Workforce Management and Getting Everyone to Row Together

You may have heard this one: The galley slavemaster tells his crew that he has both good news and bad news. The good news is that everyone is getting an extra ration of hand cream. The bad news is that the ship’s captain has decided to take up water skiing.

The rowers in this classic gag have been subjected to an extreme form of workforce management that employed both good (albeit deceptive) communications, but a particularly bad outcome. Nowadays, especially in large call centers, the communications half of the process is definitely important, but people sometimes row to the beat of a different drum and don’t respond well to up close and personal “big-brother” supervision.

Workforce Management (WFM) software gives you the cold facts that can lead to warm and fuzzy feelings or a quick heads up for quick corrective action

If your call center, contact portal or help desk is the vital front door to the success of your enterprise (and whose isn’t?) you definitely need to keep a slightly jaundiced but positively focused eye on how your representatives are pulling their weight. You can’t chain them to their terminals, but you need to, as Ronald Reagan once remarked about the Soviets, “trust but verify.”

Positive expectations pretty much yield the behavior you’re looking for, but workforce management software gives you the cold facts that can lead to warm and fuzzy feelings or a quick heads up for quick corrective action, if needed. It does it without intimidation – unless your rep is uncomfortable with job and work accountability, which is something somewhat outside the scope of this discussion.

In the days before all this great software became available, WFM was done on paper and through self-reporting. Time sheets had to be other reports charging off labor to projects, customers, budget line items, etc.

It was all done on the honor system: the manager had the honor; the employees had the system. What could not be remembered or properly charged off was simply “pencil whipped” to keep the grouchy folks in accounting less grouchy.

Today’s WFM takes the procrastinating pencil out of the hands of the employee, who needs to focus on the customer. The honest and hardworking rep has the evidence that he or she deserves recognition and advancement. Everyone knows that their performance is tracked, not by Big Brother, but everyone’s little friend, the WFM system that never sleeps and never lies.

Then there are the previously grouchy folks in accounting, who have everything they need to go to their happy place of analytics, reports and projections. Instead of entering suspect and perhaps specious data collected from busy procrastinators, it’s all there in the data that accumulates at the front door.

If your company is managing the workforce on paper or with Excel spreadsheets, there is a better way with USAN Workforce Management software. Learn more about it and contact us today.