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Even banks suffer from labour force shortage?

‘Many domestic banks are struggling to find call centre staff’ – says Gergely Brückner in his article on Index.
Since I had (and still have, via friends) an insight into the operation of the call centre of a big domestic bank, the author’s comment does not surprise me at all. Despite everything detailed in the article (such as wage development), I think that there is still a dire need for further wage development to achieve a stable workforce.

A reader who might not be familiar with the internal world of a call centre might picture it as primarily young girls and boys chatting away with clients calling occasionally and in the rest of their time, they are just having a great time – for a quite nice salary.

Of course, this is very far from the reality. Core tasks on their own come with significant stress; furthermore, managers, accordingly to the efficiency principles, already understaff the centre, so employees are already overloaded, and (‘naturally) besides attending to their basic service responsibilities, they also have to meet marketing plans. Unfortunately, the existence (and the possible completion) of these plans do not ‘make the employee happy’ since the incentive scheme is not motivating but stress-inducing – with that in mind, they ear relatively little.

No wonder, everyone leaves these jobs as soon as they can. This process is counter-selective because this way, sooner or later, only those people will work there who are so vulnerable that they have no other option but to continue their work even in such circumstances, but this is only to the detriment of the quality of the service. So far, banks managed to maintain continuous replacement, but the time has come that the cheap and ‘unending’ flow of labour/workforce dissipated.

Every field of our economy struggles with similar problems.

There are certain tricks: restructuring task and incentive system and calling it wage increase, or subjecting it to conditions, and there are many other unfair methods, but the employees will eventually (sooner than later) realize what is going on and will be able to assert their interests, if no other way, then by changing their jobs.

It is worth having a look at this article and the signs in the people’s hands – you cannot find any direct wage claims.

Such an employee might seem as ungrateful in the eyes of managers, but I would suggest them trying to live on as much money as the leaving worker for two or three months. They would immediately understand why employees have been so ‘greedy’ lately.
I welcomed the news of Tesco employee strikes. This brilliantly shows that the management forced employees to take even drastic measures (But the end will still be the same: they get what they want, but since they achieved it with forced methods, there is a negative atmosphere in the office).

In this other article, the owner of a closing restaurant (which was said to be excellent) brilliantly pointed out what the main problem is: ‘People with 180 thousand salary do not really go to restaurants. And if they do, the most important will be where they can eat for cheaper. To achieve real wage increase in catering, there must be wage developments in every other field too.’

Managers who wish for stable workforce shall read the article of Pénzcentrum as a guide instead of 10 and 20 thousand forints of wage increases.

Finally, a striking oddity: in these two articles (one in English and in German) say that Porsche employees (21 thousand people) received 9111 euro premium after 2016, which was particularly fruitful for the company.
One might wonder how many Hungarian companies have ever done (or will ever do) the same (or something similar) to every (!!) of its employees after one (or more) exceptionally profiting year?

Original date of Hungarian publication: September 27, 2017