What's behind the increasing attrition rate in Philippine call centers?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Happiness is one thing you can't take away from Filipinos. The Philippines is one of the happiest nations in the world, a fact that perhaps made the Philippine call centers some of the nicest places to work in.

For the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP), such is undeniably true. According to a study they've commissioned, business process outsourcing (BPO) workers are generally happy, mainly because of the salary and benefit which they wouldn't get from working with other industries. But this happiness is not without price to pay.

Researchers Nimfa Ogena and Soccoro Rodriguez said that more and more Philippine call center workers are thinking of resigning within the next 12 months, citing "health" as the foremost reason.

The unpredictable work schedule at call centers, the lack of quality time, and the stress involved in taking incessant calls from irate customers contribute a lot to the employees' disintegrating health. Because of these, call center employees are drawn to addiction to alcohol and cigarette, along with losing balance in rest and sleep.

The study doesn't just talk of an isolated case, as this is comprehensive. It was comprised of 698 respondents—51% of which are from the National Capital Region (NCR), 21% from the Visayan Region, 15% from the Mindanao, while the remaining 13% from the Northern cities of Luzon.

In responses obtained through questions that centered on their happiness and what drives them to stay at work, 77% said that it was high salary, 65% to gain experience, and 64% attractive benefits package.

In addition, some workers prefer to work at BPO companies, as there are no vacancies available for them that would suit their skill, field of interest, or academic background. For instance, nurses are still struggling to find a decent post at hospitals, as there remains an employment imbalance in the country when it comes to health-related fields.

These same reasons also explain the increase in attrition rate in local contact centers. Although this isn't really creating a predicament in the local BPO industry, as there are always newly graduates willing to apply, this problem must be resolved immediately before it could hurt them down the line.

A challenge for call centers in the Philippines

If happiness is something that keeps Philippine call centers attractive to workers, then business owners must use this to eliminate the horrors of what drives employees away after spending a year with the company. However, this requires careful planning, as the issues involve the intrinsic elements in a contact center environment, like the work shift that is structured to cater to customers living in different time zones.

At the end of the day, it's a challenge for contact centers to take care of their employees—to think of their workers' physical, mental, and emotional welfare.

Open Access BPO, a fast-rising outsourcing company located in Makati, Philippines, practices the American Business Perspective wherein top officers are directly involved in the business—from the operations down to delegating people. Know more about our other services by visiting our website and Google + page.