Call centre challenge and pay encourage staff to stay

Brent
Council Call Centre has bucked the trend for high turnover of call centre staff
in local government by offering jobs with variety and challenge.

According
to the IRS report Call Centres 2000: Reward and HR Strategies, published this
week, while the sector generally has turnover rates of between 20 and 30 per
cent, only two of the 34 staff at Brent Council Call Centre have left in the
past 12 months.

Paula
Buckley, call centre manager at Brent, said in the report that staff are
recruited for their customer care skills. Because they are capable of taking in
a lot of information and mastering topics quickly, she cites variety and
challenge as the key factor in staff retention.

The centre
also pays well compared with similar jobs in the area with advisers earning
£16,000 to £21,000.

The
report, based on a survey of 82 organisations operating 223 call centres, found
that improving pay and conditions was seen as the most effective way to retain
staff, with personal development programmes coming second, and training,
flexible working and quality working environment being a third group of
factors.

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