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Agent Support: 5 Strategies for Call Center Leaders to Combat Burnout

It’s essential for call or contact center businesses to have motivated employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences. However, even with high motivation from a leader, your agents may struggle to perform at their best when grappling with burnout. 

As a leader, what can you do to solve this serious problem? The key is to enact effective strategies that you can use to combat burnout in the call center industry. 


Understanding Call Center Burnout 

Working as a call center agent can be an incredibly taxing job. The high volume of calls that agents handle each day only leaves a few minutes of rest between customer interactions. Agents spend most of their shifts on the phones, fielding back-to-back calls where they must stay online and active all the time. 

Beyond the mental fatigue created by pure call volume, the work itself is often repetitive and mundane. They tend to answer similar questions and complaints day after day. Dealing with upset or even abusive customers also wears agents down over time. 

Based on a recent study by Jeff Toister, 87 percent of contact center agents are at risk of either mild or severe call center burnout.1 In the face of these stressors, many agents do experience burnout, which may eventually lead to poor job experience. Without intervention from their leaders, they may lose motivation and energy for their work, resulting in the following for contact centers: 

  • High turnover rates 
  • Lower productivity and morale 
  • Poor quality of service 
  • Health issues 

To avoid these, implement strategies to help your agents cope with the difficult aspects of their job. 

Read More: What is Workforce Management (WFM) and Why Is It Important? 


Strategies for Combating Call Center Burnout 

Making your call center professionals feel more satisfied, motivated, and energized to work can differ from one company to another. We offer five expert tips that any company can utilize to prevent burnout within their workforce. 


1. Foster Positive Company Culture 

This strategy is critical because it directly counteracts many of the factors causing agent burnout in the first place. By creating a workplace environment that prioritizes employee well-being, satisfaction, and overall experience, you can help alleviate the stress agents have due to the nature of their work. Strategies to create a healthy work environment include: 


Collaboration and Teamwork 

Creating an environment that encourages collaboration is essential for a contact center’s success. You can use various channels like group chats, video conferencing, and collaboration tools to facilitate agent interaction. Establishing peer coaching programs is also a good idea since it can enhance skill development while creating a sense of camaraderie within teams. 

When agents collaborate, they share insights, learn from each other, and collectively work towards common goals, creating a strong and connected workplace culture.  


Celebrating Wins and Accomplishments 

Celebrating milestones and accomplishments boosts an agent’s morale, fostering an environment that values employee effort and contribution. Recognition is a powerful motivator. Regularly acknowledging and celebrating achievements, both big and small, fosters a positive atmosphere within your office. This recognition can take various forms: 

  • Shout-outs during team meetings. 
  • Personalized notes of appreciation. 
  • Small rewards or incentives for outstanding performance. 
  • Upskilling with collaborative gamification 


2. Optimize Physical Workplace 

Since contact center agents spend most of their day at work, optimizing their physical workplace is paramount. A thoughtful workplace can result in healthier work environments that can help reduce the risks of call center agent burnout. Here are some ways you can consider optimizing the workspace: 


Invest in Comfortable Spaces 

A comfortable physical environment contributes to the satisfaction and productivity rates of employees. It enables them to handle the demands of their roles better, resulting in improved performance and well-being. Some of the investments you can consider are: 

  • Adjustable desks and chairs to accommodate different body types and preferences 
  • Ergonomic Headsets to minimize strain during extended phone usage 
  • Adjustable lighting can reduce glare and prevent eye strain or headaches 
  • Space for Personalization by allowing agents to display meaningful photos or other related items near their workspace 


3. Empower Agents 

One of the best strategies to avoid burnout in a high-pressure environment is to empower your people to become resilient.  


Encourage Autonomy and Flexibility 

Granting agents autonomy and flexibility in their roles is a powerful way to boost morale and job satisfaction. Allow them more control over portions of their schedules and breaks to create a sense of ownership and trust. 

You can also allow them to take charge of call flow procedures and personal development plans.  


Create Advancement Opportunities 

Although employees need to be on top of their personal development, establishing clear career progression paths as an employer is still worth considering. 

Instead of rigid corporate ladders, implement advancement requirements that reward skills and experiences. Implement reskilling programs that allow agents to grow into different departments. 

Clearly defined advancement opportunities incentivize long-term commitment and motivate agents to excel. 

Read More: How Can a Staffing Agency Help With Workforce Planning? 


4. Prioritize Agent Well-Being 

To prevent call center burnout and exhaustion, consider agents’ physical and mental health. Taking a proactive approach to their holistic well-being ensures that agents feel supported and satisfied with their roles.  


Offer Support Outlets 

If possible, incorporate professional counseling services or anonymous hotlines to provide agents with a confidential outlet for discussing work-related stress. 

Moreover, train team leaders to recognize burnout signs. Equip them with mindfulness tactics through training so that they can learn how to reach out to agents who need help. 


Encourage a Balanced Work Culture 

Prevent burnout by discouraging an overwork culture. Refrain from promoting excessive overtime and avoid normalizing prioritization of work above all else. Encourage your employees to take breaks. 

Another great way to discourage harmful environments and culture is to lead by example—practice setting the boundaries between work and personal lives. You can do simple actions like avoiding sending late-night emails and demonstrating a commitment to work-life balance by prioritizing balance in your own space.  


5. Evaluate Policies and Procedures 

Burnout stems from a variety of reasons. Some agents feel emotional exhaustion from dealing with dissatisfied customers, while others are physically unable to keep up with the workload. In these scenarios, it’s best to evaluate your company’s current policies and procedures.  


Customer Service Protocols 

Enhance customer service protocols and implement a customer-centric approach to reduce workplace stressors and create a healthier work environment. To achieve this, you can start by enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for customer abuse. Clearly communicate that mistreatment won’t be tolerated.  

Additionally, consider expanding de-escalation training to equip agents with the skills necessary for handling potentially challenging interactions. This proactive approach aims to empower your team and enhance their resilience in navigating various call center situations. 


Workflows and Technology Usage 

Contact center employees often find themselves finishing repetitive tasks. To prevent burnout, evaluate their workflows and identify areas or processes that can be streamlined using technological tools. 

Look for tools that can automate mundane tasks to reduce manual workload. This also gives your workforce more time and resources to focus on more complex and valuable aspects of their roles. 

Read More: 13 Instances of Harnessing AI to Streamline Repetitive Tasks 


Hire Highly Motivated Talent through Corporate Job Bank 

With over 30 years of staffing experience, we have the resources to connect you to highly skilled and motivated professionals. 

Here at Corporate Job Bank, we are confident that our people make a difference. Regardless of your problems, we can provide personalized staffing solutions whether you’re looking for customer service, accounting, legal, or banking professionals. 

Reach out to us today to learn more! 



  1. Toister, Jeff. “Preventing Contact Center Agent Burnout.” Square Space, 18 Feb. 2023,