Why WFM is Giving Way to Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) | Calabrio
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Why WFM is Giving Way to Workforce Engagement Management (WEM)


In your contact center, workforce optimization (WFO) is currently giving way to workforce engagement management (WEM). Why is this?

According to Dimension Data’s 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, customer experience is “cited as the most important strategic performance measure, building customer trust and delivering tangible benefits on commercial performance, employee engagement and customer loyalty. … Balancing and aligning the satisfaction of customers and employees with the business strategy is the foundation for excellent customer experience.”1

This increased focus on employees—and growing awareness of employees’ critical roles in customer engagement—is driving significant market change. Saddletree Research says employee engagement will be a market driver in 2017.2 Gartner also predicts that by 2020, elevating employee engagement will become a key differentiator in more than 20 percent of contact centers, up from less than two percent in 2015.3

This is where WEM enters the picture. Described as “the next generation of WFO,” WEM delivers additional, agent-centered offerings that help organizations elevate and sustain the customer experience via their contact centers. Workforce engagement management tools like Voice-of-the-Employee (VoE) and agent assistance help:

  • Decrease contact center agent attrition
  • Arm agents with the tools they need to best serve customers
  • Align customers with the specific agents best able to quickly and satisfactorily resolve their customer service inquiries
  • Add soft benefits, such as contact center agent value and agent flexibility

As you can imagine, these new, employee-centered tools have the potential to powerfully, positively impact the customer experience. According to Dimension Data’s market research, ease of resolution counts most when it comes to customer satisfaction. By helping agents resolve inquiries more quickly and satisfactorily, your customers will enjoy a better contact center experience.

In addition to employee engagement, two other key factors contribute to the rise of WEM: the changing expectations of contact center agents and the scarcity of much-needed, high-caliber agents. Whether Millennial or Generation X, today’s employees—including those in the contact center—have different expectations and crave different types of benefits. Because of this shift, tools alone aren’t enough—if you want to engage better with your contact center agents, you also need to change the way your company works. All contact centers require a team of highly experienced, highly qualified agents to resolve the most challenging inquiries—yet these individuals are scarce and in high demand.

If your contact center is like most contact centers, the above probably sounds hauntingly familiar, so what can you do now to get started with WEM?

We at Calabrio recommend four key ways companies can build upon existing WFO strategies to realize the benefits of WEM:

  • Leverage analytics to shorten the employee feedback loop
  • Evolve scheduling and at-home agent philosophies
  • Involve agents in more business decisions
  • Increase operational improvements

Calabrio can help you do just this. We designed our award-winning, unified Calabrio ONE software suite to increase customer engagement and improve the customer experience—goals completely aligned with today’s WEM. With Calabrio ONE, you can more easily and efficiently overcome rising competitive threats, talent shortages and shrinking agent tenures.

To learn more about WEM and Calabrio ONE, read our detailed white paper “The Definitive Primer on Workforce Engagement Management (WEM)

  • Learn more about the market factors driving WEM
  • Find out practical strategies you can implement fast to get started with WEM
  • Discover specific capabilities Calabrio ONE offers to drive WEM change

1 Dimension Data, “2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report.”
2 Saddletree Research “Contact Center 2017: Pragmatism, People and Purpose.”
3 Gartner, “The Essential Shift from Workforce Optimization to Workforce Engagement Management.” May 24, 2016.

Kat Worman, experienced contact center professional with over 20 years in the industry.
Kat Worman has been working in the contact center industry longer than she cares to admit! With more than 20 years of experience, Kat has held numerous contact center positions including management, data analysis, strategic operations, and service level planning. Prior to joining Calabrio, Kat was a Principal Consultant specializing in the implementation of process and applications within the contact center. She has provided consulting services to Fortune 500 companies throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Kat specializes in partnering with key stakeholders and workforce planning teams to deliver unique solutions to contact center challenges.
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