Recruiting excellent agents can be a challenging task. It can even be more difficult keeping them around once hired. According to the JOLTS survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employee turnover rate is higher now than it has been in the past 18 years. Retaining call center agents doesn’t occur by chance, it happens by implementing practical, proven retention tactics. Check out these five tactics to retain your top call center agents:
1) Recognize Your Agents
Humans have an innate need to be appreciated and belong. Recognition via a performance management program in the workplace can fulfill that need and keep employees around longer. According to research done by Bersin and Associates (2012), companies with recognition programs have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover than companies that don't. Recognition can be monetary, but the good news is that it doesn't have to be fiscal to be effective.
Recognition can come in the form of giving an agent a shout out on social media, a close parking spot, a thank you note, virtual coinsfor winning a challenge, or virtual badges for excelling at a task. Another effective tactic for recognition within a call center is to have wallboards that display leaders of challenges, agent birthdays, and agent spotlights.
2) Ask for Feedback
The ability for agents to give feedback and communicate how they feel is a way to engage them that doesn't require a promotion or raise. According to Deloitte Research (2016), employees value culture and growth almost twice as much as they value compensation and benefits. The research shows that ideal company cultures prioritize an environment of listening. Practical ways to listen to employees can be implemented through weekly one-on-one check-ins, anonymous social tools, and short frequent surveys.
3) Keep Your Agents Challenged
Your best agents are likely to be ambitious individuals who have nearly mastered their role. Avoiding job boredom in the contact center is crucial to keeping them around. According to a Korn Ferry Poll (2018), 33 percent of professionals selected "I'm bored, need new challenge" as their motivation for moving on to another job. The solution to boredom is found in the form of a challenge. You can challenge your agents by helping them set goals, creating competition among employees, and challenging them to reach certain key performance indicators. Challenges can consistently be given through gamification tools.
4) Help Your Agents Set a Career Path
Employees don’t want to be stagnant. They will work a difficult job if it will lead them to a better future. According to Randstad (2015), 86 percent of employees quit their jobs due to an absence of career development. It’s important to show your best agents how they can develop a career path within your company before they go looking elsewhere. Help them visualize a career path by providing access to career mentoring and learning resources.
5) Provide Coaching
Employees want to know that someone is invested in bettering them. A study conducted by Deloitte notes that millennials who plan to stay with their employer for more than five years were twice as likely to have a mentor. Offering a mentor or coach is crucial to keeping your agents around. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task either, you can unify coaching capabilities via powerful performance management and quality management products.
Don’t let your #1 call center agents slip through the cracks. Implement tactics to keep them engaged, and they will keep your customers happy and your bottom line growing.