An innovative approach to employee development and training by the Co-operative Bank has cut the number of staff leaving its call centres.
The company, which has been chosen as an example of best practice by the Learning and Skills Council, has seen its staff turnover reduce from over 13 per cent to 10 per cent since it introduced a training and development plan, Project Leo, in 1999.
This compares with an average staff turnover rate at UK call centres of about 25 per cent, according to TUC estimates.
Project Leo ensures that new staff are given three weeks classroom teaching, where they learn a variety of skills from customer service to IT operations.
They are then given a mentor who listens to telephone calls and offers guidance, so that by the end of their first six months they have the skills to do the job well.
After this, the new recruits concentrate on other aspects of their development to see which of their abilities can be developed.
Tony Britten, head of human resources and planning for the bank, said, "We are getting more value for money by supporting people to develop their capabilities to be more effective in their jobs.
"People no longer expect a job for life, but they do expect more than a wage. They want opportunities to become more skillful and experienced, and they want that to be transferable."