GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Combat sick leave with education and holiday priorities

One of the biggest expenses for many businesses, including call centres, is statutory sick pay. There are times when employees are truly ill and it is necessary to allow them time off. However, “pulling a sickie” is also commonplace. If telephone answering services wish to combat unscheduled leave, it is vital to educate agents whilst respecting holiday requests.

One way to reduce sickness is to optimise scheduling and attempt to provide all workers with the holiday time they have requested. This is not always achievable, particularly when trying to juggle dozens or even hundreds of agents. However, ensuring workers feel respected enough that their holiday requests are taken under real consideration is important. If there are conflicting requests, it is a good idea to offer an alternative rather than simply refusing to grant time off. Doing this can stop people taking sick leave as a way of getting the days off they originally wanted.

Another measure for reducing unplanned leave is to educate call centre agents on the negative impacts of “pulling a sickie”. An introduction to basic resource planning and scheduling should be included in people’s training so they know the time and effort that goes into such matters. Moreover, it should be widely known that taking a day off for non-sick reasons does not only affect a business, but also people’s colleagues. This can help to curb behaviour of this nature, ensuring people only take sick leave when it is absolutely necessary.

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