Today, this series concludes with a look at a practical way to slow the cycle of attrition and improve overall ‘fit’ between employees and centers of employment. No matter which of the factors of competition, role equity, recruitment, workplace environment, job design or leadership are primarily responsible for attrition growth, there are effective, industry-proven approaches to ensure that healthy inputs (i.e. - people) move to deliver healthy outputs (i.e. - performance and culture).
One of the primary ways of addressing the impact of these factors begins with well-validated assessments.
Of course, general assessments are not a panacea. But when deployed appropriately with a ongoing review and underpinned by sufficient insight, they can deliver incredible results. For contact centers considering assessments in the fight against attrition, here are four key approach factors to keep in mind.
- First, in FurstPerson’s work, the most effective attrition reducing solutions always incorporate both the employee and business perspective. This is a fundamental starting place. While not a quick to-do item, companies need to understand what agent role requirements actually consist of, and define what a successful business outcome truly means. This is the starting place to distinguish a successful agent from an unsuccessful one.
- Once role and outcome clarity is had, it is important to understand how assessments will add value to the business. Assessments must be well-validated and target specific traits and responsibilities that will yield success in a particular role – within the unique culture and center context. This means, there is no one-size-fits-all tool to test and assess candidates that should be deployed industry-wide. Call or contact centers with healthy, managed attrition have well-calibrated tools that may include work sample evaluations and other ability-to-perform simulations tailored to their environments. These target the in-context skills and demands of the actual job, instead of performing general, proxy assessment around a broad category of skills or interests. Customized, multimedia simulations are examples of in-context assessment tools that Furstperson can support delivery of to enhance hiring.
- An important next step is having research and validation performed in parallel to the ongoing testing. This should include content, construct and predictive evaluations. Doing this ensure tests are consistently identifying the right talent based on performance metrics and indicators. Subsequent improvements can be found using a mix of assessment approaches. Each of these will address a variety of factors and be tried, tested and evaluated to advance success outcomes. As these gains are realized in the form of retention and performance over a period of weeks and months, companies can incrementally ‘raise the bar’ on pass rate factors.
- A final factor to consider is the actual predictive capability and timing effectiveness of assessments. Most published assessment and attrition research describes results in terms of 30, 60, and 90 days. This may be helpful for tool comparison sake, but it doesn’t always tell the whole story. It is crucial to understand how and, even more importantly, when an assessment predicts attrition. Well-calibrated assessments and data analysis may allow companies to see where in the employee lifecycle attrition levels degrade. There will be a time where tools’ sensitivity to attrition declines, and companies need to recognize this window and prepare accordingly. At this point, factors negatively impacting attrition may include workplace culture, promotion, engagement and relationship with management. These tend to correlate more significantly to disengagement at the outer-bounds of tracked employment performance.
When selection systems are built using well-validated assessments with proper supporting data, companies can more effectively match candidates to the right jobs. Pairing this with effective monitoring, calibration and feedback mechanisms will drive the improvement gains that centers need to maintain competitiveness and grow the quality and performance of employees. Ultimately, this takes the pressure of the top of the funnel activities and allows companies to investment in culture-enhancements and retention programs to build long term advantages.
What do you think? Leave a comment, and make sure you check out the rest of our series on Reducing Attrition!
Topics: Call Centers