Instead of Hiring New Employees, Seek to Retain Existing Healthcare Call Center Staff
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
With low unemployment rates, the task of finding qualified employees to work in healthcare call centers grows more challenging. This makes it even more important to take steps to retain the employees we have. Here are five areas to focus on. While these ideas are nothing you haven’t already heard, perhaps you can take a fresh look at them.
Today’s workers seek five core things when they evaluate a position and their long-term commitment to it and the organization. This applies to healthcare call center employees. Here are the five essentials to retain call center staff:
I’ve never met a person who thought their pay was too high, though I’ve met many who didn’t feel their pay was enough. How much is enough? I don’t know, but if you want to attract a higher skilled, more committed worker, you’ll need to pay more. Just be sure that when you raise your starting hourly rate, you raise your hiring expectations accordingly.
Today’s workers want more than money. They’re seeking benefits too. This includes flexible hours and paid time off. And even part-timers want to go on vacation. Make sure you provide a way for them to do so. Offer them a retirement plan too. Not all will take it, but for future-focused employees, this makes a huge difference. But the big kicker in benefits is healthcare coverage. And being in the healthcare industry, we should have the inside track on how to address this. Right?
3. Learning Opportunities
Employees also want to be able to learn new skills in their job. Yes, in some cases the training you provide them will help their next employer more than you, but as you better retain call center staff, you’re more likely to realize the benefits of that training.
4. Growth Potential
As your staff learns more job-related skills, they’ll want the opportunity to apply them. That is, they want to see the potential for growth, both within their existing position and into advancement opportunities. Help them see that they have a future with your organization, and show them how they can get there. That will help them stick around.
5. Make a Difference
Last, but of increasing importance, is making a difference. Yes, every call provides an opportunity for your call center staff to make a difference. But if they don’t agree, help them see the ways they can make a difference every week, on every shift, and possibly on every call. But beyond making a difference within their job, consider ways that they can make a difference in their community. Surely, there’s a nonprofit organization that you can come alongside and help.
In upcoming issues of AnswerStat, we’ll unpack each of these five items in greater detail. As we move forward in this initiative to retain call center staff, the main thing is to consider shifting some of your hiring and training budget into the area of retention. Yes, it will take time to realize the results, but when done wisely you’ll eventually see your hiring and training costs decrease as you watch your retention rate increase. And who doesn’t want that?
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.