Based upon the results of our extensive 2020 surveys of agents, supervisors, and executive leaders we predicted that 2021 would bring employee attrition concerns for the U.S. contact center industry. However, we weren’t certain whether other countries would follow the trend. Data indicated that the U.S. was headed into a battle with turnover, but other countries seemed to be holding onto significant gains in employee retention compared to pre-Covid norms. Things are now changing.
We recently partnered with Ryan Strategic Advisory to poll 628 executives about the level of turnover faced by companies operating outside of the U.S. When asked to rate how their current attrition rates compare to pre-pandemic rates, a larger number of multi-national executives indicated that it is now worse than stated it is better. It seems turnover is a rising concern for maintaining staffing levels both inside and outside of the U.S.
The root cause of turnover is the same regardless of the location of operations. When the pain of remaining at a company outweighs the pain of leaving employees begin to consider exiting. This pain threshold has been lowered considerably by the work at home model because one principal obstacle has been removed.
Employees no longer need to plan for time away from work to seek another job, nor do they have to relocate, nor even change their commute pattern. In today’s world, the application process is quick, the interview process (if even required) can be accomplished remotely over a lunch break, and with a download of software they can show up for work at their next employer in an instant.
Yet, many companies are weathering labor challenges well. Those who are succeeding in today’s employee-driven market are excelling in several key facets. Here are a few practices that companies have implemented to adapt to the future of work.
Understand the true employee experience.
Stable companies go beyond traditional employee satisfaction measures and unstructured polling to use methodologies that isolate the real employee experience, including the drivers of intent to stay and leave. They act quickly to allocate resources and change policies to positively improve the work experience.
View management ability as the key, not the employee profile.
There isn’t a new magical profile that guarantees lower attrition rates in the work at home model. What boosts the odds of success is a management team that understands how to manage across the physical gap created by the work at home arrangement. The new front-line manager is more like a life coach, working with team members to be self-coaching and self-learning. Further, the experience of front-line managers determines the employee experience. Stable companies empower their leadership team and provide them with the support they need to succeed.
Provide employees with options within their work arrangement.
Successful companies have recognized that employees are highly appreciative of being able to choose where they work. Even more, they are drawn to companies that allow them to choose when and how much they work in an office, if at all. The operating concept here is the maximization of flexibility produces added company loyalty.
Help make the work worthwhile.
Above all, people stay with companies who promote a meaningful work culture, and who extend that culture to remote employees. Thriving companies have built an environment that allows employees to fully engage in their work. This requires that the leadership team continually works to reduce stress, lower anxiety, and remove burdens so that employees can freely help others, which is what they were hired to do in the first place.
5th Talent Solutions
At 5th Talent, we have developed tools and methods grounded in meaningful work research to uncover and resolve the real reasons for turnover. Our approach and solutions enable companies to understand and address the Future of Work so they win the battle for talent. For further insight into the work at home dilemma, best practices for reducing attrition, and information about our services read the results of our latest industry studies.