Plan Well for Holiday Staffing
It’s holiday time! In some call centers, that means you have lower call volume and need less staff. In other centers, call volume may go up around the holidays. So you should start early and plan well to make sure that things go smoothly during this time of the year.
The first debate is always about who has to work on the days surrounding holidays. There are always some employees who are unhappy about the holiday bidding process. How about getting employees involved in the decision?
Start by holding focus groups with the employees and brainstorm about the process. Then you can compile the ideas and verify that they are possible in your organization. Put together a list of the options that would work, and allow the employees to vote on their favorite.
Some other ideas to cover holiday staffing include:
- Opening up your time-off availability to allow agents to use up any paid time off and not carry over any earned benefits. You may want to open the available window based on your staff plan to minimize overstaffing created by holiday call volume.
- Allow agents to use unpaid time to reduce staffing on a volunteer basis. This is especially effective during overstaffed periods with new hires that have no vacation time built up.
- Start with letting everyone off (unpaid of course) and then solicit volunteers to work. Create the needed shifts, have people volunteer to work, and have a shift bid in seniority order for the holiday. This will allow you to staff only what you need with the people that really want to be there.
- Use cross-trained employees to cover multiple areas. Many companies have departments that are cross-trained for other departments or functions. If the contact volume permits, it may be a good idea to combine these cross-trained departments for the holiday. By doing so, less staff is required and employees may not be required to work as many holidays in a year.
How is your call center planning for the holidays? Leave your comments below.