A few weeks back, I participated in two global conferences organised for Shared Services and Business Process Management companies in the region. The two events have different objective and targets different groups, but they have a common theme, talent management. The problem of keeping employees is a common problem across industries. Because of this, HR strategists are on their toes to reinvent programs across HR silos to address employee attrition.
Open Access, a US BPO company with presence in the Philippines, published a white paper about Call Center Attrition and Turn Over. Since BPMs and Shared Service companies are global in nature, the findings may also be reflective of the Philippine situation.
Highlights of the report
- The larger the company size, the higher the attrition rate (probably the team leaders and managers are either poorly trained or highly involved in office politics)
- The production line work assignment approach has higher attrition compare to those that involve critical thinking and problem solving.
- Of the different workforce generations, Generation Y have the highest attrition rate
- Of the millennials, those in the age bracket of 20-24 have the highest attrition rate
And the attrition was attributed to the inadequacy of the employer to
- Identify and hire the right person, and give adequate training to close the skills gap so agents can do the job satisfactory and pass the probationary period.
- To have a clear value proposition so employees can have an intelligent decision to stay with the company
- To engage employee and keep them fairly satisfied.
My take on the findings
The Philippine BPM and Shared Services environment can use the report to vet their own data. Though in my opinion, this is enough to learn from and improve on their HR initiatives and programs.
It may be absurd to think HR can hire a “wrong guy”, but when there is high demand but the job market is under qualified, recruiters will take the risk on hiring the second best. But HR corrects the skills gap by providing a comprehensive training.
A long term solution was initiated by IBAP when they partnered with the academe to ensure the curriculum develops the competencies required by the industry. When the students graduate, they are ready for the job.
On employee engagement
For my non HR readers, employee engagement is an HR program intended to reduce attrition. Here are my recommendation to address both attrition and the determinants mentioned on the white paper.
- Have a clear employee value proposition- Employees who understands the value adding benefit of the employment can make an intelligent choice to stay. This is specially helpful for the millennials.
- Practice “industrial democracy” – Regularly communicate, get feedback and address issues elevated by employees. Consulting employees on matters affecting them also increases the trust level.
- Work life balance- giving both the liberty and opportunity for employees to pursue their other interest i.e. dancing, sports, community services. It’s a good way to keep their focus.
- Make jobs less monotonous- cross trainings and assignments will constantly give employee new challenge and sense of purpose.
- Train for leadership, critical thinking and problem solving- This is the only way the organisation can benefit from employees, should they stay for the long haul. It’ll also help large companies reduce attrition by managing people thru properly trained and well equipped middle managers and supervisors.
- Fun work environment- work culture should not kill the creative side of people
- Inculcate a culture of respect- this will prevent the ugly side of office politics from taking roots in the company.
Do you have a unique strategy to keep your employees from leaving? Feel free to contribute and add your voice to the discussion.
You can download a copy of the white paper by Open Access.