Improving employee retention is a top goal - if not the top goal - for just about any call center manager you talk to. Employee attrition has long been a prevalent problem in high-volume hiring environments, especially call centers.
There are a number of interview questions that can be used during the hiring process to qualify candidates that will remain committed to a call center position. However, even with thoroughly vetted candidates, sometimes employees decide to move on.
Improve Employee Retention, Starting with These Issues
While there could be any number of reasons why an employee chooses to stop working at a call center, below are some of the most common reasons, as well as strategies and suggestions on how to address them to help improve call center retention.
Reason: The employee feels the pay is too low, the benefits are too slim, or there’s no incentive.
LinkedIn recently reported that in addition to increased competition for finding top talent, compensation is one of the biggest challenges in recruitment. Likewise, LinkedIn also uncovered that low wages and a lack of any healthcare benefits could be a reason someone would leave their call center position. What do competitors for your talent in your labor pool pay? For example, recently Walmart announced that the company will raise entry level pay to $10 per hour.
Solution: Consider what employees are currently making, and what their medical packages are. Are your wages competitive for your labor market? If you did increase wages, how might that impact retention? Additionally, LinkedIn noted that employers who pay a portion of the health insurance premiums for call center agents have 10x higher retention rates than those that don’t. Invest in employees and they’ll invest back in the company by remaining dedicated and motivated to perform well.
Additionally, recent studies have found that two-thirds of employees will decide whether or not they’ll stick with a call center based on an incorporated incentive or rewards program. Call agents work hard, and rewarding them for their hard work will make them feel recognized and accomplished – and are more likely to stay with the company.
Reason: There is little/no room for growth.
While growth opportunities can usually be discussed during an interview in the hiring process, sometimes a call center employee with aspirations can get discouraged. Call centers are historically flat organizations with few opportunities to advance.
Solution: Even the most dedicated employees will have rough days when they question their job or career choice. It’s good to be mindful of what employees are thinking and feeling. If they’re feeling discouraged about a ceiling they may feel is there, remind them of the opportunities they have, the different paths their careers can take within the company, and help them set attainable goals to get moving on one of those paths. During the hiring process, you can also evaluate candidates for their motivational fit. You want to hire employees that are motivated to be at work and perform but not so motivated that they expect frequent promotions. Using personality assessments in the hiring process can help you determine the right motivational fit for your job.
Reason: There is a conflict between an employee and a manager.
The old saying - employees leave managers not companies - is still true today. Sometimes agents don’t want to get away from the call center, they just want to escape their managers. Maybe they feel their manager is overbearing, too much of a disciplinarian, or focuses too much on a select few. This can create a rift between the employee and the manager – and in time, the company.
Solution: If there seems to be a problem between management and employees, assess the situation and guide accordingly. Do the employees like to complain, or are there valid concerns that need to be addressed about a managerial style? Make sure that productivity and personnel aren’t coming at the expense of a management style that can be too much to handle for employees.
Reason: "The workload is too _________."
Sometimes an employee simply doesn’t feel the call center is the right place for them. They may feel the work to be too much, too little, or just not right for them. Whatever the reason, the employee wants to leave their position because the workload doesn’t feel right to them.
Solution: If an agent finds his or her workload to be too high or too low they can left being overwhelmed or bored, and wanting to leave. This comes back to your hiring selection process. Accurately defining your job success factors and understanding how to evaluate job candidates during the hiring process will help you hire individuals that can handle the workload. Besides understanding their work ability and motivational fit, work sample simulations can be used to provide the candidate with a realistic sense of the job and allows you the opportunity to evaluate them.
Improving employee retention can be achieved from the beginning of the hiring process. For more information on how the hiring process can help with employee retention, schedule a discussion below.