How to Reduce Call Centre Attrition


In the call centre industry, the attrition rate can often cause problems and may be as high as 20 or 30% annually.

The reason? Employees find it difficult to work with their manager or team leader.

It might be surprising to learn that call centre employees who find their work highly stimulating and rewarding, with excellent co-workers and a healthy company environment, still leave their jobs.

Let’s take a look at three primary reasons why employees quit – and even better, what you can do to avoid this recurring.

  • Rules are based on control

The “floor” won’t run smoothly without rules. Managers should have their own team guidelines, personal or otherwise. Team guidelines are essential to keeping the team operations flowing, preventing delays, and generally keeping everything in the office working to a certain standard.

Employees, especially when they are starting out, appreciate that there are rules to follow and to guide them as they learn the ropes. It helps them understand the skeleton of the system, and lets them know the boundaries for their endeavours – and hopefully how to work within them.

But many managers and team leaders like to exert extreme control over their subordinates.

What does having the right colour tie have to do with team members accomplishing their work? How does their leaving the office for a snack break affect productivity? More often than not, these rules just get in the way of them doing their work—or, arguably worse, go against the ethics of the company as a whole.

  • You fail to acknowledge excellent work

Employees look up to their managers and team leaders for guidance, inspiration and praise.

They are eager to please, and when they do a good job and you don’t let them know that you appreciate it, that’s a crushing blow. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs cites esteem as the last tier needed for self-actualisation – if you consistently fail to recognise their great work, what impetus do they have for doing it again in the future?

  • Your orientation months make a poor first impression

New workers are most receptive to the way the company runs. If their first few weeks are prime examples of tedious paperwork and red tape, they may regret being hired by this boring, inefficient workplace. Why would these new employees look forward to a career with you if their first impressions are those of stagnancy and old-fashioned ceremony?

So, what can you do to improve attrition?

1.    Loosen up a little

People are much more productive when they are let off the leash a bit – this shows that you have confidence in their abilities and boosts their self-esteem. As long as what they do doesn’t hinder their deadlines or daily quota, what does it matter if they smoke a pack a day? Well, that might make them leave the company earlier than expected, but that’s for other reasons altogether.

2.    Learn to recognise and appreciate good work

Of course, you shouldn’t just be handing out praise cavalierly (and in fact, this could be the reason why you didn’t acknowledge your employees’ excellence in the first place).

3.    Too much praise removes its power

Too much praise removes its power, so only give it when it is truly warranted. For instance, if you see an employee pulling overtime and putting in all of their effort. And remember, as much as possible, acknowledge your employee in public as it will help their confidence and self-esteem. Coach them in private, so that they won’t feel humiliated in front of everybody.

4.    Let employees know they are valued

Sit your employees down and let them know that they are valued, and give them responsibilities straight away.

That way, they’ll understand the importance of their position. Waiting for regulations to push through can be done concurrently with their new work – it should be a footnote, not a focus. People who have just signed on are raring to hit the ground running and prove themselves, so provide opportunities to do just that.

5.    Be visible

It is essential that your team see you in whatever you do in the office, whether you are just walking the floor to supervise their work, or simply checking on them to see how they are. Being visible on the production floor may also help in increasing your team’s motivation.

6.    Be consistent

Make sure you follow through and deliver on those tasks and commitments that you made. Being inconsistent may be misconstrued as being someone who is not credible. Some examples are:

  • Do not skip or miss a scheduled meeting like a focus group discussion with agents.
  • When it comes to incentives, make sure that you deliver.
  • Follow through with whatever commitment you made.

These are just some of the most common issues that team leaders overlook when supervising a call centre environment. Sometimes we do these things without knowing that we are affecting morale and increasing the chances of attrition.

This should serve as an eye-opener for you to not only acknowledge these missteps and correct them, but also recognise similar errors, leading to a healthy workplace for both you and your team.

Read our article on the Top 20 Ways to Reduce Attrition in Your Contact Centre

With thanks to Teoddy Baldomaro is a business writer for Piton-Global, a call centre in the Philippines. They offer lead generation, customer service and technical support.

Author: Jo Robinson

Published On: 11th Sep 2013 - Last modified: 27th Oct 2020
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