WFM Vacation: Put Lifecycle Scheduling in Place and Relax

A workforce management solution provides the tools to help you make your agents’ home and work lives blend together better. It’s too difficult for you to do manually, or with a spreadsheet, or even with simple basic WFM functionality. But it’s a breeze, and yields quick and measurable results, for a WFM.

Let’s look at three of the ways this works.

Self Service

You save money, improve results, and open up new opportunities when you provide customer self-service (through your multichannel and omnichannel implementations). The same is true with WFM. Self service scheduling means your managers don’t have to respond to and reconcile every scheduling request against call load, call type and agent availability. Your managers have far too much to do to be continually juggling with schedules to respond to every lifestyle-related request by the agents. It’s too impractical, so schedules remain inflexible. With automated, flexible scheduling employees can request, process and get instant response entirely through a portal or employee app.

Ad Hoc Planning

Vacations and other kinds of days off are handled through the employee’s portal or app. Employees can request any kind of time off—two hours or two weeks—from the automated WFM. If there are rules that govern when or how an employee earns vacation time (from length of employment to achieving service-level targets), the automated vacation manager applies those rules to the schedule request and calculations. The agent is immediately notified whether she can have the requested time off.

Shift Swapping

If a vacation request is rejected, that doesn’t mean the agent has to give up on taking that time. With advanced lifestyle scheduling, self-service shift swapping is possible. An agent can view other agents’ schedules and request they swap shifts for one or more days. Here too, the WFM applies your business rules to the request before it allows it to be sent. Those rules might have to do with skills, agent experience, limits on the number of allowable swaps, and more.

Overtime Availability

Employees can announce their availability to work overtime—at the start or end of a shift, or on a day when they’re not working at all. Once again, the WFM applies rules to the information. Those might be cross-training level, overtime hours already worked for the week, skill levels, projected call volume and profiles for any given period, and more.

Automated Lifestyle Scheduling Benefits Everyone

In study after study—surveys, research and case studies alike—this kind of flexible, self-service scheduling increases agent satisfaction, lowers attrition and improves productivity. In fact, according to the latest SHRM Workplace Forecast, flexible scheduling is the number one employer tactic for “attracting, retaining and rewarding the best employees in your organization.”

And with a WFM driving the process, it’s easy to do.