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Contact Centers: Succeeding Amidst The Great Resignation

connectingThis article originally appeared in no jitter, a partner publication.

The term Great Resignation came into common business parlance in September 2021, when the Harvard Business Review published an article analyzing the causes and strategies to combat the stark fact that millions of Americans were quitting their jobs.

The phenomenon has impacted contact centers not only in the U.S., but across the globe. The pandemic has shifted what agents want from their employers and careers. It is not surprising that service leaders are struggling with hiring and retention in what has become a fiercely competitive marketplace for skilled employees. Contact centers have already begun to reimagine their workforce operations, to invest in the agent experience, and prioritize flexibility to attract, retain, and nurture the best talent.

During a recent webinar, I had the opportunity to join three contact center executives to ask a series of questions on this timely topic: Shannon Marowitz, executive director of head of global education, knowledge, quality, and social for The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Debbie Neuberger, senior VP of service operations for Realtor.com, and Madhav Thattai, VP of strategy & operations for Salesforce. Below are some highlights from our panel discussion.

Are you experiencing higher, lower or the same levels of attrition?

Not surprisingly, both Marowitz and Neuberger had attrition numbers at the ready. “We actually just updated our numbers this morning,” Neuberger said. She reported that since the start of the quarter in July 2021, turnover is seven percent higher than in 2020. She balanced that statistic with others that show that 38% of the company’s staff has been with Move, Realtor.com’s parent company, for over five years and 52% over three years.

Move is seeing turnover with its staff with less than one year of tenure, with half of the overall turnover coming from this demographic. Neuberger believes, “our weekly turnover is absolutely preventable through leaning-in and listening.” But she went on to say that articles in the press reporting that 70% of employees hate their jobs and are thinking about leaving “should be a wake-up call to all of us to find a way to invest more in things like employee engagement initiatives.”

Marowitz agreed that Estée Lauder is seeing a bit of an increase in attrition. In addition to employees with less than six months tenure, the company is also seeing agents making life decisions. Estée Lauder has a lot of very tenured, long-standing employees that are coming to a time in their life where they are asking, “Do I want to keep doing this?” Marowitz said that the move to digital-first interactions is playing a role in some of these decisions, with more tenured employees not as quick to embrace the new digital world of customer experience.

Wait, there’s more. To read the full no jitter article, click here.

Topics: Workforce Management, Employee Experience, Best Practices