Hardy Evans Ltd

5 tips to reduce agent absence in your call centre

Wednesday 8th of July 2015 08:37

The absence of call centre staff can have a negative effect on the rest of your team and their productivity.

Curbing employee absence can be difficult and tiresome, but here are some ways to help the issue:

Reward good attendance

There are many different ways that you can reward good attendance, and by doing this, employees have something to strive for.

Examples of ways to show your appreciation and reward your agents include giving certificates for 100% attendance, which will look good in files and on CV’s, you could give an extra-long lunch break on a set day to the agent with the best attendance each month or even reward them with an early finish.

Another idea is you could treat those with the best attendance to a lunch out every three or four months.

Call absent staff

If a member of your team phone in sick before the working day begins, giving them a call in the afternoon has a few benefits.

Firstly, you are seen as showing concern for your staff members, whilst also being able to eliminate any one trying to pull a sickie.

If you ring them on their home phone, you have more of a chance to see if your employee is telling the truth as if they are pulling a sickie and are having a day out, they won’t be able to answer!

By giving an agent a call to see how he or she is doing, you are also able to make any preparations for the following day if it looks like they won’t be able to make it in again.

Once employees see this happening when anyone is off sick, they are less likely to pull a sickie as they won’t want to be caught out.

Utilize peer pressure

When an agent is off sick, it’s the whole team that suffers as they have to complete the extra work and meet deadlines without them.

When gathering your agents together to discuss targets and give summaries, you should make a point of discussing anything that have a negative impact on the team’s productivity – including absences.

By highlighting this topic, pressure is applied to agents and if they are off sick they will feel like they are letting their team down.

Your agents will know when someone is genuinely ill and when they are simply pulling a sickie.

In addition, when members are pulling a sickie, they will not receive compassion and sympathy from their colleagues, which can become a deterrent to repeat offenders.

Apply the ‘Bradford Factor’

The Bradford Factor gives a number referring to how disruptive a person’s absences are.

It takes into account how many absent days an employee has had, and also how many periods of absence there has been.

The formula highlights that shorter, more frequent periods of absence (for example, a day or two for a number of weeks in a row) are more disruptive than fewer longer periods of time off (for example, having a few weeks off after surgery).

Using the Bradford Factor will help you establish which of your employee’s absences are causing the most disruption to your company and the productivity of your agents.

Brief agents after their time off

After an agents has had time off, whether for a day or a number of weeks, you should have an informal meeting to fill in any necessary paperwork.

Documenting the date, duration and reason for the absence makes sure that if any disciplinary issues surface in the future, the absences cannot be disputed by an employee.

During this meeting, agents can be caught up on anything they have missed whilst they were absent. 

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