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Top 8 reasons why call centre agents leave their jobs (Part 2)

Attrition is a major challenge for HR teams that are responsible for recruitment and retention of call centre agents. Whilst call centre roles are highly desirable entry level jobs, they typically lack variety, pay poorly and offer limited vocational training and development.

To learn more about the different types of call centres and their attrition rates read our recent blog: Why do Call Centres have the worst attrition rates in South Africa?

The growing call centre industry has seen an increase in competition, resulting in an accelerated need for good employees. Losing proficient staff who have started performing well is painful. Hiring and training new employees is time consuming and costly. To remain competitive, call centres will need to do better at retaining their agents.

Giraffe has identified 8 reasons for attrition in call centres:

This blog is part two of a two-part series that unpacks the root causes of why good employees leave. Identifying these is the first step towards tackling the attrition problem. If you missed part one, here it is.

Reason #5: Repetitive job content

Call centre jobs are typically repetitive in nature, often lacking creativity and flexibility which leads to an increase in stress and boredom. Call centre work, especially in sales and outbound environments, can be particularly stressful since these environments are underpinned by targets. Furthermore, call centre agents are often exposed to abusive callers. Such negative, often unavoidable, characteristics of call centre work can cause employees to leave.

Reason #6: High pressure environment 

The call centre environment is characterised by work pressure, long working hours and unpredictable shift work. This inevitably leads a conflict in work-life balance and exhaustion. Sales environments are particularly stressful with stringent sales targets linked to employee remuneration. Underperformance in some cases leads to little or no pay. Customer service call centres that require night shift work often disrupt work-life balance, which can also drive churn.

Reason #7: Lack of supervisory support and punitive environment 

Studies have confirmed that employees who feel supported are more likely to stay in an organisation. Despite this, the management style in call centres is often punitive. Managers frequently resort to authoritative measures to monitor and keep records of agents and, as a result, agents experience high levels of uncertainty and discomfort which decrease their levels of job satisfaction. 

Reason #8: Limited Career progress opportunities 

Often, call centres fail to articulate a clear career path to new entrants. Many call centres also lack training and development interventions geared to employee development. Call centre work is usually associated with minor room for progression and individual growth as vocational development is infrequent in these institutions. This lack of clearly-communicated growth and continuous development results in boredom and is a cause for employees to leave. 

In our latest insights article, we share some key learnings on how to improve staff retention in call centres.

Download the Giraffe insights paper on 7 staff retention strategies for call centres here 

In this article we look at: 

  • The different types of call centre in South Africa and their attrition rates
  • The root causes of attrition in call centres
  • Tried and tested ways that call centres can improve staff retention


To find out more about the reasons for attrition and what call centres can do about it, download our article on 7 ways call centres can reduce attrition

About Giraffe

Giraffe is a job board that automatically screens candidates so you don’t have to. Giraffe enables South African businesses to recruit medium-skilled staff faster and more affordably than any other recruitment method. Because Giraffe has automated the boring parts of the recruitment process– candidate sourcing and screening– business owners and recruiters can focus on more important tasks like interviewing the best candidates and managing retention. Simply post a job on Giraffe. Let Giraffe automatically screen candidates as they apply. Log in, see which candidates have passed your screening, listen to their voice notes and hire the best ones! 

To post a job on Giraffe click here

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