When BPOs invest in leadership development, they inspire improvement across the organization. From frontline call center agents to operations directors, clear and effective leadership can motivate, energize, and inspire employees at every level.
One study showed that companies displayed the following results from leadership training:
- Return on investment was nearly six times the program cost.
- Workplace relationships improved by 77 percent.
- Teamwork improved by 67 percent.
- Fifty-one percent of employees reported greater job satisfaction.
- Overall quality improved by 48 percent.
The takeaway? Effective leadership bolsters employee job performance, and leadership training is a highly successful way to ensure leaders at all levels can bring out the best in their teams.
Leadership Development Drives Retention, Engagement, and Employee Satisfaction
Starting off on the right foot is critical to new leaders and their teams. When leadership training only occurs post promotion, it can be difficult for new leaders to transition into management. And without the proper knowledge of how to coach, support, and engage with team members in a way that’s aligned with company culture and values, leaders can veer off course and develop habits that can lead to unsatisfied employees.
At iQor, we have challenged ourselves by revolutionizing professional development throughout our global footprint via our award-winning sQholar program. This 6-month program provides future leaders with the training needed to successfully execute and perform at a level that allows their team to meet or exceed performance expectations from the minute they hit the floor. Every quarter, the Corporate Training Team progresses a batch of leader-ready employees and, in turn, accepts new applicants into the program.
We train sQholars to be supportive and how to build trust and provide constructive feedback. As employees pick up on these skills, there is less turnover and more engaged agents who are equipped to handle customer service issues.
What is iQor’s Leadership Development Program, sQholar?
The sQholar program is for high-potential employees with exceptional leadership skills who are team-oriented and want to progress in their careers. The program consists of nine to eleven hours of eLearning and team-building activities that align with the organization’s leadership competency model.
The program includes our four-day workshop — PeaQ Performance Qoaching –that teaches agents to identify and document behaviors that lead to strong performance and how best to coach team members based on their individual needs.
Then, employees start the sQholar curriculum, which includes a 2-day orientation, shadowing call center management, and completing a research paper before graduation that details their plan to improve retention and increase employee engagement.
Employees Love Leadership Training and Development
More than 2,400 of our current supervisors have completed one if not all of the learning modules and courses within the sQholar program. Additionally, employees are exposed to iQor’s management culture, and real-time challenges that managers face every day, giving them a new appreciation for those who lead and develop their own personal leadership style.
Since its launch in 2017, more than 700 iQor employees have finished the sQholar training, and nearly 300 have been promoted. On average, 41 percent of sQholar participants are promoted to a supervisor role within their first year of completing the program. Our program has grown to well over 465 active sQholars working their way towards a leadership position.
The sQholar program is now a mandatory prerequisite for all internal promotions, with hundreds of applicants applying every quarter. External hires must now complete the courses and curriculum as well.
The sQholar program has been recognized by HR.com as a LEAD award winner in several categories placing 2nd as Best Global Leadership Program in 2020, and also won the 2019 Bronze Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service.
In total, iQor has received 30 awards from Hr.com’s LEAD Awards over the last seven years, and 39 training awards in total for our unique and innovative career development offerings for CX leadership in our global call centers and work-at-home environment.
Leadership Development is Good for Business Too
We hire approximately 30 new call center supervisors every month. New supervisors take time to understand iQor’s unique culture, performance drivers, and supervisory challenges. Additionally, our exit survey data and company surveys indicate that career growth paths are an important factor in employee retention.
The courses and curriculum a sQholar completes during their training period are proven performance accelerators. Employees who have this knowledge have less of a learning curve and are more likely to succeed than employees hired from outside.
A sQholar is selected by their work history, personal initiative, and the recommendations of their peers. They are expected to maintain their current performance levels. For that reason, sQholar graduates typically have significant leverage over their externally hired counterparts, thus lowering agent attrition and improving retention and employee engagement.
sQholar supervisors who are well trained and highly engaged have the most significant impact on lowering agent attrition. For every 1% reduction in yearly agent attrition, our company saves about $500,000 a year.
What Lies Ahead for iQor’s Leadership Training Programs?
iQor has a long history of promoting from within. Some of our most senior managers started as agents. Our General Manager and SVP of Operations for Retail and Residential Services, Tone Holmen, has had a similar journey.
iQor believes the sQholar program offers a groundbreaking opportunity that benefits both its company and its employees. We are continuously improving the program to provide more career choices along the supervisor and manager development paths.
Discover iQor career opportunities at jobs.iqor.com.