Improving Call Center Attendance
Good attendance is something that must be ingrained into the culture of your center. A strong attendance record is necessary for everything that we do here at Expivia. There are two main pillars of our center: Attitude and Effort. Attendance is a HUGE part of the “effort” pillar. We hire, incentivize, and pay based on the associate’s performance within the two pillars, making attendance even more important.
There are four tools we use to help our attendance, and only one of them is “negative”, we believe in much more of a less stick and more carrot.
These four tools combined have helped us maximize our associates’ desire to work their maximum number of hours.
Call Center Attendance Policy
All of our associates are scheduled as full-time, working 37.5 hours per week. Our goal is to get every one of them to work every scheduled hour every week. Our HR policy includes 40 unpaid, personal hours per year. Unpaid personal hours carryover year after year, one associate that has been with us for 3 years, used 15 personal hours, so she has 105 hours banked. Again these are not paid, but they can be used at will for any time off needed an employee mad need.
If a person goes under 37.5 hours, we will start to look at trends that might be occurring by checking their 4, 8, and 12-week averages. If they are missing more and more time, HR will meet with them and they will be placed on an improvement plan. Not all plans are the same. It could be for three weeks or three months–it depends on what the associate and HR agree to during their meeting. Also, it’s important to note, if an employee knows she has to catch the 4:45 bus to get home, or he cannot get into the office before 9:20, they need to speak to HR–it is possible we can accommodate that. Not everything is one-size-fits-all.
Attendance from the Supervisory Level
Supervisors are given notification of any improvement plans that are put in place. It is up to them to check in with associates during their weekly Agent Analysis chat. These chats allow supervisors to chat with the associate about their attitude, attendance, dress code, KPIs, goals, etc. Which lets the supervisor get a good feel for each individual representative.
When discussing motivation with high-attendance individuals, we may gift them with a small motivational gift to let them know we appreciate them. However, if the representative is on an improvement plant, this time is often used to really stress the need for good attendance and remind them of our incentivization practices. These associates are also meeting with HR once a week to be sure everyone is on track for success.
Call Center Attendance Pay Multipliers
Attendance is important, but do you have it tied to your pay scale? We do! We use what we call “Effort Multipliers”. Every associate has a “Control Base Rate,” which is their standard hourly pay rate. When an associate hits 100% attendance, they get a bonus of a dollar per hour added to their rate. When they have done this for four weeks in a row, the bonus changes to $1.50 per hour. If they continue to have full attendance eight weeks in a row, this bumps up to a $2 per hour bonus–which is where we have the bonus capped. The multiplier amount will vary from center to center, especially depending on location.
This has proven to be a great way for us to reward our employees with high attendance. Higher attendance levels are mutually beneficial! We are able to bill more hours as a company, while the associates are taking more money home in their checks, too. The games we play in our center are also more fun with full attendance adding to your culture!
Call Center Attendance Proficiency Pay
We offer proficiency pay based on our speech analytics technology for our inbound call associates. This may be a little trickier to assess if you are not using speech analytics. For us, the associates who receive a specific sentiment score will get proficiency pay. Proficiency pay is simply another multiplier that can be added to an associate’s hourly pay rate. But, to be one of our proficient associates, they must work 100% of their scheduled hours.
For the outbound side, this is based on hitting a certain number of sales or conversion. Our outbound center is very customer-based for our client’s customers. Our associates are expected to meet certain sales targets. When these targets are exceeded, proficiency pay becomes a possibility IF the associate is also working 100% of the scheduled hours.
The bottom line is that if you offer incentivized proficiency pay (or commission), you have to be sure to tie it to your most important KPIs, which for us is occupancy and attendance. We need as many associates here daily providing our world-class support as possible.
Call Center Attendance Motivations
Notice attendance motivations are NOT in this list. These types/motivations for great attendance can be fun but are not as important as the culture we build with the four tools above. Broader motivation is often much better for everyone than a one-off motivation. Attendance motivations have a short-term, minimal effect than when you incorporate it into your culture.
Attendance is something that all call centers sometimes struggle with. When consulting, I see too many organizations that are looking to fix motivations with quick fixes and not looking to incorporate it in their culture, how they pay, and how they incent.