How to control Unplanned Shrinkage in BPO

How to control Unplanned Shrinkage in BPO

Manpower is the backbone of a call center or BPO. If a call center does not have adequate manpower to handle the call/chat volume then it may impact the business and client relations adversely.

How to control Unplanned Shrinkage in BPO
How to control Unplanned Shrinkage in BPO

Apart from retaining talent one of the major areas to focus on is arresting unplanned shrinkage. A huge unplanned shrinkage not only impacts customer satisfaction but if this is a prevailing concern it can cost the entire business.

If you are a Call center manager or a Team Leader then you must have come across this question in an interview or have experienced it in real-time.

Must read: 5 skills to be a good call center manager.

In today's blog, we are going to discuss "What is unplanned shrinkage and how we can control it?".

Let's discuss what is unplanned shrinkage first.

Unplanned Shrinkage

Unplanned Shrinkage as the name implies where the shrinkage (absenteeism) was not planned. It means that the agent was rostered for the day but did not inform the supervisor about his unavailability in the office.

There could be various reasons for unplanned shrinkage e.g Medical issues, personal issues, or gruesome weather. 

Whatever the reason is but as a responsible employee it should be communicated to the immediate supervisor 

Click to read more about Types of shrinkage.

How to control unplanned shrinkage in a call center

Here we are sharing 5 small but overlooked ways to reduce the unplanned shrinkage

1. Roster planning:

Proper Roster planning plays a vital role in successful and smooth operations in a call center. Planning a roster does not mean calling maximum advisors to the office but rather making a balance between planned week offs / holidays and the present count of advisors as per the client's requirement.

Also read: Importance of roster planning in a call center

While making the roster it is also imperative to keep the 10% advisors in the buffer for uncertain medical reasons. Despite preparing the weekly roster in advance we may expect some unplanned shrinkage but if you want to be cent percent assured of all roster agents' availability, just check the roster one day prior and speak to those advisors who can be suspicious.

Often shrinkage analysis says that on weekends i.e Saturday or Sunday most of the agents take unplanned leave hence the roster should be planned in a way that you should have maximum manpower on Saturday and  Sunday.

2. Identifying Outliers:

"A rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel". Hence it is important to identify the outliers who frequently take unplanned leaves and feedback for granted. As a result, other team members get influenced and also start work dodging and unplanned leaves.

Thus stern verbal feedback should be shared with the outliers followed by a written warning letter and if required terminate 1 or 2 rotten apples to set the expectations amongst the team members.

3. Lead by Example:

The role of a leader in any organization is not just to supervise agents or drive performance but also to lead the team by example which means when you expect an advisor to follow shift adherence or no unplanned shrinkage then as a leader it becomes your core responsibility that you should not take any unplanned leaves or fail in shift adherence. 

Though your subordinates have no rights to track you and ask the reason for absenteeism they easily notice your absence and when they see their leader being absent then most days they start following the same practice.

I remember one famous quote by John C Maxwell which completely defines the responsibility of a leader in one line 

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way."

4. Regular Sessions:

Conduction teams or one-on-one sessions at regular intervals not only foster the relationship between the team members but also help in reducing unplanned shrinkage.

Keeping regular sessions helps a team leader to convey the message in a more efficient way rather than doing it for sake of formality.

A leader should especially conduct sessions with the identified outliers on daily basis to set the client's expectations and also to make them understand why and how their absenteeism impacts the entire business.

5. Team bonding activities:

Team bonding not only helps to avoid unplanned shrinkage but also builds trust, and increases communication and collaboration. 

If a leader's bonding with his team is strong then any team member finds it comfortable to share their views and problems without hesitation.

To increase team bonding  a leader can perform the below activities:

  • Plan a trip with the team
  • Monthly sports activities.
  • RNR ceremony


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Thanks for reading . 

Signing off.....

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