A new customer contact centre in Glasgow built by mobile communications firm O2 marks a step change in call centre careers, according to Ann Pickering, O2’s head of customer service HR.
Over the next two years, O2 will invest 18m in the project, creating 1,500 new jobs in Scotland.
Pickering said recent research by the company showed that employees at adviser level left the business because of insufficient career opportunities.
“We recognised we needed to enable people to progress and improve their skills while working for us,” she said.
In response, Pickering has launched a management training scheme, which puts 30 people a year through a course. She has also set up a skills progression model, which encourages staff to learn new skills. In return, their salaries are reviewed.
O2 is also offering other incentives, such as flexible working, holiday vouchers, and the chance to win a car.
“It’s about making work fun and making our staff feel valued,” Pickering said.
She also hopes the new investment will lead to a fall in attrition rates. Recent figures from the Department of Trade and Industry show that labour turnover is running at about 15% industry-wide.
“Our turnover rates are currently in line with the rest of the industry, and I will be very disappointed if they don’t fall at the new centre,” Pickering said.
The Glasgow site will be O2’s fourth major customer service centre in the UK. The others are based in Leeds, Bury and Warrington.