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If Your Center Has a Revolving Door, Consider Developing a Retention Strategy

Turnover is one of the more common, challenging and costly issues an organization has to handle. If you go through all the trouble and expense of recruiting and hiring agents only to find that they are leaving your organization sooner rather than later, consider developing a retention strategy. An effective strategy includes the following:

  1. Make sure you are hiring the “right” people in the first place. Consider developing a “successful agent” profile combining the pre-screening results of testing, answers to behavioral questions, key characteristics, background and experience; then adding new hire training results and trended performance results to the mix. This will assist in determining the type of candidate who will be most successful in the position.
  2. Provide qualified applicants a “job preview” before they accept the position.
  3. Make sure your supervisors are carefully selected and well trained, as so much of what keeps an agent with an organization is their direct supervisor.
  4. Establish an effective orientation and transition to the floor process.
  5. Create a mentoring or buddy program for new hires.
  6. Provide opportunities for ongoing skill and career development.
  7. Provide competitive pay and benefits to compete in your area.
  8. Implement creative incentive programs that link rewards to desired behaviors/call center objectives. Make sure you measure the success of these programs in achieving these behaviors.
  9. Create a quality coaching culture to ensure agents receive timely coaching and feedback on a regular basis. Make sure they hear from you not only when there is an opportunity for improvement but also when there is an opportunity for praise. (And sending an email does not count as coaching!)
  10. Provide enterprise wide recognition for agents who consistently perform well or who go above the call of duty. Show them you value the good work they do!
  11. Tap into each individual agent’s talents to create job diversity and fend off job boredom.
  12. Maintain consistency of treatment with clear–cut policies and procedures.
  13. Focus on good call center design - seating, overall environment, facilities, amenities, technology, etc.
  14. Collect ongoing data using employee engagement surveys to determine specific causes of satisfaction and dissatisfaction leading to turnover. Address the issues!
  15. Provide as much flexibility in scheduling as possible.
  16. And, lastly, analyze your retention strategy on a regular basis to make sure it is achieving the results you desire.