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A few years back, Bank of America struggled with employee retention in its call centers, experiencing a 40 percent turnover rate. According to QATC, the typical call center employee only stays with a company for 1.1 years.

Call center turnover causes problems beyond simply hiring and training enough people to fill in the gaps. Less experienced agents contribute to customer frustration through multiple transfers and a lack of problem resolution. For example, American Express found that 55 percent of customers decided against continuing with a business transaction if customer service wasn’t handled properly.

So how did Bank of America stop employee churn and create an environment that encouraged employee loyalty? They put people analytics to work.

What Are People Analytics Solutions?

People analytics solutions are a product of the big data world. This tool looks at people-centric data to determine how to optimize business operations and identifies potential problems before they turn into costly issues. Some data people analytics solutions track include:

How People Analytics Revealed the Problem

Bank of America examined the performance of all their call centers to determine the cause of its employee retention problem. Some call centers had turnover rates typical of this department, while others were massively underperforming in comparison. Bank of America gathered data from these call centers and used a people analytics tool to parse the primary differences between call centers.

What they found was a difference in inter-office collaboration. For call centers that promoted an office culture of collaboration and engagement between employees, the performance was excellent. In contrast, under-performing call centers did not have a robust culture of collaboration.

This single data point provided six times the predictive analysis than other data examined according to Business Insider. 

So what caused the issue?

A simple business policy that encouraged employees to stagger their lunch breaks. Instead of the office eating lunch together, most employees had separate breaks with little interaction. In the call centers with less turnover, 80 percent of employee interaction happened during lunch breaks.

Addressing the Problem and Saving Millions

Bank of America took its people analytics findings and optimized business policies. The original lunch rule was rescinded, with a new policy in place allowing teams to take breaks together. It didn’t take long for this policy change to pay off: the result was a 23 percent increase in call handling time and an 18 percent boost in team collaboration and cohesiveness.

Not only were the teams more productive, Bank of America saved $15 million with the productivity increases and the decreased employee turnover.

Sometimes it’s the small issues causing major problems at your company. Implementing people analytics solutions provides you with hard data on the human element of people at work.

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