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Industry Research : Invest in a “Rock Star” Trainer – or Pay the Price
Evolv, a provider of SaaS-based workforce intelligence, today announced results of a study by its analytics group that looks at individual trainers’ impact on new hire attrition. The study, which analyzes data from two different call centers covering more than 22,000 agents, 162 trainers, 17 sites, and 14 clients, found that the most effective trainers produce employees that stay 1.8 to 2.8 times longer, and that these "Rock Star" trainers have specific characteristics in common.
Hourly jobs are known for notoriously high turnover, with many companies experiencing 45-day attrition rates as high as 30%. During this time, employers are making significant investments in new hires in the form of wages, equipment and training. Losing a new hire during training costs companies more than at any other time in the employee lifecycle. As a result, it is critically important for companies to understand the impact of trainers on employee attrition.
What Makes a Good Trainer?
The study found not only do trainers have a significant impact on agent turnover – accounting for 23% to 73% of all factors that explain attrition – but that successful trainers share certain characteristics. The study identified trainers as "Rock Stars", "Comedians", "Drill Sergeants" or "Ineffective", based on their in-training and post-training attrition, and then used classroom observations to identify which characteristics are associated with the best trainers. Some of the traits measured include: demeanor, energy level, classroom control, engagement with students, and organization, as well as such characteristics as their vocal delivery, gestures, facial expressions, and word selection.
The results show the most effective trainers were the "Rock Stars" who created open and active discussions in class, asked questions, and checked trainees for knowledge. These trainers performed significantly better than those trainers with strong time management, class control and organization skills.
"It is interesting to note that the trainers focused on being organized and maintaining discipline actually had a negative impact on retention," said Adrien Comolet, Evolv Business Analyst and a co-author of the report. "However, the results clearly show that running class like a boot camp is an ineffective way to teach difficult concepts, and that the engaging trainers who encouraged class participation produced employees who not only stayed longer, but were most prepared to handle the rigors of the job."
Using Big Data and Analytics to Make Businesses More Effective
The study ultimately found that employers of hourly labor cannot afford to ignore the process used to train their employees, since proper training can have a tremendous impact on how long an employee remains with the company and, by extension, how much value they contribute.
"Although the characteristics of the best trainers may differ from industry to industry and employer to employer, companies can use big data and analytics to decipher which training methods are most effective for their business," said Michael Housman, Evolv’s Managing Director of Analytics and the report’s co-author. "Once a company identifies its top trainers, it can transfer those best practices throughout its operations to ensure a well-prepared workforce."
Evolv’s workforce analytics platform uses predictive analytics to help businesses quantify workforce quality, identify and predict improvement areas and take action to eliminate unnecessary workforce spending. Evolv Foresight mines data from client-employee tracking systems, econometric datasets, as well as its own network, and then interprets that data to evaluate employee performance and drive improvements across the workforce.
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Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012