Study: Employee Attrition on the Rise in Contact Centers

Low compensation and high stress in the contact center led to a jump in employee attrition rates, according to a study from Burlington, MA-based IT solutions provider Dimension Data.

The findings revealed a 24% annual turnover among agents – a 14% increase from last year. This year’s findings also show that almost 13% of productive available time is lost to absenteeism and sick leave.

The average contact center agent remains in the job for only about three and a half years, according to the study, which blames the turnover on low compensation, high stress, and repetitive job tasks. To reduce turnover among your agents, Cara Diemont, editor of Dimension Data’s “Global Benchmarking Report on Contact Centers,” advises offering the following:

* flexible schedules. As Internet protocol (IP) establishes a stronger foothold in the contact center, concepts such as the “remote agent” become more viable. What’s more, by offering well-managed part-time options, contact centers can attract a wider variety of potential staff members.

* diversified career options. According to the report, 73% of agents are equipped to handle only telephonic support, while only 29% can handle multiple channel responses. By training staff to respond using multiple channels, you can help agents hone their skill sets while offering them a wider variety of tasks and increased opportunities for career advancement.

* incentive programs. The average agent earns $21,000-$25,000 a year. By tying monetary incentives to skill diversification, contact centers can achieve greater levels of staff satisfaction.

* close communication. Although the majority of contact centers have clearly defined goals and targets, only 50% of agents can state what they are. Keeping agents informed of executive decisions is important for boosting morale.