Improving Employee Retention in Contact Centres
Employee retention within contact centres has always had its challenges. Although it is known for a high turnover rate, it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of areas that could be improved to see better employee retention.
As recruiters for a large number of contact centres across Australia, we are in a position to see both sides of the problem. In our recruitment process we partner with the leadership teams and managers within the centres to source the best talent. To achieve this, every day, we meet with and work with the candidates and employees within these contact centres.
Combining our experience and observations, together our team of consultants have put together our Top 5 Recommendations for improving employee retention within contact centre:
1. Environment It is very important that employees feel healthy, safe and happy in their workplace. The working environment needs to be well lit and well ventilated. Natural light will always be welcome. Contact centre work can become tedious at times and there isn’t usually an opportunity to get up and take walks outside to get to meetings, etc. Ensure that employees have a space they can be comfortable in during the entirety of their shift.
The breakout areas should be comfortable and ideally, have some benefits for your employees. Think games table area, free fruit and snacks and comfortable seating. You want your employees to be healthy and getting them moving and eating well is a great way to encourage this. Employees of choice who stand out offer more than the bare minimum. What can your company offer to attract and retain staff?
Have you heard the saying, “people don’t quit their jobs—they quit their bosses”? If you want to retain the best talent, you need to give them strong leadership. In contact centres, employees want a leader who understands the job and what is involved. They want to be heard, respected and trusted to do their job with autonomy. They want to feel supported.
Conduct quarterly reviews or even “stay interviews” with all employees who reach certain milestones. This is an opportunity to meet one on one and set goals with your staff. Listen to their needs and find out what their plans are. Long term and short term. This needs to be a conversation, not a “lecture”. In these reviews, you should be able to identify the ones who want career progression and work out how to retain them long term by offering internal opportunities for growth.
If you have driven employees you need to be offering them opportunities for career growth to retain them. They need to see that you have a career plan for them and see you deliver on what you promise. Ongoing training and education can help to inspire employees to strive harder. It can also work to “give back” to employees. Show them that you are investing in them and their skills.
In all contact centres, employees need recognition for their individual achievements, their team achievements and also the business as a whole - separate to simply monitoring KPIs. Celebrate, acknowledge and validate that their work matters and they are contributing to the overall business success.
This is especially important when the contact centre is physically removed from other areas of the business. Ensure that the contact centre staff know they are part of the broader organisation and any business success they are a part of and have contributed to.
Employee turnover is expensive for an organisation. By improving your contact centre retention, you can improve your bottom line.