Insurer tests shift scheme to cut call centre turnover

Admiral
Insurance has piloted a new shift working system and is developing childcare
plans to reduce staff turnover in its Cardiff call centre.

The
insurer has just completed a six-month pilot of new shift patterns which
eliminates the need for staff to work late by coordinating with a call centre
in the US.

Fern
Osborn-Tait, people services manager of Admiral Insurance, said it is an
example of a call centre operator introducing progressive working arrangements
for its 1,400 staff, which contradicts the message coming from the TUC’s
investigation into workplace harassment in call centres.

Osborn-Tait
said, “I’ve been surprised by the TUC’s case studies that have been cited. It
could not be further from our atmosphere.”

The
company hopes to introduce flexible childcare later this year. It intends to
secure places in a local nursery for the children of staff to attend when there
are problems with childcare cover.

Osborn-Tait
said, “The emergency childcare facility is an innovative idea that we looking
at to keep our employees at work and happy that their children are being looked
after.”

Admiral
has also been trying to improve team working and encourage the identification
of its corporate goals among new staff. Osborn-Tait said, “On their first day
employees get a piece of a jigsaw. It is a metaphor to show that they are as
important a part of the team as every other employee.”

Admiral
is hoping that its HR policies will reduce the staff turnover rate from nearly
30 per cent to 25 per cent, which is closer to the industry average.

Although
the TUC claims that call centre managers privately admit that the turnover rate
is double what is quoted.

Racial
equality is also high on the call centre operator’s agenda.

The
company has been meeting representatives from Cardiff’s Somali population to
try to increase the proportion of staff from ethnic minorities, which is only
two per cent.

www.admiral.uk.com

By
Paul Nelson

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