Servicing the Call Centre and Operator community
employers staffing issues
Good practice within call centres
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDıs)
- Train call handlers to stretch and change posture while on the telephone at their
workstation to release muscular tension and help prevent MSDs. Encourage them to do this
with an on-screen prompt.
- Introduce health promotion and education and health MOTs.
Work related stress
- When setting targets for call handlers who are required to hot-desk, take into
consideration that they must find an available workstation and make the necessary
adjustments before taking calls.
- Allow sufficient time either during a call or between calls for call handlers to
finish the business of a call before taking another.
- Make it clear to call handlers how work is allocated.
- Provide a separate room, pleasantly decorated and furnished with comfortable
chairs, where call handlers can relax and chat during breaks.
- Remember to provide call handlers with details of new campaigns and promotions,
so they can answer callers' questions competently.
- Rather than making call handlers follow a script, give them more control by offering
them prompts for the information that must be covered in a call but allow them to
decide what to actually say. Remember though, some, particularly inexperienced call
handlers, may prefer a script.
- Offer lunchtime or after work hobby and interest classes.
- Encourage call handlers to exercise. Although on-site gyms and swimming pools are
real bonuses for many call handlers, memberships of or discounted rates with local
sports centres are also attractive benefits.
- Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) can help call centre employees avoid or reduce
work-related stress by providing advice on domestic issues such as finances as well
as work-related matters.
- Have a clear and easy procedure for call handlers to report issues that are causing
them stress. Ideally, these reports would be to occupational health or health and
safety staff so that issues about line management are not inhibited. Respond to the
reports promptly and show that they are being taken seriously. Provide feedback on
the results of any investigations and the reason behind any subsequent actions or
decisions. Allow the reports to be made anonymously and treat them in confidence.
- Emphasise that stress is taken seriously by producing a separate 'Company Policy
on Stress' in addition to the legal requirement to cover stress as a mental health
issue in the company's risk assessment.
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