How counseling and therapy keep call center agents fit for work

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

customer service reps comforting sad problematic coworker

It's not enough for employees to be physically fit to keep up with the stress and activities involved in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. The Latin phrase "Mens sana in corpore sano," which means "a sound mind in a sound body" best demonstrates this principle. Indeed, employers must also consider their workers' mental health to make sure that the organization is running smoothly.

Stress plays a big part in an employee's well-being. There are a lot of factors that can cause distress to an agent, from rude or irate customers to non-work-related factors like family matters. A 2013 study found that as much as 28% of the BPO employees included in the research experienced significant psychological distress.

If left unchecked, distress can slowly turn into burnout. That said, it can ultimately lead to turnovers. So how can BPO companies ensure that their workers are in their best form to carry out their duties?

It's recommended that you provide counseling services for your employees. Doing so can help employees pinpoint what's causing their mental fatigue, whether it's related to work or not. This approach can also build a sense of trust and loyalty in the call center, as employees would know that the company cares for their well-being.

This is especially applicable to outsourcing firms that provide content moderation services. This kind of work may take a huge toll on employees who may have to endure scarring images—from outright violence to blatant sexual crimes. Some content moderators said that this depravity they see in videos and images is seared into their minds. In one extreme case, two moderators of a computer company claimed they developed post-traumatic stress disorder because of their line of work and the company's alleged negligence to provide counseling. They thus ended up suing the company. All in all, therefore, the importance of mental health services in this line of work can't be stressed enough.

Team leaders, managers, and HR personnel should be able to identify the signs of burnout and other forms of distress among employees as well. Just as agents help clients, you must also help your workers. As each agent experiences different levels of distress, you must help them address and evaluate the problem so they can manage it properly.

By providing counseling services to your call center employees and looking out for signs of burnout, you can be assured that they'll be able to handle the slumps and bumps they face at work. This leads to higher job satisfaction and lower attrition rates.