If your business requires a call centre or service centre environment the chances are that you will find yourself faced with a high staff turnover (attrition rate) versus other departments in your business.
The main reason is a generational issue as these environments are increasingly being staffed by members from the Generation Y cohort, also known as Millennials, with digital natives from Generation Z looming on the horizon.
How can entrepreneurs ensure a better business model to limit the impact of high staff turnover in these environments?
Understand why staff turnover is high
Firstly, technology innovation regularly introduces new skills and competencies that staff is required to learn, while also creating some degree of uncertainty with regard to what the future holds in terms of job security.
Secondly, the call centre or service centre environment is often considered a stepping stone to other career paths, and is seldom viewed as a long-term job prospect.
Thirdly, the perceived lack of career opportunities, coupled with other challenges such as low levels of stimulation; a tough sales-based environment, and hierarchical management structures1, all make the call centre a unique and complex environment where staff has a short lifespan.
As an entrepreneur, anticipating and proactively addressing talent issues requires a focused acquisition strategy. Finding ways to better predict performance alongside traditional methods of assessing candidates has become a top priority. And it is not only about whether new hires have the skill-set to perform in the role but also do they fit into your company culture.
Traditional assessments such as psychometric testing can deliver some insights about potential employees, but the reality is that these tests only accurately measure between 16 to 20% of key performance predictors.
In addition, the skills required in a modern multi-channel call centre are varied as staff need to engage via various mediums such as social media and email, not just over the phone.
Companies therefore need the ability to match core competencies/skills with the job role, while also ascertaining both written and verbal skill sets.
As such, it has become increasingly complex to assess which candidates will be a good fit for the call centre environment when relying on traditional assessments alone.
Understand your talent to manage staff turnover
Once hired, the ability to understand your employees and track their talent lifecycle can help to identify early warning signs of discontent and consideration of leaving, which is highly beneficial to your business.
There are technologies today which allow you to do just this. By understanding your employees better you can intervene to hopefully address their concerns and secure their continued service, or plan for the attrition to ensure a smoother transition by finding a replacement before they leave.
It is important to limit the financial impact that empty seats in a call centre can have on your bottom line as it limits the risk of sales targets not being met, and helps ensure that customer engagement and satisfaction goals are not compromised.
By better understanding call centre employees, your managers will develop more robust strategies to boost both workforce performance and job satisfaction, which is of particular importance to Millennials.
By understanding employees better, career planning and progression can also become more focused by aligning skills or helping to identify weak areas that require improvement. This personal development will help employees feel like they are growing and advancing.
Today entrepreneurs have access to technology, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI) that are being used to support a stronger talent acquisition and staff development business model.