One of the biggest challenges in call centers is to reduce the rate of absenteeism. The absence of agents is something that affects the whole business functioning as well as the services. Call centers handle some of the most critical business processes for their clients and hence, they have a lot of responsibilities. Excessive and regular absenteeism of agents could have a negative impact on the client process and hurt their business badly.
There are certain reasons and factors that result in the absence of agents. If these reasons are known in advance, then contact centers can work upon them to increase the presence of agents in their delivery centers.
Contact Center Solution
Here are some of the ways that could help you in dealing with absenteeism:-
Create a Policy Regarding Absenteeism:
Organizations offering contact center solutions should create a policy that would govern all the matters of absenteeism. This policy should consider all aspects and be fair to all the involved parties. Moreover, you should follow this policy strictly as there is no point of having a policy that is not implemented properly. The moment you make good on implementing the policies, you will see a marked improvement in the quality of your overall operation.
Start Wellness Initiatives:
By starting wellness programs that promote healthy living, a call center can ensure that their employees don’t fall sick often. This will automatically reduce the leaves taken by employees due to health reasons. Also, wellness initiatives let the employees know that the company cares about them, which automatically increases their dedication.
Address Absenteeism as a Priority:
Most of the contact centers make the mistake of accepting absenteeism as an inevitable part of business which they have to live with. This type of attitude is never helpful and promotes absenteeism. Absenteeism should always be treated as business priority so that it is not taken for granted. The task of implementing policies regarding absenteeism should be delegated to TLs and managers who by themselves are regular in coming to the office. Setting the right example is crucial for implementation of any successful policy.
Evaluate the Reasons for Leaves:
There are certain trends and factors that are associated with absenteeism in every organization. You should try to understand the reasons for it and work upon them to achieve favorable results. You will find that there are certain stages in the job and certain times in a year when agents tend to take more leaves. If you could identify these things then you can easily work upon them and minimize the problem.
Conduct Return-to-Work Interviews:
It is advised that managers should conduct an interview when an agent returns back from leave. This interview would help in understanding the problems and reasons for absence. Ensure that you are supportive towards the agents and check whether they are fit enough to rejoin their duties. Also, update them regarding any new developments in the work. You should also check for any disability and whether the rules of Disability Discrimination ACT 1995 are applicable for the agent. Only once you are convinced that the agent is ready to go back to his regular work, you should allow him to come back.
Reward Employees with High Attendance:
When stick does not work, the carrot gets the work done. So, if you are unable to discipline your employees by confronting them directly for their absenteeism, you should start rewarding employees that have high attendance stats. This action by you will motivate others to improve their attendance statistics, which will automatically minimize absenteeism.
Create Flexible Schedules:
Agent absenteeism can be easily reduced by implementing flexible schedules for agents. Shift swaps could be used by agents in case they have some important work at the time of their assigned shift. They could also be allowed to start their shift a few hours early or late in order to match it with their important personal work. Although flexible scheduling is hard to implement, it has great potential to minimize absenteeism.
Create a Healthy Work Environment:
The biggest reason for agent absenteeism is that they are not happy with the working environment provided by the company. Call centers should try to create a nice working place for their agents where they would like to spend time. Keep their work place hygienic and clean. Also, provide them a nice eating place where they could spend their lunch time and idle hours. Try to include some entertainment spots in the office premises, so they can enjoy a little bit. Providing a place to indulge in indoor activities e.g. board games or table tennis can keep the agents reinvigorated.
The above-mentioned tips would help call centers in reducing the rate of absenteeism and eventually enhance their performance. By achieving higher presence rate of agents, Bluechip Call Center can deliver better and more effective solutions to their clients.