As contact centre professionals, we all understand the importance of workforce management tools and processes in ensuring that we have enough agents to work each shift. All too often our thoughts and attitudes towards this important function stop there. This means we are selling ourselves short in our ability to affect our organisations at large.
In the last 10 years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the workforce. Today, more than ever before, employees are prioritising work/life balance as a critical aspect when evaluating a potential employer. Contact centre employees want to ensure that any organisation they join will allow them the freedom they require to enjoy this balance.
In addition, employees want insight into the impact their time and effort have to customers and the organisation through feedback sessions, reporting and recognition. This is a trend we should truly embrace as it means the workforce management team can dramatically impact employee recruiting and retention!
Here are four ways to use your workforce management tools to help make the contact centre more attractive to potential (and current) employees.
Most organisations take a top-down approach to schedule generation: we look first at the number of people we need and create work shifts based on those requirements. This often results in static, standardised work shifts (i.e. 8 AM-5 PM Mon-Fri, 10 AM-7 PM Tue-Sat, etc.). The reason for this type of standardisation is primarily that we are simply programmemed to think of work schedules in these terms.
In reality, there is no benefit to this type of scheduling other than simplicity. By allowing agents to build their own schedules through tools like Dynamic Scheduling and other flexible scheduling solutions we can empower agents to better control their work/life balance.
As an industry we have been saying for years that the remote office is right around the corner. In 2019, we are finally seeing this prediction come to fruition. Working from home is a very attractive option to many segments of the working population including students, parents of pre-school aged children, and other segments of the workforce who simply aren’t interested in traditional brick-and-mortar employment situations.
If your organisation has not yet considered opening work-from-home opportunities for your agents now is a great time to start evaluating this as an option. Read our full guide on managing remote workers to learn more about mastering this transition.
Studies have shown that implementing a gamification component to your KPI’s is a very effective way to motivate your employees to high levels of performance. When you embed a gaming aspect into your performance management programme it enables agents to see the value they are bringing to the organisation. In addition, this adds a level of fun to their daily work lives that can truly bring their performance to the next level. For ideas on getting started, read our blog on How to Use Call Centre Games to Improve Agent Performance.
By combining the previous three ideas together, many forward-thinking organisations have begun experimenting with a Workforce Management Marketplace and are seeing amazing results from their efforts!
By attaching a value to KPI’s and allowing agents to build “points” they can redeem for things like work shift flexibility, work-from-home opportunities, and other WFM related benefits. In addition to tangible benefits like company swag and time-off, it provides real motivation for employees to meet and exceed their objectives.
These are just a few ideas that can help to sell your organisation to both prospective employees as well as your existing staff. The key to recruiting and retaining quality staff is to demonstrate that we value our employees as individuals their contributions to the organisation.
Changing the way we think about workforce management can have a dramatic impact on employee morale which leads not only to better retention of our staff, but also to significant improvements to customer service. Always remember: happy agents means happy customers!