Increase Employee Tenure by Showing Them Their Future with Your Organization
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
In considering the five tips to better retain call center staff, we’ve looked at agent compensation, agent benefits, and learning situations. Now we’ll address providing staff with employee growth potential opportunities.
With your employees learning enhanced work skills, don’t leave them frustrated by not providing the opportunity for them to apply what they learned. Though this could relate to personal growth, it’s best to focus on job-related growth potential within your organization—and not force them to seek their own growth solutions someplace else.
As you do this, you’ll show them their potential for job enhancement. This applies for both their existing position, as well as advancement opportunities. By sharing with them that they have a future at your organization and how they can get there, they’re more likely to stick around. Not only will you have retained a valued employee, but you will have prepared them to become a more essential member of your team.
Here are some ways you can provide employee growth potential for your staff.
Each time your staff learns a new skill or acquires enhance capabilities, look for ways to incorporate these into their current position. Often you can accomplish this by adding responsibilities to their existing job description. As they’re afforded opportunities that their peers don’t have, they’ll see themselves as more important and more integral to your call center.
This will increase their self-esteem, improve their work attitude, and enhance their job satisfaction. All these will combine to increase their tenure with your company.
Expand Position Scope
As they prove themselves capable by handling more responsibilities, they may be ready to take on an increased scope to their job. Look for ways they can be a call center agent and something else. This may be agent and shift leader, agent and backup supervisor, or agent and trainer.
Another option is for them to serve on an ad hoc committee or workgroup to consider new software, implement a new procedure, or overhaul the training manual. Though these are short-term assignments, success in these areas prepares the employee to take on more.
Promote to a New Position
Those who have proven themselves by taking on more responsibilities and increased the scope of their job, stand to receive prime consideration for advancement opportunities in your organization. Note that this could be within the call center or to another position within the company.
Don’t be selfish and try to keep your most talented employees in your call center. Each time they advanced to other company departments, you’ll realize the benefit of having a call center ally who understands what you do and can advocate for you.
Sometimes asking an employee to take on added responsibilities or an expanded scope falls within their current pay rate. However, don’t be stingy. Carefully assess when it’s warranted to offer a pay raise, added perk, or compensation incentive. Failing to do so will result in them being overqualified and underpaid. Then they become a prime candidate to leave your organization and go somewhere else. Don’t make that mistake.
Develop a Career Path
We’ve already addressed the idea of developing an employee career path when we talked about learning opportunities, but career path is also appropriate when discussing employee growth potential. When doing so, it’s critical to provide a realistic timeframe for a prospective career path. This is because you don’t know when an existing position will become open or a new one will emerge. If you don’t include timing variability when developing a career path, your most qualified employees will grow impatient and leave if they don’t see things happening as quickly as they think they should.
Employee Growth Potential Summary
When talented staff sees the employee growth potential for their career within your organization, they are more likely to stick around so they can realize the possibilities. Most people don’t want to go through the hassle and invest the time to find a new job—unless you force them into it.
Don’t be the manager that causes your best employees to leave. This will hurt your operation and could end up benefiting your competitor.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.
Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.