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When an agent leaves your contact center, you don’t only lose productivity while the seat is empty. Oh no. You also lose productivity the entire time it takes to train the new agent. Once training is done, you lose productivity while the new agent becomes acclimated. You lose productivity until the day the agent becomes competent in the new role. And how long does that take? According to Dimension Data’s 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report “Go Digital or Die,” it takes a total of 12.9 weeks.

Nearly thirteen weeks! And that’s after you’ve filled the seat. That is too much time and too much money to be losing. Utilizing an effective training program can significantly cut down on that time and make an agent productive as soon as possible. That’s the goal, isn’t it?

Training an agent takes time As part of our Ultimate Agent™ program, we help clients develop detailed and specific “Training Calendars” for new hires. With the right calendar, some organizations can have competent and productive employees in just four weeks. Here are 3 tips to designing your own effective calendar:

1. Map out every hour of the first thirty days. It sounds tedious, but it will demonstrate to new agents that your organization is invested in their development and progress. It will show you prepared for them. It will also make sure there is no lost time, hours thrown away due to a lack of structure or orders. When you have a detailed training calendar, every minute contributes to the agents’ education.

2. Shadowing, or sitting next a live agent and listening to real calls, is a great way to teach new hires about their roles and responsibilities. But have you ever observed a person for more than a couple of hours? You zone out, go dead behind the eyes, and stop focusing. Break up the shadowing time by doing a little bit of time in the morning and then more in the afternoon.

3. Schedule time to receive feedback and stay flexible enough to accommodate the new hires’ needs. What do the agents like about their training? What do they think is working? More importantly, what do they think is not working? Do they wish they had more time in the classroom? Figure out a way to make it happen ad hoc. Not every agent is the same, and some might need extra help in different areas than the others. Staying in touch with their progress and adjusting based on the individual will mean top-notch employees across the board when training is over and it’s time for them to go it alone.

There are plenty of ways to train new hires, and a training calendar should incorporate a wide variety of learning techniques. Stay tuned until our next post when we discuss which ones are the most effective.

Photo from Death to the Stock Photo.

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