One factor that can be more debilitating than attrition itself is the misinformation that perpetuates it. Here at FurstPerson, we have found that call center turnover is often attributed to an organization's inaccurate assumptions about its workforce, internal processes, and general hiring practices.
We’ve covered some common myths, from the assumption that any quality worker can be successful in a call center role to thinking that perhaps, if only your pre-hire assessments were shorter, fewer candidates would drop out of the process. Furthermore, making workforce-based assumptions without investigation or data-driven analysis can be incredibly damaging to a business. While such assumptions often seem logical, they’re not always true.
How Actionable Insights Helped One Organization Achieve 30% Higher Attendance
In one multi-year study FurstPerson conducted with a Fortune 500 customer, our workforce scientists debunked some prevalent myths about attrition in call centers, including what exactly it was that was causing their workers to leave, and what they could do to entice them to stay (and show up to work more often). This allowed the business to implement solutions that helped the company to drive better business results.
After working with FurstPerson, the company saw improvements in call center attrition and an increases of 30% in agent attendance through implementing pre-hire talent assessments, and enacting the following 3 strategies:
1. Implementing payback policies for unused time off: One method of enticing workers to stay was to implement a payback policy for unused time off. While some policies should certainly be enforced to maintain a positive and productive culture, for this particular organization, it paid to be flexible.
Every employee’s situation is different, and taking that fact into consideration allowed the business to keep higher-quality workers around.
2. Setting expectations and managing them: It might sound obvious, but employees only meet expectations when they know what’s expected of them. But according to an October 2015 Gallup report, many employees – up to 50% – do not know what’s expected of them at work. Setting expectations and managing them set the stage for higher morale and better workforce performance in this particular case.
3. Creating a culture of accountability and professionalism: A culture of non-accountability, even in seemingly small matters, can cost both customers and career advancement. According to Randy Pennington of SHRM, those who get accountability right focus on their relationships with their employees, not their authority over them. Such leaders know that most people want to do great work, and subsequently, such leaders work to create an environment where commitment and self-discipline are volunteered. By creating a culture of accountability and professionalism, the organization was, ultimately, able to set a standard that helped lead to better attendance and better retention.
Call center managers know there is no single reason for an employee’s departure - there are lots of reasons call center agents quit. The first step to curbing attrition is taking a scientific approach to find out what's causing it in the first place, and then developing a tailored, data-driven plan to achieve your goals.
While there's no silver bullet for completely eliminating attrition in environments like call centers or contact centers, effective strategies for reducing attrition and improving agent attendance start with using pre-hire assessment tools for call centers that identify the right candidates up front, and getting feedback from your stakeholders about what’s working and what isn’t.
What do you think? Leave a comment, and make sure you check out the rest of our series on Attrition!
Topics: Reducing Attrition