Trapped by work

Work has really created a strange situation that just leaves me feeling trapped. They want to maintain a certain level of turnover within our department. As far as I know, this is for cost reasons; they want the more senior agents on higher pay scales to leave and be replaced with new agents on a lower pay scale. I can understand the argument although personally I think that the extra value that experienced agents bring to the team is far greater than the slight extra cost of our salaries. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to measure this so it's not really something I can prove to management.

From what I've heard (from management), they would like to see an average turnover rate of 18 months for employees. I've been here now for 3 years (just hit my 3 year mark yesterday) so I'm well past that. From management's perspective, people like me are messing up their turnover numbers, they'd really prefer to see senior agents like me leave.

As I said above, I can understand this perspective. I may think that perspective is wrong but that's the way things are right now. The perspective itself is not the problem. The problem is with 2 other situations at work.

The first situation is that there is no opportunity for advancement at work. I want to make it clear that I'm not just saying this as a bitter employee who hasn't been able to advance while others have. There is literally, no room for advancement. Actually, that's not entirely true, it is theoretically possible to advance to Tier 2 support. However, there are currently only 3 Tier 2 jobs and the Tier 2 agents also have nowhere to move. So unless more Tier 2 spots are created or a Tier 2 leaves, there's nowhere else to go. And even then, you get 30+ agents all competing for that 1 job. If I ignore re-organizations, only 2 people have moved from my department to other departments within the company. Counting re-organizations, 4 other employees who were in my department when I started are now in other departments in the company. Given the number of people that have worked in my department during the time I've been here, that's a pretty poor statistic. I really wish I had the actual numbers for how many people have worked here during that time and for how long but I don't. I can definitely say it's been at least 50-60 agents because we have over 30 now and I can easily think of 20 people that don't work here now.

The other problem is that work refuses to give out references. Again, this is not a case of me going to management asking for a reference and being turned down. This is an actual policy of our department (and possibly company-wide). Tier 2 agents used to give out references but they have been told not to. The same applies to both team managers for the department. The only thing that the company will do is allow us to refer a potential employer to the HR department where they will confirm that we did indeed work for the company. This makes it more difficult to leave the company because any job that wants references is going to want a reference from your current employer.

So the end result of this is that the company does not want to retain me at my current position but then have erected barriers for me to leave it. I can't move within the company and they're making it harder to leave. In the end, I want to leave this position and the company wants me to leave the position but I'm still stuck in this position.