When taking into account the actual number of agents that have left the contact centre in the last 12 months, the raw turnover rate of full-time agents in Australia has decreased slightly from 40% in 2010 to 37% in 2011. For Australian part-time agents, the raw turnover rate is currently 25%. In New Zealand, the raw turnover rate for full-time agents is 44% whilst for part-time agents the raw turnover rate is 53%. This has a large impact on Workforce Planning and was reflected as being the number one challenge for Workforce Planners in our Workforce Management Market report. Not only do Workforce Planners need to plan for attrition and build it into their forecasts but they also need to incorporate enough time for the recruitment and training phases to ensure that the correct amount of agents are available when required.
As a Workforce Planner it is important to understand attrition and to be able to analyse the results in different ways.
Annual Attrition Rate
The formula to calculate annual attrition rate is the number of staff that have left the centre over the year divided by the average number of staff employed. For the numbers in Table A, the attrition rate would be calculated by dividing 64 (the number of departing staff) by the average number of staff (181.5), resulting in an annual attrition rate of 35%.
Annual Attrition % = Number of staff who have left over the period/ average number of staff employed over the period x 100
Annual attrition is useful to know however there are other ways of looking at this information which may help to provide more information about why staff are leaving.
Internal versus External
When your staff leave where do they go? Typically this is categorised into either internal or external attrition.
- Internal Attrition: staff move to other positions within the organisation.
- External Attrition: staff leave the organisation completely.
If you have a significant number of staff moving to other areas within the organisation is it possible to create a business case for getting an increased staffing and training budget?
Voluntary versus Involuntary attrition
Why are your staff leaving? Is it because HR are recruiting the wrong type of people? By looking at the results of the exit interviews and comparing voluntary versus involuntary turnover you may see some trends that could be avoided.
Do some teams have higher turnover rates than others? If there are teams with really low attrition in comparison to others, there may be motivation or team leading tips that could be passed on to other leaders.
Contact Type Attrition
Are some contact types more stressful than others and as a result is the attrition higher in those areas? If you find that certain contact types have very high attrition, you’ll want to know why. Is it because the type of call is more stressful or is it because of understaffing in this area?
Performance based Attrition
What type of staff are leaving, is it your high performers or low performers.
Does it tend to be more male or female based attrition or within a certain age bracket? This again may lead you to look more closely at the agents who are being recruited.
By keeping track of your attrition rates and looking at the numbers in different ways you may start to see trends that can be avoided.