Every business owner has to take a proactive approach in seeking the best candidates to fill leadership positions in his organization.
Offering promotions is one of the best ways to reward hard-working employees. More importantly, it can go a long way into leveraging their skills for the good of the organization.
That said, it’s not always easy to find the perfect time to promote a particular employee.
Promote an employee too soon and it may turn out that he or she is not ready to take on the role. Wait too long and the candidate might feel frustrated, prompting him to seek other opportunities elsewhere.
So how can you know when the timing is right? Here are telltale signs that a call center agent is ready to take on a leadership role.
1. Shows tremendous ability in evaluating others’ abilities
A team leader who knows how to evaluate the abilities of his members will know how to harness those talents for the good of the organization.
But how can you tell if a call center agent has this particular talent?
One great way to gauge an agent’s ability in this regard is to pay attention to everything he or she is saying during team meetings and huddles.
Is the candidate readily throwing compliments to fellow employees who did well in a particular task?
Has she offered suggestions or words of encouragement to a team member who had been struggling with one particular metric?
If the answer to both questions is yes, then that candidate probably has what it takes.
2. Excellent decision-making skills
Leaders have to make decisions on a regular basis and the onus is on them to decide wisely at all times. However, sometimes good decisions have to be made on short notice.
So how can you tell if an agent has the intelligence and the maturity to make the right decisions in every situation?
As always, observation is key to finding out. Has the candidate shown signs of mental fortitude and firm resolve in the most tough situations she has faced on the job?
Is she the type who considers each available option before arriving at a decision?
During team meetings, was your candidate able to identify organizational issues that escaped the notice of other employees?
If your candidate is able to do these and some, then yes, he or she may be trusted to come up with tough decisions that will propel your company in the right direction.
3. Have strong “people skills”
This is nearly a no-brainer, but it’s worth emphasizing.
A great leader needs to be an effective communicator.
But more than that, a team leader needs to possess these key attributes in order for him to bring out the best in his team: honesty, transparency, compassion, and plain old likability.
Admittedly, “people skills” are hard to gauge using measurable criteria. If you have a good eye for it, you just know.
Perhaps the best way to determine if an agent has the “people skills” to be a great leader is to gauge the following:
Is your candidate well-respected by other people in the organization? Are people coming to him for help if something’s bothering them?
Is he showing concern and compassion for others? Does he show courtesy and professionalism in instances where they are needed?
Is he a good motivator?
Yes, a leader has to be competitive and decisive, but for him to foster positive change in the organization, he has to be a little warm around the edges as well.
An agent who consistently produces great results on the floor and demonstrates excellent work habits always deserves consideration for a leadership position.
However, it’s also important to consider the intangibles. The intangibles are where a true leader’s value lies.
Doing that isn’t easy, sure, but using the criteria mentioned in this article will keep you on the right track.