Workforce Management and Spreadsheets

Nothing is quite so satisfying as finding a workaround to solve a problem that would have otherwise cost you money. It’s creative. Sometimes simpler. Often ingenuous. Always cheaper.
Of course, sometimes the workaround turns out to be a disaster in disguise, doesn’t it?
For call center workforce management, the workaround is the spreadsheet.
Sure, for some centers, implementing workforce automation is a kind of atomic flyswatter. With a few agents to manage, handling schedules and tracking performance can be accomplished successfully with the spreadsheet.
But (and maybe you’ve already learned this) it doesn’t take much growth before companies find themselves swallowed up by manual workforce management. Those spreadsheets quickly become sinkholes of time and money. You spend hours each week gathering data from disparate sources and databases, cutting, pasting and importing it all into a single spreadsheet, mapping data fields, writing and running macros, exporting results and finally creating a report—a report, it has to be said, that’s out of date before it’s distributed.
Basic workforce management is a burden this way. Innovation is impossible. Spreadsheets eliminate the possibility of using advanced management and motivation techniques to improve the performance and productivity of your agent teams. It’s just too hard, too complex: too much of a Rube Goldberg machine.
Especially when it comes to Gamification.

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I can tell you from personal experience that core workforce management may be a burden with a spreadsheet, but Gamification is impossible. Now you’re not just tracking performance and attendance, you’re establishing rules about achievement levels, evaluating your employees against their own performance, and comparing their performance with everyone else’s. You’re generating symbols of recognition (badges) and posting them for view—some just by the individual and some by everybody. And you’re doing this on a week-to-week, day-to-day, basis. Reward generation, individual status displays, leaderboard preparation: impossible to do with a spreadsheet.
Maybe you’re a spreadsheet-based operation that’s finally realized that Enough is Enough. Maybe you’re a WFM solution user without a Gamification option. No matter: the ability to create a gamified workplace should rise to the top of your requirements list for 2016—and it should drive your workforce management decisions. If you’re planning on your first WFM system, make sure Gamification is part of the solution you choose. If you’re already automated, and don’t have Gamification as an option, the time for an upgrade is upon you.