Background of the problem
Employee retention can be defined as the ability of firms to maintain their employees over a certain period of time. Ultimately, in the modern society, the business sector is changing drastically predominantly characterized with competition. This dynamic competition has forced organizations to outsource employees from other firms hence, making it difficult for organization to retain their employees. In a business context, employee’s retention is mostly facilitated by strategies compared to the outcome of the organization.
The basic step of employees’ retention starts with application of strategies which suits the needs and demands of employees. In relation to application of strategies, employment engagement programs have become predominant in the current business world; hence, organizations that have remarkable performance management processes have remained highly competitive (Carsen, 2002, p.25).These programs have enabled employees remain committed to the goals and mission their organizations, which improves productivity, morale, and other business success factors.
Employment engagement remains the most noteworthy driver of effectiveness and performance in firms since most methodologies to performance and output often offers short-term solutions to firms. In this regards, organizations with remarkable performance management processes have enhanced their profitability by more than 20%, and reduced employee turnover by over 80% (Böckerman et. al 2012, P. 21). Goal management has helped organizations accomplish performance through premeditated and effective measures. The changing dynamics in the business world has in effect forced organizations to seek ways of enhancing employment engagement programs to achieve the desired goals.
As a matter of fact, it is simple and economical for organizations to retain their experienced employees as opposed to hiring new employees. Many organizations are more focused to hire the most experienced and qualified workers hence it is essential to retain them. Carsen, (2002) affirms that a reasonable level of employee’s turnover in an organization is a good remedy to ensure and maintain growth of the organization as a result of incorporating new ideas. However, it is essential for every organisation to draft concrete strategies capable of retaining the high performing employees giving the firm a chance to have and retain remain a competitive edge. Organization, in fact cannot afford to lose employees who are deemed assets to the firm.
Majority of organizations continue to engage and motivate employees in a bid to retain a them; thus, employee retention is a critical element in competitive organizations (Böckerman et. al 2012, P. 21). Furthermore, employee retention ensures that an organization increases employee’s morale and productivity through the numerous efforts it embarks on to promote them (Carsen, 2002, p.25).
Since high rates of employee turnover decreases an organization’s efficiency and its business success factors, the cultivation of a robust employee retention program is a key development in the organization (Böckerman et. al 2012, P. 21). In this case, employee retention involves five major aspects of an organization made up of (i) compensation, (ii) environment, (iii) support, (iv) relationship, (v) growth. Evidently, ignoring the high performing and experienced employees can be very costly to the organization. Therefore, it is wise for organizations to understand the need of employee retention and implement good working strategies which maintain employees.
Statement of the problem
Employee retention has enabled numerous organizations to cultivate ways of engaging and motivating their employees; thus, low rates of employee turnover. Employee retention programs allow organizations to create a favourable environment, which ensures high productivity and morale (Dibble, 1999, p.57).
In essence, the research tries to define the framework of employee retention and how firms can improve on their existing dynamics to ensure a robust employee retention rate. In addition, this paper will provide a framework on the different programs the organisations use to retain employees. Evidently, employee’s retention is imperative, hence citing the need for organizations to establish working strategies such as having Contact centres which provides the mandate to address all issues raised by employees (Dibble, 1999, p.57). An analysis of how the Contact centre operates through can managing employees; which in effect delivers several elements of the importance of employee retention such as improving, morale, and business success factors.
This study attempts to investigate, How a Contact centre can improve staff retention? However, the research incorporates other aspects of organizational behaviour and performance management that have inherent impacts on employee retention (Dibble, 1999, p. 35).
The research justifies how best the need of employees can be addressed in the appropriate ways possible as a way of making employees comfortable with the working environment hence retaining them. The studies draws out the importance of enhancing employee retention by a large Contact centre in London and provide an overview of conducted research and a case study. In fact, the investigation encompasses the organisation to help understand the dynamisms of employee retention with different points to improve retention in a Contact centre. In essence, this paper intends to explore the different tools of retention techniques used in the organisation and how they affect factors such as job satisfaction, work related stress and performance. Ultimately the study consider on the following questions
How organizations can improve employee retention?
What are the main aspects of employee retention?
What are the some of the measures that organizations leave out in their attempt to improve employee retention?
What are the positive impacts of employee retention on employees and organizations?
How do organizations manage disengaged employees to increase retention?
Importance and justification of the Study
The research aim is to determine how a Contact centre can improve staff retention. Therefore, it is paramount to conduct this study in order to suggest best strategies which can be employed by a Contact centre to improve employee job satisfaction.
The study describes the contemporary strategies employed within the organization in UK; thus, the key rationale of the study provides a comprehensive analysis on the importance of improvement of employee retention. This determines whether a given organization has managed its pool of employees effectively; hence, an effective retention level Since the study encompasses an overview of a Contact centre and several interviews within the platform, it provides a framework through which an organization can understand how the management of employees affect aspects such as job satisfaction, commitment and engagement, Therefore, the study provides the link between employees’ management and retention.
According to Böckerman, et, al (2012), there is a need for organizations to employ essential strategies such as establishing a Contact centre which addresses all employee issues. It is vital to retain qualified and experienced workers who have the right knowledge needed to propel the organization achieve its objective in the in line with its mission and vision statement.
In this regard, the outcome of the research implies the following:
Low rates of employee turnover are about managing people and not employee retention
Organizations achieve high levels of employee retention through offering initiatives that engage employee effectively
Employee retention influences the business success factors of an organization greatly
Organizations with weak leadership and communication frameworks have high levels of employee turnover.
Stress and Intention
Stress is an emotional pressure suffered by a human being. In many firms, there are cases of stress from employees. This is due to the treatment towards the staff, which highly contributes to the performance of the business. Different factors within the firm may contribute to stressful employee behaviours in the workplace. Employees’ well being is highly linked to job satisfaction, which plays a huge role in the employee retention process. Unfair treatment, lack of care, poor communication and mistrust may lead to employees leaving the firms for better opportunities elsewhere. So if there is poor performance of employees, the business will deteriorate in a very high rate. These are some of the issues that lead to failure of firms to embark on employee retention.
And because the firm needs to improve in performance by improving employee retention, the study attempts to investigate how a contact center can develop employee maintenance. The research is aimed at importance of contact center in relation to ensuring employee retention in an organization. In essence, the research has to define the framework of employee retention and how firms can improve dynamics to ensure robust employee retention rate. The paper also intends to explore the different techniques of retention in the firm and how they affect facts such as work related stress and satisfaction. Some of the retention techniques include: training of employees, motivation, fair treatment, rewarding employees, knowing the workers’ needs, as well as understanding them, active feedback, and providing employee morale.
The study also intends to answer some of the questions that will aid in improving the employee retention in Contact centre. Some of the queries include: how can firms improve employee retention? What are the main aspects of employee retention? What are the positive impacts of employee retention on workers and firms? And how do firms manage disengaged employees to measure retention. By so doing, the study attempts to provide efficient methods that can be functional in the Contact centre, in order to improve employee retention
Scope of the Study
Organizations that plan on achieving high productivity and diminishing employee turnover need to manage people rather than managing retention (Russo, 2000, p.126). However, an organization that manages employee effectively, such as offering programs that ensure effective employee retention have a well-established Contact centre (Russo, 2000, P.78). Some organizations provides appreciation for work achieved, countless opportunities for employees to grow, favourable environment, and engages its employs efficiently. In this regards, the research goal is to clarify the areas of the effectiveness of staff retention in the organization such career development and quality of the employees which are paramount concerns in organisations (Musso et., al 2014, P. 89).
Delimitations and Limitations
Although the research present a comprehensive analysis of employee retention based on the interviews conducted, it may not provide a subjective analysis due to time constraints, budget, and access constraints (Musso et. al 2014, P. 89). However, the use of interviews conducted through surveys provided an extensive analysis of the problem (Russo, 2000, P.78). Also, the response rate of sampling has been slow than expected due the different commitments and contacting every staff not allowing completing survey during the working time, even during their break time. Nevertheless, face-to-face interview and questionnaires were achieved which provide great finding, and will be discussed through the study.
Effective employee retention will help an organization to preserve its competitive edge (Russo, 2000, P.78). Consequently, it will remain highly effective in the provision of services. With multiple programs such as employment engagement initiatives, performance management initiatives, and organizational behaviour, the organization may achieve high levels of employee retention. In essence, employee retention is one of the most critical aspects that the business needs to undertake. Hence, this chapter aims to critically investigate existing literature to the research question of “How a Contact Centre can improve staff retention?” It will identify what may cause the shortage of staff and how can we improve the retention practices and motivate employee.
A contact centre deals with management of client contact through a variety of media like letter, email, instant messaging, fax, telephone, and live chat. According to Eisenberger et. al (2002), a Contact centre can be used as a place where all matters concerning employees are addressed in order to match their taste and preferences. A Contact centre handles numerous roles unlike a call centre that handles calls. As such, the organization offers various services ranging from customer care, handling of technical issues, and generation of the company’s brand, since the Contact centre deals with a range of clients’ issues, its case study will provide a critical analysis on how it can enhance employee retention.
Employee retention is a critical aspect in the organizational structure of a firm (Musso et. al 2014, P. 89). In the recent past, organizations have embarked on numerous programs to ensure that they retain majority of their employees since this reduces costs and ensure that they realize high productivity. With a changing economy and increased focus on competition and production of high quality products, employee retention has increasingly become a difficult task (Musso et. al 2014, P. 89). However, organizations that have realized its significance have continually embarked on several programs to ensure that they retain majority of their employees. In fact, organizations that fail to embark on employee retention programs face numerous problems such as poor performance, increased costs in training and recruitment, lack of stability, and stiffer competition (Eisenberger et. al 2002, P. 563).
What are job satisfaction entails jobs given to employees should match their goals. This ensures that workers enjoy their work guaranteeing a satisfaction to both the employee and the employer (Hausknecht et. al 2009, P. 275). Furthermore, an open door policy should be adopted to ensure optimum employment engagement. Appropriate communication in line of work is desirable for organizations keen on implementing the employment engagement concept (Eisenberger et. al 2002, P. 563). In this case, organizations embark on different programs of performance management to ensure that employees remain satisfied; thus, high levels of employee retention.
By linking structural goals to employee’ efforts, an organization ensures that employees have maximum impact on the productivity framework of the organization. An organization should ensure that it makes the linkages between employee’s efforts and structural goals as deliberative as possible to enhance business success factors (McDonald &Kulick 2001, P. 18). McDonald and Kulick in their research show that a firm can embark on setting out goals and defining its objectives effectively to motivate employees; thus, such employees will feel contented. Likewise, Meyer &Gagné (2008, P. 21), shows that a firm can offer job satisfaction to its employees through definition of objectives and setting of goals as a way of enhancing its employee retention rate.
Performance Recognition and Rewards, Training
In the modern world, many organizations have realised the importance of giving workers incentives as a way of motivating them. The need for organization to motivate employees is to make them comfortable with the work hence retaining them in the firm. Russo (2000) affirms that a working place is an environment where workers have opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge hence it is vital for organizations to appreciate their work. Basically, human capital coupled with sustainable strategies is essential to ensure tremendous growth of organizations. According to Russo (2000), the approach of employee motivation and acknowledgement is vital because it helps to elevate employee commitment leading to achievement of more output productivity.
An organization with levels of engagement provides employees with opportunities to expand their capabilities acquire new skills and realize their potential (Eisenberger et. al 2002, P. 563).People will invest in companies that plan for their career paths (Eisenberger et. al 2002, P. 563). Career growth manipulates engagement for employees and retains the best for providing growth to the organization.
It is paramount for the organization , wages and benefits paid for a standard working week should not be lower than the national legal standards or industry benchmark standard (Eisenberger et. al 2002, P. 563).
According to Carsen, (2002), organizations should be able to acknowledge and motivate employees by rewarding their excellence. Rewarding excellence does not necessarily mean giving out expensive gifts but can be simple small tokens such as gift cards, lunch, spa-date, and discounts among others. Employee appraisal should be done according to the needs of workers rather than organization policy and it is very important to encourage employees to deliver their best. Notably, a favorable working atmosphere involves creating a working space that is not that much cramped with best temperatures regulated. In that perspective, is it evident that giving strong reward help to boost workers morale and attitude hence making them feel as part and parcel of the organization (Eisenberger et. al 2002, P. 563).
Lately, organizations have linked employment performance to career development in an aim to engage employees to the different goals of an organization. Combined with other forms of evaluations, the linkage between performance management and career development allows the identification of behavior gaps among employees, employee abilities, and competency (Carsen, 2002, p.25).
Basically, it is vital for organizations to extensively engage employees in all happenings and most important allow them to set goals. Proper planning and smart goals are strong employee’s motivation factors which can greatly help to increase productivity. Employee’s motivation is directly proportional to the output productivity of an organization. This implies that if an organization focuses more on motivating its employees definitely this will help it to increase its productivity. Furthermore, organizations embark on informative and teaching activities as progressive goals that enhance competency and skills. Introduction of the following point
Organizations uses goal commitment measures and personality measures to align individual goals to self-efficacy; thus, the attainment of the set goals (Carsen, 2002, p.25). The uses of detailed objectives and self-effectiveness have allowed the firm to mediate a path of visionary leadership, which allows extensive productivity across major departments (Carsen, 2002, p.25). Knowing different needs of the employees is a good strategy for enhancing motivation in the Contact centre. Every person is unique and thus they have different needs and preference which should be satisfied in order to make them comfortable. Employees will not get motivated unless they realize how the job is important to them in terms of how it can satisfy their needs. Shield, (2007) affirms that, organization should handle workers appropriately in order to ensure there is a balance between their personal and work life (Arthur, 2001, P. 70).
To avoid a scenario where individual aspirations compete negatively with the firm’s mission, an organization utilizes goal-setting procedures, which include keeping individual objectives compatible with the firm’s mission, cultivating teamwork in the departments, and utilizing learning procedures (Carsen, 2002, p.25). The organization set high learning procedures to discover the various ways of attaining its objectives and unravelling complex tasks without employee conflicts (Shields 2007, P. 156). This usually involves development of plans, planned change, focus on goals, and cognitive comprehension of the specific goals set.
Factors Influencing and Affecting Retention
Morale and Employee Turnover
Essentially, developing and ensuring ideal morale in the workplace starts with hiring of the right workforce and this later determine their stay in the organization. Employee turnover and morale as provided by the organization management may be used to determine the stay of shifting of the employees (Allen & Bryant 2012, P. 123). According to Gitman & Mcdaniel (2009), competitive workers are retained based on their overall turnover and this works to cushion the organization against costs related to employee replacements and decrease in production. To filter performing and non-performing employees, a contact Centre should incorporate measures such competitive compensation, employee recognition, development programs and assistance programs in order to maintain and improve the level of production in the organization (Gitman & Mcdaniel, 2009, p. 251).
Notably, workers will ensure high productivity and performance in their duties if they are perceived as being motivated, Contact centre in this case can play a vital role. They guide the organization management in regard to provision of the ideal incentives to ensure motivation and therefore retention of the employees. These factors also work towards improving the morale of employees while in the workplace.
The atmosphere within the organization can sap morale from employees or increase it. Either this can lead to a negative or a positive job environment and either weaken or strengthen the commitment of employees to the organization. The retention of these employees is thus dependent on their workplace morale and their turnover (Allen & Bryant 2012, P. 123). In addition, morale and turnover will determine individual worker job satisfaction. This implies that the organization management should collaborate with the contact centre in regard to advice and ensure staff retention in the long run. According to Gitman & Mcdaniel (2009), failing to ensure considerable employees turnover and morale will prevent the stay of the workers in the organization and hence have negative implication on productivity and the organization may incur much cost in recruiting and training more or new staff.
Work Environment and Communication
According to Hutchinson (2010), provision of a favorable environment by the organization management greatly influences the stay of the staffs in a particular organization. Perception of a conducive environment by the workers which will reflect their tendency to stay in that particular workplace. In the case of a Contact centre, the basic interaction of employees with management and customers play a crucial role in influencing the physical and psychological response of the employees towards their work (Musso et. al 2014, P. 96). The level of work environment control also has a significant influence on job commitment. A Contact centre may need to allow substantive ability and freedom to influence the environment in their workplace positively, as this will enhance their sense of belonging and appreciation for their efforts (Hutchinson 2010, P. 112).
Communication within the organization also plays a huge role in influencing employee retention. This is by establishing clear channels of passing down information from the top levels of management to employees. Major organizational decisions, changes and situations should be appropriately communicated to the employees for them to feel that the organization considers them as an integral part of their success (Sheridan 1992, P. 1041). In light of the above argument, the management of a Contact centre is obligated to set up direct lines of communication with their employees in order to enhance their perception of the firm’s direction and their chances of extending their employment tenure with their firms (Arthur 2001, P. 98).
The state of mind of employees within their individual work setting may affect their motivation negatively or positively and desire to work and subsequently their desire to remain with the same organization (Young 2013, P. 17). Employee wellbeing is highly linked to job satisfaction, which plays a huge role in the employee retention process.
Different factors within the firm may contribute to stressful employee behaviors in the workplace (Phillips & Connell 2003, P. 212). Unfair treatment, lack of care or concern for their wellbeing, mistrust and poor communication may develop a sense of disengagement among employees who may consider leaving the firm for better opportunities elsewhere. Stress of monitoring the number of calls, sitting at the same place employees may also feel financially undercompensated for their efforts and coupled with limited chances of career development within the firm, they may develop a negative attitude and other stress factors, which may work against the spirit of employee retention within the firm (Phillips & Connell 2003, P. 181).
Approach, New Strategies, and importance of improving retention of employee
Employee Development and Career Opportunities
It is paramount for managers irrespective of the organization they are working for to develop and nurture the skills of people who work under them. This is imperative to ensure there is continuity in workforce in terms of the output of productivity. Bringing employees together as a team is the first objective which the organization should strive to achieve. The strategies employed to improve workers relation should be implemented effective with help of a Contact centre established within the organization (Hutchinson 2010, P. 112).
A contact Centre, in this case, should implement viable employee development steps aimed at equipping the employees with enhance knowledge, which will aid staff in effectively discharging their duties. A Contact centre moreover should seek to develop key employee skills and talents which can be enhanced with help of adequate training (Shields 2007, P. 156). The Contact centre can also consider on-job training of employees to polish their expertise and skills. In addition, the centre should offer opportunities for career advancement for the employees to prevent dissatisfaction with the same job over a long period (Sheridan 1992, P. 1041). By doing this, the centre will be going a step closer to achieving the loyalty and possible retention of employees (Phillips & Connell 2003, P. 204). The company may also offer programs on learning different languages to serve people from different cultural and ethical backgrounds.
Employee engagement ensure that there is full employee commitment to organizational objectives and values and that they are motivated enough to contribute towards the success of the organization, while at the same time enhancing their workplace well-being (Musso et. al 2014, P. 96). Successful employee engagement breeds job satisfaction, job involvement, sense of empowerment and most importantly, organizational commitment (Frey et. al 2013, P. 514). Employee performance is directly attributable to employee engagement, thus, the management of a Contact centre should implement an all-positive engagement process with the employees in order to yield employee job and organizational commitment. An engaged employee is highly likely to be retained (Hutchinson 2010, P. 139)
Employment engagement is a notion in human resource management that describes an engaged employee (Hutchinson 2010, P. 112). It is a quantifiable degree of an employee’s attachment to their profession, co-workers, and organization that persuades their enthusiasm to work (Meyer & Gagné 2008, P. 22). Employment engagement is the way an employee is satisfied, motivated, and involved in her work. It is a business inventiveness that has both the outcome element and the process element (Hutchinson 2010, P. 112). For a company to achieve the desired productivity and performance there have to be a culture shift in the competence of the workforce (Meyer & Gagné 2008, P. 21). Collaboration becomes an urgent aspect in the productivity of an organization as it pushes the growth of firm upwards.
Engaged employees are linked to business factors such as efficiency, performance, retention, customer satisfaction, and profitability (Hausknecht et. al 2009, P. 274). Relations among employees at all levels are a main aspect of employment engagement as it plays an essential role in how employees relate with each other. Engaged relations among employees are vital factors in the profitability of an organization (Eisenberger et. al 2002, P. 563).
Employee’s distinctive practice in line with the makeup of the organization is a major aspect of employment engagement. Engaged employees will often magnify the experience they have on the business practice that is applicable in their own department (Hillier 1974, P.78). Likewise, Buckingham (2008, P. 122) shows that a firm can enhance employee retention by providing an environment that engages all employees.
Individuals have different psychological elements, which dictate their performance in a job involvement. The owners and their capability to create conditions that encourage employment engagement is a main aspect (Hausknecht et. al 2009, P. 271). The success of employment engagement lies with the employer and the employee. The main segment of employment engagement is commitment and motivation (Buckingham 2008, P.123). For an organization with a Contact centre that values the initiative of its employees, employment engagement is vital.
Absence and Turnover
Job absence and employee turnover are two employee relations aspects that are quantifiable (Allen & Bryant 2012, P. 135). They are used as indicators of employee alienation or satisfaction. Excessive absenteeism and high employee turnover rates are key contributory factors towards decreased productivity. This approach will enable the management to figure out the productive, motivated and committed employees, and can then make retention decisions based on the data available (Allen & Bryant 2012, P. 135).
An organization usually has a plan for its success. In order to effectively measure the level of organisational success, the organization has to have an employee performance assessment process which incorporates goal setting, measurement of performance, frequent performance feedback, employee performance recording and employee recognition (Musso et. al 2014, P. 96). By using performance assessment reports and records, the management of this organization will be able to gauge every employee based on their performance and make informed decisions on who to retain and who not to (Shields 2007, P. 142).
Design Create a New Position
In order to improve the rates of employee retention in the organization, the management may choose to create a new position to accommodate and retain valuable members of the staff whose performance and commitment to the organization is integral in its success in the near future (Sheridan 1992, P. 1041). The process should conform to organizational goals, mission, vision, management guidelines and popular culture (Allen & Bryant 2012, P. 135). It also serves the purpose of reducing workplace differences through strategic job alignment and well-structured job model. The management should consider the varying cost and workplace harmony implications of the new position and how well it will bond with the management and operational structure of the organization (Shields 2007, P. 156).
Gap in the Literature
The common problem that was encountered was identifying the specific area for study which was in line with the topic of discussion. In addition, some resources did not provide contemporary information on how organizations are relating employee retention to productivity and morale essentially in a Contact centre. Particularly, some resources did not develop a close relationship between the Contact centre and employee retention.
The literature review mainly provides an overview of the significance of the improvement of employee retention within a Contact centre. It has explained that Contact Centre has the possibility of losing staff if managers do not think right from start at retaining their employees. The identification of active feedback as a factor that contributes to high performance allows the firm monitor the continuous changing business environment through visionary and reflationary processes. The company evaluates the process of reaction and identifies the different uncertainties that may arise; thus, the company achieves success without manipulating employees.
The feedback system from the Contact centre enables the employees to achieve self-regulation, add value to the firm, and achieve the set goals without increasing employment turnover rates (Allen & Bryant 2012, P. 135). The firm uses the theories progressively to accomplish its business success factors such as productivity and morale without disengaging employees. The use of these techniques such as employment engagement and performance management allows organizations to improve employment retention (Shields 2007, P. 156).
A good research is the one that provides answers to the research questions, validity, objectivity, accuracy, and economy. A research design is the plan and structure of investigation to obtain answers to research questions. The study adopted questionnaires, staff survey and interviews. Quantitative studies are concerned with finding out who, what, where and how a phenomenon which is the concern of this study.
The purpose of quantitative research is to define the state of affairs, as it is present (Garner et al, 2009, p.16). It provides data about the phenomenon being studied. It is used when the objective is to provide a systematic description that is a factual and accurate as possible. The technique allows the researcher to describe do a critical assessment towards ensuring that a Contact centre improves staff retention in order to ensure significant to the long-term goals of the centre. This research paper seeks to review the organization’s human resource management strategy towards staff retention by addressing the research question.
Qualitative research is also adopted since it investigates the social constructivist paradigm and relies on the socially constructed reality nature (Garner et al, 2009, p.17). It aims to fundamentally record, analyze as well as determine the meaning and significance of staff retention based on the behaviour and experiences of different persons who are involved in aspects relating to human resource management. The methodology to be incorporated in the research will aim at determining the essential role that staff retention play in ensuring that the business attains growth and effective performance.
The research philosophy to be incorporated is inductive whereby the researcher will peek on consideration observations of staff retention strategies and how they have worked to enhance a Contact centre’s overall operations strategy. The philosophy of the research is mostly determined by the fact that there is a general argument perceived by most organization that staff retention is a key strategy to ensure improved operations strategy in Contact centre. In addition, the researcher will relate the observations into a scientific pattern through which a tentative hypothesis will be founded (Garner et al, 2009, p.17). The argument will then be used to define the theory with which this paper seeks to explain the appropriate means of implementing or supporting the right way in order to realize improved staff retention in organizations.
The research methodology will integrate an illustrative research design to review staff retention strategies. This will aim to ensure a detailed researched based on well articulated and fact data collected from primary sources. In addition, the research design will mainly focus on the question why the company has been able to realize its employee retention strategy and position itself well in the Contact centre industry. As such, empirical data will help in underscoring the need for explanations as to the research question. There will be a degree of uncertainty involved such that the premises tend to justify the conclusion.
The study will adopt diverse or mixed methods in the researcher to ensure a well detailed and comprehensive research will reach to justify finding, conclusion and recommendations. In this case, the study will involve articulation of implications and actual practise based on qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and other advanced data analysis methods. According to Denscombe (2007), mixed method in researcher is vital as it gives the researcher, room to ensure incorporation of diverse aspects relating to the study hence reaching to a more realistic and reasonable conclusions and recommendations.
Qualitative and quantitative data
The research will mainly adopt quantitative and qualitative survey structure. According to Garner et al (2009), quantitative data are concerned with giving out who, what, where and how a phenomenon which is the concern of this study. The purpose of quantitative data is to define the state of affairs, as it is present. It is used when the objective is to provide a systematic description that is a factual and accurate as possible (Goddard & Melville, 2001, p.23). Quantitative data in this case will allow the researcher to describe what staff retention strategy is and how they can help and organization in its operational strategy.
On the other hand qualitative data will be of great importance as it will help in providing numeric data that helps in describing the concept of staff retention in Contact centre’s. According to Denscombe (2007), qualitative data in a research is fundamental as it ensures creation of openness, provision of depth and detailed analysis and more importantly it helps to stimulate individual’s experiences with regard to the study questions.
Methods for Data Collection
For primary data collections, questionnaires, staff surveys questionnaires, and semi-structured face-to-face interviews were used to obtain important information from the sample population. The questionnaire items were developed to address specific objectives and research questions of the study. The questionnaires were open-ended and distributed to the field to enable collection and information. The interviews conducted were to get first-hand information and they were easy to conduct and do not take too much time. This in an effort to come up with detailed and reliable data in order to draw up comprehensive conclusions towards the effectiveness of a Contact centre strategy in retaining employees at the organization data has was collected.
The research questions in this case was designed to get the viewpoint of the participants in relation to the issue of staff retention and how they affect operational strategy in organizations. The evidence supporting the use of questionnaires and semi-structured face-to-face interviews in this study includes the study carried out by Goddard & Melville (2001), who indicated that survey method for data collection ensure that they provide comprehensive investigation through interrogating the participants. In addition, survey, interviews and questionnaires are the most effective data collection methods to be incorporated with qualitative research.
According to Denscombe (2007), a questionnaire refers to a data collection technique where a standardized set of questions are used to gather the required information for a particular subject. Questionnaires are associated with quantitative research designs in cases where the researcher targets to get relatively simple measurements from a large sample group. In this study, questionnaires were used target the human resource managers and supervisors in an effort to recognize their experiences, understanding of the organization’s culture and expectations on what can be done to improve on staff retention.
One of these reasons is that they are more cost effective. This means that minimum financial resources were used in regard to questionnaire technique. Questionnaires were also used because as indicated by Goddard & Melville (2001), they are relatively easy to administer and analyze. Moreover, a large number of participants were found to be conversant with the concept of the questionnaire. Many of the participants preferred the use of questionnaire on the reason that they could complete it a time they felt appropriate and at their place of choice. The researcher also found that questionnaires reduced the possibility of bias when collecting the required data.
Semi-Structured Face-to-Face Interviews
Semi-structured face-to-face interviews is the most commonly preferred mode for conducting interviews as it gives room for the investigation of in-depth experiences and more so prior history of the employees. In this case, the researcher seeked appointment from the department of human resources in order to be given a chance to conduct an interview to the staffs and supervisors. According to Denscombe (2007), the use of semi-structured face-to-face interviews as a technical for data collection, the researcher was able to gain insights directly from the participants and engage in a more conversant manner. This will serve as a new content to be highlighted, which may complement already existing information.
Semi structured face-to- face interviews will be an added advantage in establishing as to how the organization has been able to attain commendable levels of employee retention as they are not only flexible but also on a personal level. There is also the high possibility that a researcher will note interesting observations allowing for more exploration to the specificity of the subject matter thus reaching to more informed conclusions. According to Denscombe (2007), this simply means that the researcher was able to dig-deep for information by asking the participants questions that had a high probability of providing answers required for the study. Apart from the fact that the use of semi-structured face-to-face interviews provided room for getting the required detailed feedback from the participants, was time consuming.
According to Kothari (2005), surveys are very important tools for data collection in qualitative research methodology and imply asking direct questions that offer researchers answers necessary towards reaching to a logical and comprehensive conclusion. Surveys will be designed to solicit short written responses on employee attitudes, and beliefs with regard organizational culture. The surveys will encompass both open ended and closed ended queries (Garner et al, 2009, p.68). The exercise will not consume a lot of time as it will only require twenty minutes. This is essential as it will ensure that the exercise does not interfere with individual’s schedule. Staff and organizational facilities will be important in data collection towards reaching a logical and comprehensive conclusion and as such, participant information will be held with the utmost degree of privacy and confidentiality.
Sampling Method and Size
A sample is defined as a part section of a population to be studied. The idea of sampling is to obtain a part of the population of which some information of the entire population can be inferred. Simple random method was used to sample. According to Kothari (2005), this method is appropriate because the stakeholders do not have the same opinions on the subject being researched.
The study used simple random sampling method to select respondents. The sampling method was chosen in accordance to two main issues. These issues are the research objectives and the time frame that had been set for the study. The participants were selected randomly in order to avoid biases. The sample size consisted of 100 participants, which is deemed large enough to offer data that is both precise and accurate (Garner et al, 2009, p.47). The participants will include 1 senior manager, 3 supervisors and 100 front line staff. Since the geographical spread is small, the questionnaires, staff surveys and face-to-face interviews were conducted differently.
Validity and Reliability
Validity generally bases with aspects of the assurance that the questions constructed are phrased to the central point of research whereas reliability generalizes with the aspects of ensuring that if the study was to be conducted again with the same questions and parameters, the results will be similar and consistent (Kothari, 2005, p. 52). The research will ensure validity through connecting the research design, background and the methodology and link each other appropriately and more so focusing on the overall guide and expectations as per the research questions and hypothesis.
During the participant selection, the focus was on the members of the organization who have experience in the issue of staff retention as well as Contact centre to determine whether staff retention enhances the overall performance of organization and operational strategy. This was also based on the willingness of the participants to provide information and improved social interaction between the participants and the researcher in order to ensure they provide the right information.
In addition, Data collected from the participants either via surveys, questionnaires or face-to-face interviews were compared. This is to validate the accuracy of the data collected so as not to compromise the outcome of the research. Therefore eliminating biases and ensure that the systematic methodology outlined in the research design is adhered too.
In order for this study to be reliable and acceptable, all issues related with research ethics were addressed. These issues include, but not limited to addressing the privacy and confidentiality of clients (Kothari, 2005, p. 43). The privacy and individual right of the participants were offered the first priority. Participants were informed that the main aim of the study is for academic use only. They were also informed prior to the start of the study about the information and data that they will be required to provide. The participants were also required to fill a consent form prior to the start of the study. Signing of the consent form meant that the participants agreed to provide the required information by his/her own personal will. All ethical rules that are laid down in the consent form were followed to the latter.
The research methodology aims at looking into ways in which a Contact centre can realize appropriate strategies towards employee retention the research paradigm based on the positivism philosophy will be aligned to the epistemology paradigm. The inductive research methodology adopted to conform to the expectations of the research that is to offer an answer to the research query; how a Contact centre can improve staff retention? Methods of data collection, sampling techniques and ethical consideration delving into questions of participant confidentiality and protection of data collected have been highlighte.
Results, analysis, discussion and implications
The previous chapter highlighted the key methodological concerns and identified the pragmatism, paradigm adopted for the study using mixed method approach for data collection involving the investigation, collection, interpretation and analyze of qualitative and quantitative data in which questionnaires were designed. Therefore, this chapter sets out the findings of the research and discusses the implications of the findings in light of the facts provided in the literature review aiming to answer the research question of “How a Contact centre can improve staff retention?” Consequently, the quantitative and qualitative data recognized in this study process are presented; given an insight proposed area could be improved in order to enhance retention of staff.
The raw materials were collected in a systematically organized manner that facilitates the analysis. To permit quantitative analysis, data were collected into numerical form that represents attributes or measurements of variables. The first steps in data analysis were to describe and summarize the data using descriptive statistics. The purpose of descriptive statistics was to enable the study to describe a distribution of scores or measurements using a few indices or statistics (Goddard & Melville, 2001, p.19). The data was presented in frequency distribution table. Data was later summarized in tables, graphs, and charts. The data received was edited to ensure completeness, consistency, and uniformity before being analyzed to make it meaningful information.
More importantly, the literature recognizes that mixed method is an approach of ‘problem-driven’ ensuring the validity of the research question and providing justified answers (Kothari, 2005, p. 67). Therefore the quantitative data collected through the use of the questionnaire survey was essential to support the discovery of key finding. Moreover, qualitative questions designed to gather deeper insights into common practices, arisen from a collection of semi-structured interview with two human resource managers to sightsee their knowledge and practices in the contact centre. Additionally, the information gathered by the questionnaire aimed to provide a structured viewpoint of three supervisors and one manager to substantiate the findings of their different methods used. Therefore, the data analysis will provide information in supporting researcher to investigate opinions.
Overview of findings
The study highlights the purpose of conducting survey, interviews and questionnaire aiming to sightsee and discover the employees, employer’s opinions towards the different aspects of staff retention within the Contact centre. Hence, the main pathways to this research were sketched into outcomes, thus, a) working environment, b) job satisfaction,
and communication provided interesting and surprising results which are gathered and presented below.
The demographic results in this research are inclined with committed service workers who are the key component of an organization. According to Goddard & Melville (2001), the idea of sampling is a key in obtaining a part of the population of which some information of the entire population can be inferred.
The sample size will consists of 100 participants, which is deemed large enough to offer data that is both precise and accurate. With respect to collection of data through the use of questionnaire, the results indicate that a total population segment of 67 participants provided their views. This entails individuals from diverse age groups, in this case, 25.4% of the participant were from the age blanket of 18-25 years, 58.2% were in the age blanket 26-35 years, 16.4% were from age blanket 36-45 years. However, the research had a unique questionnaire for 3 supervisors and one senior manager (see the format in the appendix). The chart and the table below are representation of the sample research population based on age blankets.
Based on the gender distribution of the research population, it is evident that there are more female participants in regard to survey. In this case, a total number of 67 participants provided their views in regard to the issue of staff retention. This comprise of 25 males which reflect 37% of the whole sample population and 63% entail female participants. However, the divergence between male and female in this case does not ensure any particular significance in the study. The table below indicates the gender distribution based on the sample population of the study.
Question 11 of the questionnaire asked the participants to indicate whether or not they view the communication between the staff and the management is effective. As can be seen in the table below, 67% of the participants indicated that there is effective communication between Contact centre management and the staff. On the same question, 27% of the remaining participants noted that there is no effective communication between the Contact centre management and the staff. However, 3% of the remaining group of the participants did not provide answer in this question. The table below indicates participant’s response in regard to the effectiveness of communication between the management of Contact centre and the staff.
From the above analysis and findings, it is evident that effective communication is an essential aspect in Contact centre. This implies that most staffs are convinced with the relationship that exists between them and the management. However, as indicated by a considerable large percentage of the participant in this case, the management of Contact centre should ensure a more effective relationship as a way of ensuring staff retention within Contact centre.
With respect to employee’s job satisfaction within the organization, an important finding was observed during the data collection process. Question six required the participants to rate their job satisfaction regarding to various job satisfaction indicators including work environment, working hours, opportunities and promotions, job security among others.
With respect to work environment, 34% of the participants noted that they are strongly satisfied with the current work environment in Contact centre. This implies that their job satisfaction level with regard to this aspect is high and believes that there conducive work environment has been ensured. On the same question, 31% of the participants indicated that they are satisfied with the work environment in Contact centre. However, 2% of the remaining percentage indicated that they are not at all satisfied with the work environment. 11% of the participant who provided their views in regard to job satisfaction indicated that they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the current state of work environment and thus that does not reflect their job satisfaction level.
From the analysis of the above finding regarding to aspects of job satisfaction, it is clear that Contact centre has ensure a considerable favourable work environment and thus most of the staff tend to perceive as strongly satisfied or satisfied with the current environment. This implies the staffs may tend to remain within Contact centre. However, the results also indicate that Contact centre a portion of the staff is not sure on whether the management has ensured conducive environment in order to ensure staff retention in the long run.
Qualitative data analysis
In terms what the participants felt that they value most, most of them indicated that work environment as paramount in ensuring effective performance. In addition, other participants indicated effective relationships with management, job security, working hours among others. This indicates that job satisfaction among individuals varies and thus the issue of staff retention in Contact centre should be address in different angles. It is also evident that most strategies regarding to staff retention in Contact centre are workable and acceptable by the employees.
The findings and results of the primary research have been analyzed. It is evident from both qualitative and survey data that current approach to employee retention in Contact centre is to great extent workable and popular to many. However, a section of the staff indicated that the strategy is not workable and various changes should be done in regard to work environment, working hours and job security. It seems despite few changes that should be made, Contact centre have adopted effective ways of ensure staff retention. More importantly, the employees are focused to move forward and remain within Contact centre. The final section of the project provides a conclusion and recommendation that are essential to Contact centre based on the findings.
Conclusions and recommendations
Ultimately, workers retention is a vital topic which needs a lot of attention in order to achieve employees’ job satisfaction. Employment engagement remains the most noteworthy driver of effectiveness and performance in firms since most methodologies to performance and output often offers short-term solutions to firms. With help of a Contact centre it is possible for organizations to improve staff retention.
The main objective that the researched wanted to achieve was how a Contact centre can improve staff retention. This study has confirmed that it is imperative to motivate employees in order to improve their job satisfaction. More, importantly, the organization should help understand the dynamisms of employee retention with different points to improve retention in a Contact centre. There are many different tools the organization to help understand the dynamisms of employee retention with different points to improve retention in a Contact centre.
As a matter of fact, there is need for organizations to employ essential strategies such as establishing a Contact centre which addresses all employee issues. For instance, employees should be given a bonus after every six months instead of yearly as participants responded to the questionnaires. It is vital to retain qualified and experienced workers who have the right knowledge needed to propel the organization achieve its objective in the in line with its mission and vision statement. This implies that through establishment of a Contact centre it is possible to handle the low rates of employee turnover which is more about managing people rather than employee retention. Due to the fact that employees work for many hours it is vital to allow more delegation of work to the junior staffs.
Ultimately, it is vital to have a Contact centre where employee which has a mandate to handle all issues concerning the employees in relation to job satisfaction.
Therefore for the above study it is evident that having an effective Contact centre in an organization is capable of establishing working strategies to ensure employee retention. The analysis reveals that in order for organizations to from the proposed employee retention strategies they need first to acknowledge that employee have their own needs and personal expectations. Therefore, there are different ways which organizations can employ in order to ensure success of the retention strategies. Apparently, it is fundamental for the organization to acknowledge the efforts of employee in order to improve the output productivity of the organization. For instance, some organizations provides appreciation for work achieved, countless opportunities for employees to grow, favourable environment, and engages its employs efficiently.
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