HR Management for CX

What Call Centers can do to help fix agent absenteeism

Agent absenteeism is a call center problem that can result in high losses in resources and can ultimately have a huge impact on the quality of service. With fewer staff available to handle customer calls, the waiting times tend to increase and also put the agents under pressure to rush through calls. Like a snowball effect, the absenteeism can impact the staff morale as they struggle to deal with the added work load. Ultimately, its many factors and situations in different call centers that cause absenteeism. What are some ways you can help your agents?

Physical Problems

Maybe it’s the physical condition of your call center that is making employees not want to show up. Your staff might be complaining about headaches from monitor glare or from the light fixtures. Install glare screens on the monitors or alternate the lighting controls so there is less/more light. After long hours sitting at their desks, your staff might have stiff wrists, backs and necks. Buy the necessary gadgets, such as footstools, wrist pads, chairs etc to help make them more comfortable.

Hire the right type

If an employee is not suitable for their job, they will be more likely to become frustrated and choose not to show up to work. Choosing the ideal employee type for your customers is important if you want them to be a long-term employee. Develop specific tests and ask the right questions to help you narrow down the best match.


Update your training program and test it to make sure it’s doing its job with your new hires and existing staff. It should include stress management and techniques for those irate customers. Coaching is a powerful tool to improve performance. Provide regular sessions to help give praise and ideas for improvement.

Agent Off-time

Agents who are answering phones all day long can find it to become quite repetitive and boring. Give breaks and provide special projects, both outside and in-house to give your agents some off-time.

Changing attitudes

Agents who constantly complain can cause a negative effect on the rest of the team. Give the agent the opportunity to give their ideas to help find a better way to improve the situation. Don’t dismiss their ideas either.


While giving money is a good way to motivate agents, it shouldn’t be the only source. Another alternative is to award points for a job well done and then let them redeem them for prizes. Or, review your benefits. Add another vacation day, personal day or birthday day.


If it’s been a long time, do a salary survey to see where your company stands pay-wise with the industry. Look if you are paying your staff based on their skills and if there are chances for any advancement opportunities with the organization. If an agent starting out can increase their salary based off of performance driven results, you will get higher agent satisfaction.


Tell them the truth. Let them think of you as a trusted mentor that will help assist and provide feedback that ultimately will lead to lifelong learning, growth and skill development.

Who’s in Charge

Sometimes the person in the position of leadership doesn’t belong there. Take a look at your organization and see if that person is contributing in a positive manner and sustained improvement.

Turnover is not just a part of call center life. It’s something that with dedication, can be overcome and managed. Make sure your organization is taking on the challenge to ensure their call center is conducive to learning, growth and value.

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