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Absenteeism is the biggest
problems faced by those who
would manage a telesales
company. Telesales is a high
pressure and time-sensitive
environment, which makes
absenteeism a threat to the
bottom line of your call centre
- so how can you best handle the
human resources of a telesales
Telesales managers know all too well the challenge presented to them by absenteeism. Due to the stressful nature of telesales work, absenteeism is far higher than in other sorts of workplaces and turnover is high because of the almost inevitable burnout. Workers compensation and disability claims form call centers include carpal tunnel, back and shoulder pain and stress related conditions; all of which are very common to call centre employees.
In call centers, turnover averages around 40%. Since there is an ever increasing cost associated with recruiting and training new employees, managers have to find ways to reduce absenteeism and turnover.
Selecting new staff carefully, providing proper training and thoroughly informing them about what will be expected of them is crucial to keeping these figures low. Newly hired staff should always receive an intensive period of training and orientation to make them aware of the duties and responsibilities of their new position. All telemarketers at a top staff-orientated telesales business should be required to attend training sessions focused on stress relief, training in the technical aspects of their position and of course, quality customer service.
You will also need to reduce the physical stress of spending many hours chained to a desk and computer by having ergonomically sound chairs and other office furniture. Rather than limiting telesales staff to the standard two 15 minute breaks, instead give these employees ample opportunities to stand, stretch and walk around. Companies who have large telesales operations have begun instituting stress management seminars, stretching exercises and workstations which allow employees to vary their position throughout the workday.
Incentives should be used to improve morale, which can be monetary or be in some other form, to promote good job performance. While money is always nice, some non-financial incentives can be more tempting, such as extra days off or competitions. There are a lot of different ways to motivate your staff; telesales associates in particular are more in need of these incentive based programs than are employees in other industries.
Try to keep overtime low in your call centre. While it can seem like a great short term telesales staffing solution, it is likely to contribute to burnout. Instead, consider offering more flexibility in scheduling and give employees more choice in their schedules.
Offer additional training to your employees as needed and above all, communicate with them. Make sure that your employees understand that they are highly valued by management.
Keep on top of possible needs for additional training and schedule training sessions as necessary; don't wait to do this. Make certain that your telesales staff understands what is needed from them and why. By helping them to better understand the operations of the call centre, along with the reasoning behind them; they will have more commitment to these goals. Go over benefits and incentives with your staff regularly, this communicates that you are committed to them.
Telesales staffing is a challenging puzzle for even the most talented manager. Using the five techniques given above can help you to motivate and energize your telemarketers. This in turn will reduce turnover and absenteeism, leading to a more efficient and profitable telesales company.
Source: Dave Powell link