How to Avoid High Agent Turnover Rates
There’s no doubt about it: agents are the backbone of the call center. The workforce is what keeps call centers going, and all operations would come to a halt without it. Unfortunately, agent turnover rate is pretty high. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, including burnout and stress. In turn, having to constantly train new agents adds burden to veteran agents; this ultimately adds to the existing stress and results in more employees leaving. It’s a vicious cycle that call centers need to learn how to break. But how?
The key to keeping call center agents is to keep them happy. It’s essential that managers become aware of the problems that are plaguing agents and work to improve those conditions. Kronos (News - Alert) and Future Workplace recently surveyed a number of chief HR officers, 95 percent of which said that employee burnout is causing high turnover. According to the survey, 41 percent of employees feel that their compensation is too low, 32 percent are tired of unreasonable workloads, and 32 percent believe they have to do too much overtime and after-hours work. All of those conditions contribute to employee burnout, which ultimate causes even the best employees to quit.
So how do you combat these problems in order to keep your workforce intact? Managers first need to acknowledge what the problems are. Don’t be afraid to speak frankly with agents; ask them what makes them feel stressed, and come up with ideas together on how to improve conditions. One good way to handle stress in the call center is to develop a stress reduction action plan. Concrete steps and measurable goals are a great way to keep track of how the call center is improving.
It’s also beneficial to empower agents. Improve their competency by providing them with the necessary tools to do their jobs well; give them the authority to take part in management practices; and be sure to reward them for a job well done. If they are involved in bigger operations and feel like they are appreciated, the atmosphere will undoubtedly change for the better.
Not only will agents be less stressed from work, but they’ll also appreciate the fact that managers are going out of their way to make work enjoyable. At the end of the day, that’s what everyone wants: to work at a job they like. Happy agents are more likely to stay, which is a good thing in the long run for call centers.
Edited by Maurice Nagle