d love to have a chat with you.

 


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