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2024 in Focus: Cost Savings with Frontline Employee Retention

How can contact centers retain employees for cost savings (and a better customer experience) in 2024?

By: Andrea Meyer, Content Manager

The 2024 in Focus series highlights some of the insights our customers and prospects have shared with us about what they’re focusing on for 2024. In this first installment, we’ll talk about why increased retention is on operation leaders’ minds for 2024, and how they can make it happen. 

Attrition is a major (and costly!) pain point for contact centers. Therefore, it makes sense that these organizations want to focus on retaining their existing workforce, no matter their stage in the employee journey.  

But how?  

To answer that question, let’s take a look at why people leave (and the costs when they do). 

Why Employees Leave 

Some attrition, such as layoffs, is inevitable. But in this article, we’re focusing on voluntary attrition. (According to a recent survey, 71% of our respondents reported that turnover was a challenge.) And when employees voluntarily leave, it’s not always about money, benefits, or scheduling. Below are some of the most cited reasons for leaving: 

  • A poor pre-boarding or onboarding experience 
  • Job shock 
  • Inadequate training/empowerment 
  • Feeling unmotivated and disengaged 
  • Not feeling aligned with their teams/goals 
  • Burnout 
  • Lack of a career path 

The Cost of Attrition 

Most companies tend to lose, on average, about 18% of their workforce every year. But for contact centers and BPOs, that number is closer to 50-60%! And the costs add up. According to McKinsey, depending on the role type, location, and other factors, the average cost of attrition can come to $10k-20K per agent  

But the monetary costs aside, there are other high costs to attrition, including:  

  • Low morale 
  • Increased workload (and burnout) 
  • Brain drain (loss of experience and institutional knowledge) 

8 Tips for Retaining Employees in 2024 

We’ve just covered the most common reasons that employees leave, and the losses to organizations in the wake of that turnover. Below are a few actionable steps organizations can take to boost their retention rates in 2024: 

Post an on-point job description
Employee retention starts before the job candidates interview. Mitigate the risk of job shock with a job description that includes an accurate view of the role, its requirements, and expectations.  

Engage during pre-boarding
The pre-boarding period is typically a time of low engagement, which increases the risk of first-day ghosting. Take steps to keep new hires engaged, such as assigning a “buddy” to check in periodically, sending team and manager introductions, and other personalized actions. 

Align employees with their goals
Part of setting employees up for success is ensuring they are aligned with their goals. Provide clear expectations, as well as insights into where they are versus where they want to be. This helps guide employees and drive motivation to reach their goals. 

Create a culture of learning 
Regular training and development is a great strategy for employee retention – especially with microlearning. Microlearning delivers self-paced, “bite-sized” learning modules that reinforce training and fight the forgetting curve. (And creating training and learning materials just became easier than ever.) 

Increase coaching effectiveness
Supervisors should spend more time coaching employees and less time preparing for development conversations. By automating the data collection and analysis process to surface actionable insights and recommended next best actions, supervisors are better able to coach continuously, helping everyone involved gain more from sessions. 

Map career paths
A major reason for voluntary attrition is the lack of a clear progression plan or career path, with veteran employees taking their experience with them. Providing a visible career path is critical to retaining both headcount and the institutional knowledge that comes with it.  

Remember that your people are people
Customer expectations are rising, and workloads aren’t getting any smaller, or easier. Supervisors should make sure to take a holistic approach to management with wellness checks. This can help prevent burnout and strengthen the supervisor-employee relationship by empowering managers to step in before it’s too late.  

Gamify Performance (and other Aspects of the Employee Experience)
The application of game mechanics into a non-game context, gamification taps into intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to keep employees motivated and engaged. Tying gamification to goals creates a long-term shift in patterns and behaviors that translates into better performance and increased retention. 

Centrical: Your Partner in 2024 

For over a decade, Centrical has partnered with organizations across industries and the globe to build and retain strong frontline teams. The Centrical platform takes a holistic, gamified approach to the employee experience, offering elements that include performance, coaching, microlearning, and Voice of Employee.  

Ready to level up your retention game in 2024? Learn more about Centrical by watching our platform in action and request your personalized demo today! 

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