Simon Says: Don’t Stress!

By Elaine Senecal / Illustration by Chris Lewis

Simon Says - March 2004

As employers and managers, we need to beware of the warning signs of our employees’ stress level, not just for their well-being but also for how it affects productivity. Stress can result in an indifferent attitude, which may result in agent apathy toward customer concerns.

To alleviate some of the agents’ stress, we can proactively provide support and knowledge about how to manage it. Offering problem solving techniques for situations they may encounter throughout the day will benefit the center’s overall productivity and lower agents’ stress. Other snippets to think about and apply to your particular environment are:

  • Continue to think logically about the situation.
  • Don’t focus on the customer’s behavior.
  • Focus on the cause.
  • Please remember to say “thank you” and “please.”
  • Slow your breathing when you feel stressed.
  • Always use positive words.
  • Don’t point the finger.
  • Keep your voice friendly.
  • Don’t get aggressive.
  • Take a break – away from the work area.
  • Wet your whistle – ice water is best.
  • Stand up – if appropriate.
  • Forget about it when it’s over.

Without a plan of action, a problem solving technique, or a plan for what to do next, stress levels can heighten and productivity can decrease. Having a plan to manage daily anxieties will improve employee performance and reduce stress at the same time.

[From Connection MagazineMarch 2004]