How to improve your credit control team’s morale and motivation
Discover why positive morale is important, signs that morale is poor and ways you can improve morale to motivate your credit control team in this guide.
Employee morale has a direct effect on productivity and efficiency. Establish a positive working environment to boost morale and your credit control results will improve. In contrast, if your employees are feeling low and unmotivated, it could negatively impact your credit control and often increase the chances of late payment.
Why positive morale is important
When your credit control team have positive morale it can help to:
- Increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace
- Improve staff enjoyment and working atmosphere
- Give the company a competitive edge
- Attract and retain top talent
- Reduce costs through fewer absences as a result of lower stress and fewer workplace accidents
- Improve credit control performance and cash flow
Signs of poor morale
Here are some signs of poor or declining employee morale to look out for in your credit control team:
- Poor communication
- Increased absences or lateness
- Hostile, argumentative or uncooperative behaviour
- Excessive complaints
- Increasing conflicts
- Lower work quality
- Declining productivity
- Increasing customer complaints
- Low level of enthusiasm
- High employee turnover rate
- Opposing authority and lack of commitment
- Higher levels of late payment
How to improve morale in your credit control team
1. Give employees recognition
Never underestimate the power of saying thank you and rewarding good work. When your employees feel truly appreciated, they will be more motivated, productive and confident in their efforts.
You can also shine the spotlight on employees by celebrating their successes and personal milestones together.
Many businesses incentivise their sales teams with bonuses for doing their jobs well, but fail to do the same for their credit control teams.
Rewards don’t have to be contractual or expensive, and can be in the form of bonuses, incentives, or even vouchers, ‘freebies’ or recognition programmes.
To discover how well your credit control is currently performing take a look at this post on 6 KPI’s to help you measure your credit control.
2. Encourage employee feedback
Employees like to feel heard. When you show that you’re listening, your staff are more likely to be motivated.
Ask what their current challenges are and find ways to act on them. If you cannot implement a response to a piece of feedback, be sure to thank the employee for the suggestion and explain why it isn’t feasible.
Honesty and transparency in this process are key.
This feedback process not only improves staff morale but will improve your credit control processes too.
For instance, if your employees reveal that they’re constantly dealing with customers who cannot afford to pay, you might want to review your client onboarding process to make sure your sales team are only selling to those who are likely to pay and that new customers are being credit checked.
If your customers aren’t receiving invoices on time, maybe you need to review your invoicing process.
And if they’re spending lots of time chasing really overdue invoices, this can be to the detriment of the rest of the ledger, so consider what support you can provide to change this.
3. Stop supplying poor payers
Dealing with the constant excuses of persistent late payers can be hard work – even for the best credit controllers.
It can help to have a set of processes in place for your team to follow in the event a customer gives a certain excuse or reason for non-payment.
For the worst offenders, going a step further can not only improve your employees’ morale, but also benefit your business.
Whilst ending customer relationships is arguably a last resort, implementing a stop list for consistently poor payers can be beneficial for numerous reasons.
Not only will it stop your employees from having to deal with their negative behaviour, your cash flow will also be improved.
4. Invest in training
Most employees want to feel that they’re learning and progressing and that they’re developing their knowledge and skills.
Without this personal growth, employees can grow bored, unmotivated and disengaged. Eventually, this can cause employees to leave for a more challenging role.
You can combat this by investing in training for your staff.
Whether this is providing the time for employees to read blogs and watch webinars or by giving your employees their own budget to spend on training courses and qualifications, this is a great way to boost morale.
Plus, this advanced knowledge can then be applied to your business which will often improve results.
5. Bring in additional support
One of the leading causes of poor morale is a heavy workload.
If the number of invoices you’re chasing has grown but the size of your team has not, this can put increased pressure on your employees.
Not only does the stress of a heavy workload cause poor mental focus, decreased motivation and difficulty concentrating, it can also make your employees sick.
Working under pressure, dealing with tight deadlines, and working long hours have all been linked to illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, joint pain, weight loss and tiredness, as well as anxiety and depression.
So, if your staff are dealing with an excessive workload, you should consider bringing in additional support.
You could employ additional staff members to take on some of the strain. Or, you might want to outsource some of your credit control instead.
Through outsourcing, you can adjust to demand in a way that’s not possible with full-time employees.
Plus, you avoid the costs associated with recruiting, training and retaining employees, as well as holidays, sickness and maternity/paternity cover.
The additional expertise that an outsourced provider can bring can also boost results and improve cash flow.
There are many ways an outsourced credit control company can work alongside your team.
Perhaps the most beneficial way is to outsource all invoices which reach a certain age. This gives your team back time and resource to focus on newer invoices whilst your aged invoices are in the safe hands of the experts.
This service can be provided on a confidential basis so that the outsourced provider is acting as an extension of your own team and your customers won’t know.
How we can help
Choosing to outsource all or part of your credit control can be a big step, but with multi-sector experience in interacting with customers of all sizes, we make the process as straightforward as possible by tailoring a service offering that is right for your business.