Yesterday (18th of June 2012), UNISON (The Public Service Trade Union in the UK) published the results of a survey where they stated that “A quarter of call centre workers surveyed say their access to a toilet is restricted”. Call Management usually are up to date to the sector news and to discover these results was shocking for our team.
My view has always been, if you treat your colleagues with respect then your agents’ satisfaction rating will be high and as a result this situation should not arise. I appreciate that in larger contact centres they have to watch agent activity and micro manage their movements (Boom Boom!!!) but there is a very fine line and leads to poor agent performance and staff attrition.
There will always be a percentage of people that will take advantage and once this has been highlighted, the direct approach is always best, if it is mentioned during their weekly stats feedback meeting then that should be enough but if they choose not to take it, on board then there is a problem and this is just a symptom or warning sign.
In my opinion you do not have to take breaks to do nothing, an agent can find novel ways to avoid work such as, manufacture a longer call duration with a customer to avoid having to take a more stressful call. There are numerous ways your agents can avoid work so it is not a good idea to target the one item that arouses so much sensitivity and is also very personal.
Call Management have never monitored staff toilet breaks as a management tool and have no intention of starting. We respect our staff and once the quality of our calls is high and the overall response levels are maintained then we trust our agents to a great degree so they return the favour by not taking advantage.
We want to nurture an enjoyable office environment with a friendly atmosphere where staff feel comfortable asking questions. This leads to a more productive contact centre and monitoring breaks fits into this model but in moderation.
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