Work wellness, absenteeism and productivity in a call centre in the insurance industry
Van Wyk, Adèle
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Companies in the insurance industry differentiate themselves in the market from their competitors not only by the products they develop and sell but also by the service they deliver. Many organisations utilise call centres as a means to reduce costs and to improve customer service. It has been proven that working in a call centre is a stressful, unsatisfying and a physical and psychological unhealthy occupation for an employee. To ensure high-performance in a call centre, managers have realised that to enable employees to interact with customers in a productive and positive way, and to keep customers returning, employees need to feel good about what they do and where they work. The negative effects of the work might result in high turnover, absenteeism and lowered performance. With the realisation of the importance of the well-being of employees in the call centre, we set out to examine the work wellness of the call centre employees and the effect it had on absenteeism and productivity. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The study population (N=206) included employees in the call centre of a company in the insurance industry. The South-African Employee Health and Wellness survey was used to gather data on the work wellness of employees. Objective data from the leave system was used to determine their absenteeism. To analyse the productivity of employees, the number of transactions completed and errors made was gathered from the workflow system. Descriptive statistics, product-moment correlation coefficients, stepwise multiple regression analysis and discriminant analysis were used to analyse the data. The results indicated that burnout was related to sense of coherence, job demands, job resources and ill-health. Work engagement was related to sense of coherence, job resources and commitment. Growth opportunities seemed to play an important role in the work wellness of employees in the call centre. Job variety, the ability to learn new skills and autonomy are important factors in a call centre. Weak relationships were found between work wellness, absenteeism and productivity in the call centre. Recommendations for future research were made.