Industry standards for call center staff shrinkage

Call center expert Lori Bocklund answers a question from a workforce optimization (WFO) executive who asks whether there are industry standards for shrinkage, and how they can be used in the call center.

What is the industry standard for shrinkage? Do you have any numbers you can provide? I am a workforce optimization...

(WFO) executive, and I would like to know how to set some goals for our organization based on industry standards.

Unfortunately, there are no industry standards for metrics, including shrinkage. Shrinkage rates we've seen can run from 15% to 35%. You must look at what is included in shrinkage for a given center -- breaks (including meals), absenteeism (holidays, vacations, sick days, etc.), training, meetings, etc. The key thing is to clearly define what is included, and ensure a thorough workforce planning process to account for the various elements that may require you to ramp up staffing -- whether accounted for in shrinkage or other mechanisms.

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