Do you hear the music too? We all have call center reps who we just love, except when they call off work… again. I’m talking about your rep that always seems to have another life challenge that gets in the way of adhering to their schedule.
If you recall the Sisters want to throw Maria out of the Abbey because she can’t obey the rules. Think about their words, don’t they sound a lot like your supervisors as they become exhausted trying to corral everyone into their assigned schedules.
The wise call center leader will embrace Mother Superior’s approach: When you can’t fit that square peg into your round hole consider other options.
What’s that mean? Well in this case it means taking a cold, hard look at your definition of good attendance.
Whoa you say… do you mean that I should accept bad attendance as good attendance?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! You should never accept bad behavior of any kind.
But are your attendance issues really bad behavior or struggles to balance work and life?
You will always have a few outliers who exhibit bad behavior. Deal with them separately. Don’t let those few cause you to set rules that create a culture of fear and punishment for reps who are just trying to keep their life and family afloat.
The one thing that I know, that has proven to be true in every call center, is when you put all the onus of adhering to a rigid work schedule on call center reps you will continuously battle attendance issues. Worse, it will suck the life out of you and your leadership team as attrition continues to soar.
You will find yourself, just like the Sisters, silently screaming: “Why can’t they just follow the rules?”
The most interesting result of an attendance and scheduling policy that is focused on balancing the needs of business with the needs of employees is that attendance actually improves. Yes, it is true. When you become what some might perceive as more lenient, reps actually exhibit the desired behavior at a higher rate.
Why? Because you give them more control over their decisions. When people understand the rules and believe the rules are fair to them they will work harder to meet your expectations. And slowly you will find yourself having fewer and fewer painful conversations about bad attendance.
Best of all, morale and employee retention improves. People want to work for a company that works with them.