News update – Bank launches home PC plan

ING Direct has launched a home computing scheme for staff to try to make call centre work more alluring.

The scheme is one of a raft of benefits aimed at reducing staff turnover and shaking off the job’s unappealing image.

Jennie Monon, HR director, said: “We’re a call centre and it can be boring. I’m always looking for innovative benefits – that’s part of ING’s culture, that we want to be slightly different as an employer.”

The PC scheme has had a healthy response. “We actually had more people wanting to take part than could, because I put in place a minimum qualification period of eight months with the company. In actual fact not that many people have been here for eight months because we are so new.”

She said workers can save significant amounts by taking advantage of the scheme:

“If you took the top of the range PC, the saving would be £2,000 against retail prices.”

The firm, established only last year, has brought in a range of quirky perks, including on site manicures and bikes for hire at lunch time.

Monon estimates that the bank’s annual staff turnover is 35%. “This is not great, but what does encourage us is people don’t leave us to go to other call centres – they leave us to do something different,” she said.