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Absenteeism in the Philippines

Posted on January 4, 2017 | No Comments on Absenteeism in the Philippines

Absenteeism in Philippine call centers is so rampant that some global experts consider the problem to be worse compared to other countries. However, absenteeism in the call center industry cannot be rooted as a habit or a cultural attitude of Filipinos. In contrast, Filipinos are considered as one of the most hard-working and diligent people in the world.

Attesting to this is the fact that Filipinos are one of the most traveled people in the world seeking for work abroad. The quality of work of Filipinos is also evidenced by the continuous demand for Filipino workers (as engineers, seamen, nurses, teachers, caregivers, and skilled laborers) in the Middle East, in Europe and in America. Moreover, despite the high absenteeism in the call center industry in the Philippines, the same study concluded that Philippine call centers nevertheless gained the highest customer satisfaction compared to those in other countries. Agents in the Philippines were especially noted to have the highest patience compared to other nationalities. Moreover, Filipino agents also tend to be more acculturated or well adopted to American culture.

The prevalence of absenteeism in the call center industry in the Philippines is ultimately attributed to the odd work shifts (night shift). Unfortunately, odd work shift is inevitable because of the time zone difference between the Filipino agents and the foreign market clients they serve. Because of this, reducing absenteeism ultimately means that call center companies need to contend with the problem of motivating agents to work at night. To this end, there are various ways and means that companies practice to motive agents to work at night.

The best way to motivate employees to work at night and reduce absenteeism is to give employees a sense of importance and fulfillment for doing their job. This includes providing additional generous incentives (hazard pay), giving special recognitions and rewards to employees, promoting employees, empowering employees and creating a more personal or closer relationship between management and employees, and allowing employee a better sense of belonging through participation.

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