How Workforce Management (WFM) software keeps honest people honest

Probably one of the most sensitive and difficult management challenges is, as one CallCenter magazine piece puts it (rather dryly), “monitor(ing) each agent’s adherence to schedules.”  In medium to large call centers, when the agent logs in, it is the equivalent to punching a time card. The “adherence” part is all about ensuring the monitoring is done to some other constructive end besides hammering the absent or tardy employee.

The above-mentioned piece has a rather succinct, but spot-on quote from one expert, on how workforce management (WFM) software fits into meeting the challenge:

“ Software that lets supervisors see adherence patterns over time as well as in real time can help avoid ‘big brother’ behavior by supervisors, who can see if the nonadherence is a one time event or a recurring problem.”

Real-time vs. over time

Real-time corrective action can be the difference between intervention – before some undesirable behavior becomes chronic – and diluting the quality of the intervention.  As regards agents being present when scheduled, WFM software gives the manager an instant “all present and accounted for” (or not) view.

In large call centers, the manager can react and fill in the gap if someone is not on station.  If an employee shows a pattern of absence, tardiness or prefers to play the passive-aggressive role of Angry Bird, rather than the proactive greeter or helper (which, by the way, he or she is getting paid to do), WFM is the ideal tool. It has the added advantage of irrefutability. The manager becomes like a coach trying to help or correct a player whose stats are hurting the team.

The stats drive the analytics

Workers who admit goofing off on the job – about 40 percent according to one study reported in the Puget Sound Business Journal – do so for many possible reasons ranging from “they won’t get caught” to “their job is not fulfilling.” How managers cope with nonproductive behavior is beyond the scope of this discussion, but as a minimum, managers have to be aware that nonproductive behavior is occurring.

Workforce management software gives the manager the wherewithal to know that the problem exists and whether or not it is an individual or endemic situation. If endemic, the resulting analytics can help connect the dots on the productivity and earnings charts that are likely not “adhering to expectations,” to put it dryly.

USAN can connect the dots

Workforce management software does tons more than just ensure your call center people are on the job. Its scheduling function, for example, will make whoever does your call center scheduling demand that you stand up and take a bow. To find out more about how our WFM software product, contact us. You have nothing to lose but lost productivity.