What to do with long time employees that don't fit...

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Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

What to do with long time employees that don't fit...
We have 2 call center agents who are the most tenured employees in the company. They are also the sweetest old ladies you ever met. Unfortunately the program they are on is going away, and they don't have the skillset for any of the other programs.
I'm not the HR person, but I really like these ladies and don't want them to go away. My boss has asked me to come up with a way to keep them on staff and find them something useful to do.
They can't type quickly and they are very chatty on calls and the one lady won't stop using the phrase 'Have a blessed day!' instead of just 'Have a nice day!'
I hope there's really no help you can provide, but I was helping that typing it out would help me think.



Reynard Thomson Ltd.

Promote them!
I think they should be promoted into HR to try to offset some of the acidity that sometimes prevails... ;)

You could always point them in the direction of this site and they could be resident agony aunts...


Resource Planning & MIS Analyst

Tui Travel - Specialist Sector

I'll take them
I have a whole office of staff that are juist like that. ;-)

Call Centre Manager


Back Office
Would they be any good in a back office/customer service/escalated complaints and queries type capacity, as this tends to be where the empathisers and chatters win hands down over the perky/peppy brigade?


Account Manager

Business Systems UK

Hi There

With all that experience that age brings and their bright personalities how about putting them in a coaching-training role people look up to the more mature person when it comes to matters of learning



CC Operations Design Specialist

Financial Services

What do THEY want?
Have you asked what they are really looking for? We have had 3 years of redundancy now, and many of our longer service employees fought tooth & nail to avoid redeployment as they were entitled to a fairly heafty redundancy package. This has proved especially true for employees nearing retirement.

P.S. I hope(?) there's really no help you can provide, but I was helping (?) that typing it out would help me think. - ??? hope the thinking went better than the typing!

Cutting to the Chase...
Obviously I don't know these people so I will speak in general terms:

Most likely they would make horrible managers.

Would advise against asking them what they want as you might not be in the ball park of their expectations and that would make releasing them that much harder.

Like another post stated, this pair might be particular good at soothing ruffled feathers if your boss is hell-bent on retaining them.



Sound it out with HR

You are right there is no help we can provide, the matter rests squarely between the line manager, HR and their employment contract(s).

Things you might like to consider;
What are your legal obligations? Should they eventually be retrenched have you provided them with every opportunity to reskill and redevelop?

If you do redeploy them do they have the skills/knowledges sets and are development processess in place?...if they dont measure up long term they could have a case for constructive dismissal. I disagree with Steve, (after having talked to HR about your options) you do really need to be direct, open and pragmatic otherwise you may run into the issues I have just outlined. You may find they want to go but were staying on out of loyalty - you wont know unless you have an honest exchange of views.

Lastly dont move them into a job because you dont know what else to do with them, thats no grounds for recruiting someone, it sends out strange messages and looks like favouritism especially if they arent any good at it. And beware assumptions that just because they are older and experienced they will work well in coaching or development or whatever - its unfounded.

Longevity and being nice is no basis for retention.Older people are subject to the self same performance measures as young people, there are plenty of staff of all ages who we may prefer much less but are much more capable of doing a job effectively. Personal preferences, assumptions and likes should not figure in this difficult decision.

In todays environment, we all have to measure up - whatever our age. Good luck.

Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

I found a position that fits them, but they are going to refuse it due to the schedule required 2PM-10PM. That's all I can do for them, HR& Management will have to handle it from here. :-(

Thanks for the advice though!

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