Call Centres Calling EAP More Often than Other Industries


    TORONTO, Sept. 1 /CNW/ - Call centre employees access their employee
assistance programs at a higher rate than other industries, and for a specific
set of stressors related to their jobs. This latest study by the Shepell-fgi
research group has identified not just what unique job stressors call centre
employees have, but the drivers to create a call centre that is engaged and
    "There is no question, working in a call centre is unique and has its own
concerns," said Rod Phillips, President and CEO of Shepell-fgi. "It is
important we look at the health of this specific group of employees as half a
million Canadians work in 14,000 call centres across the country - a number
increasing by 27 per cent every year. It is critical to the Canadian economy
that this group of employees be well and productive."
    Shepell-fgi found that, when compared to other industries nationally,
call centre employees:

    -   Accessed EAP at a higher rate (7% vs. 5% of all other industries)
    -   Accesses were far more likely to be under 30 years of age (42% vs.
    -   Accesses were more likely to be for emotional (15% vs. 11%) and
        stress issues (19% vs. 15%)

    The findings estimate that among 100 recent hires at a call centre, 14
per cent may be experiencing high levels of stress, and ten per cent may
experience high levels of depression.
    "This is a trend that employers need to be aware of because of the
potential for this to negatively impact a business," said Karen Seward, Senior
Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. "On any given day, ten
per cent of call centre employees call in sick, turnover is between eight and
50 per cent a year, and the cost of training a replacement for employees who
leave exceeds $6,000 dollars. It doesn't take long to do the math to figure
out the impact of this on a company's profits."
    The study also looks at what makes a successful call centre, including
job redesign and use of surveys and integrated health management to find out
the perception of call centre employees and where programs can be best
    "These employees have a high level of what can be best described at times
as a repetitive stress injury - only because the work is with people that
injury is on an emotional level," said Paula Allen, Senior Vice President of
Health Solutions and the Shepell-fgi research group. "If employers are aware
of the unique stress of this role, and implements appropriate support
programs, like Employee Assistance, then everyone in the organization will

    A full copy of the report is available at:

    About Shepell-fgi and the Shepell-fgi Research Group

    Shepell-fgi is Canada's leading provider of workplace health services,
including prevention-focused Employee Assistance Programs. The company
services over six million employees and their families across Canada, the
United States and internationally. Shepell-fgi helps organizations maintain
healthy employees and healthy workplaces.
    The Shepell-fgi Research group, a division of Shepell-fgi, has a mandate
to educate employers and business leaders on physical, mental and social
health issues as these factors impact employees, their families and their
workplaces. The Shepell-fgi Research Group offers a precise understanding of
health and wellness trends by conducting sector and issue-based analysis.
Since 2004, the Shepell-fgi research group has published thirteen issues based
reports and seven sector based reports.

For further information:

For further information: Stephanie Baumann, Senior Manager, Marketing
Communications, Shepell-fgi, (416) 355-5609,

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