Top Five Benefits of WFM: A Review

I want to repeat myself a little today. Over the last months I’ve shared some of the points of value of a first-caliber Workforce Management Solution in as much detail as these short posts allow. But I thought I’d catch my breath, take a step back, and bring all those benefits together in a quick-look set of summaries.

Motivation

This is the one common theme in everything I write or say about WFM—there’s nothing to point you to because it’s everywhere. Every aspect of WFM—from forecast to schedule to analysis—is designed to, ultimately, make the agents’ job more satisfying, to engage the agents more completely, and to motivate them to work well and to work hard.

Of course, it’s a strong tool for management as well, allowing you to better plan, monitor and adjust the business of staffing a call center.

Retention

Some think that the most important benefit of WFM is increased retention. A well-managed workforce and a positive work environment hold on to its agents. We see this in a lot of cases. One customer experienced a 4% drop in absenteeism and a 16% rise in retention rate. Another saw attrition drop from 27% to 7% and absenteeism slashed in half.

Gamification

Smart HR departments everywhere—across industries—have deployed some level of gamification to their employee experience. Gamification isn’t about having fun on the job. It’s about applying sound principles of behavioral science to the challenge of creating a more energetic and dynamic work environment. Using a mix of challenge, competition and reward, gamification allows your agents to strive for and achieve goals on every shift.

Scheduling

Scheduling is far more than making schedules—that’s something you rTeally can do with a spreadsheet. Scheduling, in the right hands holding the right tools, can become a strategic way of increasing productivity and lowering attrition. With WFM you can unleash initiatives that include shift swapping, flexible scheduling, and even employee self scheduling. You can’t do that with a spreadsheet, unless you have advanced spreadsheet development resources. Letting people more fully blend home and work improves retention and reduces absenteeism

Forecasting

Speaking of spreadsheets, here’s a formula we shared for calculating a service level forecast.

zdk = ρqd ,k +φ d + εdk; εdkN(0, σ2),

I know: no way. There’s a lot more to accurately forecasting staffing and resources than tracking call volume. It’s that much deeper level—it’s the quality of the forecasting algorithms—that allows great WFMs to perform great forecasting. Those systems take into account caller mission, influences on behavior, the mix of IVR and live agent call loads, and more to help you nail staffing around the clock.

If you’ve reached a point where your current WFM isn’t doing what you need—or you’re ready to move off the spreadsheet once and for all—read more deeply into the blog posts I’ve shared here. I think you’ll get a useful pictures of all that a first-quality system—our partner Teleopti is at the top of that list—can do for your call center operation.