Employee wellness is something that businesses are right to take seriously, especially call centers. Thankfully, the idea of corporate or workplace wellness is something that both companies and employees seem to be focused on this year, as evident by this Workforce report. If you’ve been regularly online recently, you’ll know that wellness has become one of those corporate topics that have been contested a lot in recent years. Some think it’s essential to good business, others think that it’s just a sham for “wellness advocates” looking to make a quick buck out of corporate organizations that are concerned about employee welfare. However, no matter which side of the debate you’re on, there’s no arguing the fact that those happy employees can and will help drive the company forward, particularly in stressful jobs like working in a call center.
Employee wellness is important in any career, but in call centers and other highly mentally and physically demanding environments, wellness should definitely be treated as a long-term investment. And the attendees at the MBGH forum are not alone in this thinking. Maryville University explains that there is a need for more research into psychology, especially on the “correlations between business objectives and employee behavior.” It may sound like common sense to us, but for managers and employees who are faced with balancing their health and career in highly taxing jobs (on a daily basis), these perspectives can be used to draw important, practical, and business-savvy lessons.
There’s a reason why call centers are sometimes referred to as “electronic sweatshops” while its employees often get called “digital slaves.” At best, its eight hours per day or rote work, solving mental puzzles in the form of dealing with all types of customers, including irate ones that tend to vent their frustrations on the person on the other end of the line. It’s a combination of mental and social skills, held in place by physical and mental endurance. Taxing at all levels, it’s no wonder Fast Company reveals that the average turnover rate for call centers is a high 33% – and an even higher 70% for call centers with upwards of 1000 working agents.
Pursuing the path of true employee wellness entails various elements. Here on Call Center Power we can tell you that this is impossible without good leadership, an essential part of which is actually caring about the welfare of team members. Apart from the willingness to promote employee wellness, there are other long-term strategies that can help call centers to actually ensure that wellness is a priority in the workplace.
For instance, a company called Tenacity is focusing on facilitating collaborations and promoting habits that can help employees to avoid burning out. Forbes got in touch with Tenacity CEO Ron Davis to probe their methods of promoting wellness in this traditionally stressful work environment. In a nutshell, their approach involves leveraging the technology that’s already widely available in call centers and using them to form scalable strategies focused on employee wellness. This includes an app for guided deep breathing exercises as well as encouraging at least moderate exercise in employees. It may sound over-simplistic, but in Tenacity’s pilot program for a $30 billion telecom company, it only took three months for these methods to reduce turnover by two-thirds. Considering what is considered the normal turnover for call centers, the program is highly promising in terms of promoting call center employee wellness.
By improving the lives of its stressed employees, call centers can also expect to improve the way they do business. Employee wellness is more than just a fad. As the evidence shows, it’s essential to good business.
Feature solely written for callcenterpower.com
by Sandra Grey