High costs as call centre staff turnover rates rise

High staff turnover rates in call centres are costing the industry over £1bn
a year, according to a research by consultants Blue Sky.

The research shows that it costs call centre operators £2,224 for every
employee that leaves through additional recruitment and training costs, and
with turnover rates of up to 30 per cent it is a considerable burden on

But, despite these figures, call centre employers are investing less in
staff training with the average investment per staff falling claims the
research. Only 31 per cent of operators provide induction training that spans
more than three weeks. On average employees receive no more than two hours
additional training per month.

The report also shows that staff, particularly in the telecoms sector, are
often expected to work long hours for salaries as low as £11,000 a year.

As a result of this lack of staff development, many firms admitted that
employee productivity was usually about 30 per cent in their first month, and
did not peak even after three months.

A spokesperson for call centre operator Vertex claimed that the sector is
tackling high staff turnover. He said, "We already see employee attrition
as a major issue and expense for the industry and are working very hard to
combat it.

"Vertex places great emphasis on staff training and development,
creating pleasant working environments and promotion and benefits
opportunities. As a result, many of our contact centres have an attrition rate
of as little as 6 per cent, with employees seeing themselves as a core part of
the business."

The survey, Counting the Cost of Staff Turnover, included research based on
call centres in 10 industry sectors.

By Robert De La Poer

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