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Need to give staff a raise, but have no budget?


Giving staff a raise can be problematic when there is little to no budget for a salary increase.


But failing to provide a raise to meet the competitive environment for scarce resources leaves contact center operators with little option. Creative solutions are required to solve complex problems.

Capacity planning is about getting the plan right by understanding what you need to spend on resources to accomplish your objectives given defined criteria. It is also about having the ability to model multiple scenarios by varying criteria parameters.

Call center agents

The Customer

A contact centre with 150 agents was facing the common challenge of attracting and retaining employees. Attrition rates were running at 55% annually driven primarily by the lack of a competitive starting wage for agents.


Hiring ahead of recruitment was at the center’s recruitment philosophy, however, HR was having a difficult time in recruiting and onboarding the number of agents required each month and the center was falling behind it recruitment plan.

The Challenge

How can staff get a raise without increasing the operating budget?

Increasing salary costs by 5% required over $497K in additional operating expense.  The contact centre did not want to increase their operating budget and needed to find another way they could give their agents a raise, but keep their operating budget the same.


This contact centre was lacking in a few key areas, including:


  • the out-of-the-box thinking required to develop creative solutions to complex problems (e.g., how to I give my staff a raise, without impacting my cost of operation).


  • the tools necessary to model various scenarios that provide insight into the impact of varying input variables.

The Solution

Cinareo was used to model the impact of a 5% increase in agent and support staff wages on the operating budget. The client then ran multiple scenarios in Cinareo to look at which variables could realistically be modified to offset the wage increase.

The contact centre realized that there were two solutions available that would allow them to increase wages by 5% and not increase their operational budget. 

Option 1:  Decrease the Average Handle Time across three skills to offset the wage increase.


Option 2:  Reduce forecasted overtime, lower the new hire learning curve by improving training, and decrease the annualized agent attrition rate.

Both these options will allow the contact centre to provide a 5% raise to their staff with no impact on their operating budget.

The Result

By realizing their options, this contact centre did not have to increase their operating expenses by $497K.


Using Cinareo, the client found that:

  • A 5% decrease in AHT across each of their 3 skills wonders the number of required agent FTEs from 153 to 145 and support staff by 2 FTE, offset the 5% wage increase.

  • Reducing forecasted overtime from 2% to 1%, decreasing the new hire learning curve (agent time to proficiency by 1 month), and a 5% annualized decrease in agent attrition, reduced the number of FTE from 153 to 149, reduced support staff by 2 FTE, lowered hiring ahead of attrition costs by $100,000, and projected overtime costs by $80,000, offset the 5% wage increase.

Read Case Study #1: The high cost of poor capacity planning

How effective is your WFM solution?

Do you have an effective tool that can quickly and accurately run scenarios across all planning input variables?

Cinareo can help you find a solution quickly and easily using a step-by-step wizard. 


Find out how Cinareo can help. 

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