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Call Center Management during Holidays

When Philippine holidays are on the midst like Christmas, New Year, the Holy Week and All Saint’s Day, most Filipino workers are excited. The same is true among call center agents because it is a time of vacations with their loved ones, going home in the provinces, family reunions and get-togethers with friends. While most employees are thrilled and keyed up into these holidays, call center managers are troubled and apprehensive that their offices will be short of the manpower they’ll need because many agents are either on leave or will absent themselves. Those who will be AWOL would simply get lame excuses of being sick or stuck in traffic upon returning back to work. It is for this reason that managers should find strategic ways to manage employees especially during the holidays.

The most apparent strategy to address this issue is through effective scheduling and planning of agents to ensure that the call center office is sufficiently manned during the holidays. For Philippine holidays, it is business as usual in other countries hence, the bulk or demand for service would not change much. In which case, the schedule of agents should be given 3 weeks or one month in advance so that they would immediately be notified about their schedule and make necessary adjustments or changes to their holiday plans in advance. This will also give sufficient time for agents to switch schedules to other agents who are willing. For international holidays like Christmas and New Year, the bulk of service inquiries would be minimal because customers do not usually call during holidays. Nevertheless, the call center office should have sufficient agents to cover any demand.

Another management strategy to ensure that sufficient agents would report to office is to provide more incentives. Aside from the overtime pay mandated by law for working during the holidays, management should give additional generous bonuses. This may be in cash or in kind (e.g. gifts). The idea here is to motivate agents to work else they would miss this once in a year rewards. Going to work during the holidays should also count as a point for considering promotions.

Finally, if you want your people to work during the holidays, then set the example. One should also report to work. In this way, your employees or agents wouldn’t feel left by their leaders in the battlefield. As a leader, one should be there with his/ her people during the lowest times in their lives like when they are in the office working while everybody else are having the time of their life because it’s a holiday.

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