Is Your Call Center Struggling with Attendance, Punctuality and Performance?

Call centers can only achieve their goals and properly service their customers if every employee adheres to his or her schedule. And yet, many centers struggle to achieve schedule adherence among their teams. Here are some of the reasons why centers struggle with attendance and strategies you can use to improve your team’s performance.

“As a job seeker for a call center position you need to ask for competitive pay of $12.50 to $16.00 per hour. Be self-motivated but look for a culture that is positive and supported by free perks! Prove that you understand the difference between a 3rd party call center and internal call center. Remind your future employer that you measure your own attendance, punctuality and performance to differentiate yourself amongst your peers,” says Sharon Tsao, CMO, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Performance is the Most Important Measurement

Have you taught your employees how you measure their quality? Traditionally there is a quality assurance person who is listening and rating the quality of a call and factoring in the satisfaction of the customer. Net promoter scores apply to your call center and having a quick survey at the end of every call will help you stay on top of a quantitative and qualitative summary of your departments satisfaction. Bonuses can be tied to requiring a 25-percent survey response to increase the response rate from the caller. Quality should always trump quantity, even thought you must push for efficiency within the department and have a minimum number of calls benchmarked as acceptable.

Dealing with Attendance Issues In A Call Center

Managers often attempt to deal with absenteeism and shift adherence issues in one of three ways. They either avoid dealing with the problem altogether, or they attempt to manage employees through punitive measures. Avoiding the problem ensures that it will continue, but discipline rarely motivates people who are just plain unmotivated to begin with.

“I have clients that give you three warnings for attendance before you are terminated. They live by the rule that says, 15 minutes prior to your shift is on time and walking in the door at the start of your shift is considered late. This rule of thumb is common with most of my call center clients!” says Stephanie Cormier, Branch Manager, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

The third most common approach is to reward those who have a perfect attendance record. Employees who show up every day as excepted and work their entire shift are rewarded with simple, but valuable prizes like extra paid time off, gift cards or bonuses in their paychecks.

However, some companies are reticent to reward employees for something they should be doing every day like showing up to work on time and not calling off. This is a basic expectation, and rewards should be reserved for people who go above and beyond.  These programs also do not account for performance. If someone shows up to work every day and does the minimum amount of work possible, should they really be rewarded?

Perfect attendance programs also incentive people to come to work sick – which is never a good idea. If someone is ill, you want them to stay home rather than jeopardizing attendance across the board. Managers have also noted that if an employee misses a day of work and is therefore out of the running for the bonus, they tend to start calling off a lot more.

A Better Strategy For Managing Attendance

Rather than rewarding perfect attendance, call centers should focus on developing a strong, mandatory attendance policy and enforcing it. Such policies should ensure that slackers can’t abuse the system, and that hard-working employees feel empowered to take time off when necessary, without fear of penalty.

However, attendance should only be one piece of the puzzle. Measuring critical KPIs across the board and using those indicators as the criteria for bonuses is much more critical. A solid evaluation structure will weed out poor performers naturally.

Centers that suffer from attendance try many remedies to fix the problem, but the root cause of these issues lies in the hiring process.  These centers struggle with low morale, an unengaged workforce, and poor work ethic, which makes it difficult to attract a higher caliber of talent.

If you are looking for talented agents for your customer call center, the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions are ready to help. We specialize in connecting call centers with fully-vetted, highly-skilled and motivated call center talent.  Contact CSS today to start filling your customer service center with truly motivated professionals.

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Contemporary Staffing connects job seekers to hiring managers nationally in the following professions: Accounting & FinanceCall Center & OfficeHuman ResourcesITSalesforce, and Sales & Marketing.