Call Center Hiring Featured Article
Reducing Attrition in 90 Days: Ensuring the Right Cognitive Work Abilities
September 29, 2008
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The contact center industry and the companies that operate within this space, often must deal with high employee turnover, but it does not have to be an accepted consequence of operating in this industry.
There are key areas of focus that the contact center can concentrate on to lower its churn and improve its overall performance. If this focus happens within the first 90 days, the contact center is much more likely to be successful in its methods.
In this series we have been examining what key areas lend to improving attrition numbers for the contact center. The latest problem to observe is when the contact center agent is hired without the right work ability both at the cognitive and interpersonal level for the job.
During the first 30 days, it is important that the contact center agent have the ability to multi-task and navigate through a computer system. New hires that do not bring these skills into the job will ignore the training material and will instead focus on how to manage the computer and the software applications. Therefore it is essential that the new already have an innate ability to multi-task and strong navigation abilities.
Cognitive ability has been found to be critical within the second thirty days on the job, just as much as it was in the first thirty days. It is considered the single best predictor of successful job performance. New hires will be finishing training and must apply the newly learned information as well as starting to multi-task on the phone.
Without the necessary cognitive ability to perform the intricacies of the job, the new hire will either quit within the first 90 days or will become flustered and deliver a poor job performance and will have to be eliminated from the position. Even when justified, letting an employee go still contributes to higher attrition numbers. When it is related to cognitive ability, it can be prevented.
A realistic job simulation, such as those offered by Furstperson, can help the contact center hiring manager to measure a job candidate’s ability to learn and apply new information while completing mock call scenarios. Such a simulation has a strong degree of face validity, but it can measure learning, multi-tasking, and computer navigation.
Strong relationships can exist between scores on realistic job simulations and call control performance, tenure, sales performance and overall call satisfaction. As important as these elements are to the success of the agent and the contact center, strong cognitive ability is essential for the job.
Check back next week as we examine how bad management of interpersonal requirements can cause people to leave the job.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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