If your contact center's employee retention rate is hurting, you are far from alone.
Low retention has become problematic not just for contact centers, but for businesses in all spaces. Even some of the more bizarrely lenient IT companies are not immune to the churn among the workforce, and with the likes of Bloomberg penning articles that report “quitting is in,” it’s no small wonder organizations are struggling for employee retention ideas.
While the days of lifelong employment at just about any organization – let alone in an hourly position – are probably over, there are a number of ways your contact center can improve employee retention, starting with some of the most common issues, including competition, equity, and recruitment.
Competition: Improve Employee Retention Rate with Flexibility
There is high competition among contact centers, retailers, and fast food chains for hourly workers. More often than not, your contact center must compete against companies who offer comparable pay, flexible scheduling, remote options, and sometimes an easier job. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the median salary for a call center agent is $13.62, placing it just below that of a sanitation worker at $13.93. Though it may not be economically viable to alter the pay for the majority of your agent roles, you can make your openings more appealing to a larger body of qualified workers in a couple of ways:
Provide a work from home option: Offering work from home positions has been shown to reduce contact center turnover by 65%. And retention isn’t the only area that experiences improvement from implementing WFH programs. A Harvard Business Review study revealed a 13.5 percent increase in work from home productivity among home agents.
Open up your scheduling: A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management reports 93 percent of organizations that implement formal flexible scheduling arrangements see an improvement in the quality of life for their workers
Equity: Tap into the Psychology of the Contact Center Agent Who Stays
It’s natural for your workers to compare the relative values of different jobs. When considering a job offer, candidates often weigh the perceived difficulty of a position and its environment against the income and flexibility they will receive. In contact centers there is often a disconnect between what people expect to encounter on the job and the reality of contact center life. While some new hires believe that the work–outcome tradeoff unfairly favors the company, new hires who believe that the work and its outcomes are balanced are more likely to express satisfaction.
Find the right skills with data: Maximizing contact center retention begins with hiring reliable agents, and workforce scientists have made this process easier and more accessible than ever for businesses. These experts use data from talent acquisition software and hiring assessments to determine which personality and cognitive traits make a candidate psychologically predisposed to succeeding in your specific environment and culture.
Recruitment: Reevaluate Your Hiring Process
Since labor is the single largest expense facing any contact center, turnover and attrition put a large burden on the entire organization. Consequently, recruiters and hiring managers are under a great deal of pressure to keep training classes full and seats on the floor occupied. The problem with this approach is that while the classes may be full, most of these hires will not perform well or stay with the company long-term.
Coordinate a proactive hiring approach: Expanding and managing workforce profitiability means challenging your traditional methods, assumptions, and processes. Instead of taking a reactive approach to high-volume hiring and rushing to find candidates when there are vacancies, developing a systematized hiring process that includes data-driven measures like talent assessments can give your HR staff and recruiters the breathing room they need to do their jobs well. By hiring the agents with the right skills, abilities, and motivations, you can increase retention, reduce hiring and training costs and increase your contact center's profitability.
Check back on Friday for part two of this article!
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Topics: Contact Center Hiring