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Call center attrition refers to the turnover rate of call center agents, and as such, it’s an essential metric to track if you run a call center.

Your call center agent attrition rate can give you vital information on company workflows, the culture, and engagement rates. It tells you how well you’re able to retain talent, and a high attrition rate should be an indicator that you need to make some internal changes.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to calculate call center attrition and how to address and resolve high call center agent turnover rates.

How to Calculate Call Center Attrition 

Your call center attrition rate will tell you how many employees resign or are dismissed from their roles during a specified period.

With that in mind, here’s how you calculate call center attrition:

Total number of employees at end of period ÷ Total number of employees at start of period x 100 = retention rate

100% - Retention rate = attrition rate

Let’s get specific now and assume that the period is from January-March, and you had 150 employees in January and 137 in March:

137 ÷ 150 x 100 = 91.3 (retention rate)

100% - 91.3% = 8.7% (attrition rate)

Perhaps surprisingly, the key takeaway here is that even though your workforce has diminished by 8.7% in the period of three months, you shouldn’t have cause for concern.

Why?

Because the industry average attrition rate for call center employees was an astonishing 42% in 2021. That means that, on average, a call center would lose close to half of its workforce during the course of the year.

Why is High Call Center Attrition Common?

Let’s dive back into the Call Center Helper report to find clues on why high call center attrition was so high in 2021. The answer very likely lies in the following reported statistic:

36% of call centers invested little to no resources in retention.

Here are some of the other statistics that shed light on the high call center attrition rates in 2021:

  • 22% of companies don’t offer any form of flexible work accommodations
  • 58% of call center employees feel as if the coaching they receive is inadequate
  • 49% of call center agents claim career development is a significant motivator for sticking with a company

In summary, many call centers generally don’t invest much in retention, seldom offer opportunities for career growth even though it’s a huge motivator for call agents, and have limited flexible work arrangement options.

It’s no surprise, then, that many call centers face the ongoing challenge of a high attrition rate. 

How to Improve Your Call Center Retention Rate

If you want to reduce your call center attrition, you need to bolster your retention efforts.

If you’re losing a significant portion of your workforce over time, then it’s likely due to one of the following reasons:

  •  Employees feel like there are better opportunities out there
  •  Employees are disengaged with their work
  •  Employees feel isolated and don’t get on with the work culture or their coworkers

Here are some of the best ways you can prevent employees from reaching the point of no return:

Offer Flexible Working

As the findings from the Call Center Helper report suggest, many call center agents are dissatisfied with the lack of flexible working options available to them. As such, to achieve call center workforce optimization it’s worth considering implementing some flexible work measures.

By flexible working, here’s what we mean:

  • Split shifts
  • Pre-approved extra hours
  • Flexible break times
  • Simple shift swapping
  • Transparency with schedule changes
  • Work from home potential

If you can implement several of these flexible work accommodations in your call center, then you’ll empower call agents to take control of how they work. This sense of autonomy is hugely important in the current work climate, and if employees can’t find it at your call center, then they’ll seek it elsewhere.

To make sure employees don’t abuse flexible accommodations, you can monitor call center activity with call center monitoring software and ensure productivity levels remain consistent or improve. With call center monitoring, you can accurately measure productivity as a metric with the use of time data.

Create a Collaborative Work Culture

If call center agents feel as if there isn’t a clearly defined work culture and there’s nothing connecting them to their coworkers, then it’s much easier for them to check out.

When an employee checks out, they can grow more and more disengaged with their work and surroundings. This can lead to burnout and, ultimately, resignation.

The solution?

Work on creating a collaborative work culture that emphasizes connections between employees.

Here’s how:

Focus on Team-Building Activities

The main goal of team-building activities is to promote socialization between coworkers who can use games as a way to forge bonds.

By introducing biweekly or bimonthly team-building exercises, you can help your workforce to work well together and strike up working relationships while in teams.

Create Internal Competitions

To incentivize teamwork and instill some friendly competition in your workforce you can lay on internal competitions.

With these competitions, you can set prizes for accomplishing certain goals, have employee of the month rewards, and otherwise give your employees a reason to work hard and operate as part of a larger unit.

Communicate Collaborative Work Culture

If you want to promote collaboration, you need to communicate it upfront.

Let employees know that by being a team player and working well with others, they can ascend the career ladder and access further opportunities at work.

Implement the Right Software

Call center monitoring software can help you keep tabs on your call agents so you can identify work productivity trends and monitor engagement levels.

If you share access to the productivity monitoring software, as you can with Insightful, you can carry out reviews for employees to find areas they could strengthen and potentially increase their engagement levels. 

With access to call center monitoring system Insightful, and clear communication regarding career opportunities, employees can measure their own performance and make the necessary strides to put themselves in contention for promotion.

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