Is Workforce Attrition Eating Away at Your Profitability?

Posted by Rodney Kuhn

4/22/15 9:41 AM

I_Quit_graphicWorkforce attrition can have significant financial effects on a company. After all, when a business experiences a decline in its workforce and doesn’t replace lost staff, productivity can dramatically decrease, which can cause a company’s bottom line to suffer. In fact, aggregated research from Barracuda found that just five hours of unproductive work a week can cost a company $6,357 per employee per year.

While workforce attrition can be detrimental to all types of businesses, it’s particularly harmful for contact centers. Whether it’s due to a lack of talent and/or resources, contact center managers will often choose not to replace lost agents. Rather, they decide to make up for the lost capacity by stretching their remaining workforce thin. 

While doing so might temporarily solve the problem, it will eventually translate into poor customer service and, with research from Oracle showing that 64 percent of customers would stop doing business with an organization after a poor customer experience, diminished profitability. 

To prevent continual agent turnover, organizations must first identify the reasons why agents tend to leave. Let’s take a look.

  • Being overworked: According to a study from Virgin Pulse, 40 percent of employees wish their employer cared more about striking a healthy work/life balance. This can be difficult in today’s business landscape, however, where the majority of companies are strapped for time and resources and thus require employees to take on more responsibilities. The bottom line is that an overworked employee will become one who doesn’t stay with a company for long.
  • Minimal training: Agents that do not have sufficient training are often left to their own devices. Without the proper guidance and training, agents will likely fail to engage customers, upsell and/or cross-sell and may not be up to speed on corporate policies and best practices. In short, minimal training often leads to confounded and unfulfilled agents who choose to pursue other work ventures.
  • Poor management: Forty-four percent of employees say the relationship they hold with their employer increases their stress levels and, therefore, impacts their level of focus and productivity at work, according to the aforementioned research. This clearly indicates that poor management can directly affect an employee’s desire to stay with an organization. As such, contact center managers who fail to encourage their agents to make progress on their work or take time to regularly communicate will likely experience churn.

The good news is that each of one these causes of workforce attrition can be sidestepped by implementing an advanced workforce optimization solution. For example, a workforce optimization solution records agent desktop activity and customer interactions, of which managers can leverage for training and coaching as well as to identify customer preferences and problems. Such a solution can also automatically push out surveys to agents to gauge their satisfaction, providing them with an opportunity to express concerns of being overworked, stressed or unfulfilled.  

If you’re encountering any of these three results of workforce attrition, now might be the time to invest in an advanced workforce optimization solution. To learn more about workforce attrition best practices, read this blog.

Topics: workforce optimization, agent coaching, agent performance, coaching and training

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