(What do you mean this thing does much more!?!?)
Note: This blog was written by Juanita Coley and originally published on SWPP.org back in 2016. Only minor updates have been made, but the information is just as pertinent today as it was then.
Have you ever bought a new phone and didn’t fully understand all its capabilities, so you just used the basic functionality (talk and/or text)? *deep sigh raises hand, hangs head low real low* Later you find out that the phone does so much more than you even imagined and if you’d been using it to its full capacity, you could have solved world hunger by now…okay, more than a slight exaggeration but you get the point.
When speaking of the WFM team, I’ve heard operational leaders say, “don’t you guys just update the schedules?” While optimizing and maintaining schedules are a part of the WFM process, this shouldn’t be the extent of the team’s focus. It is important that the WFM team clearly conveys the full life cycle of the WFM process and that the Operational team takes full advantage of all the wonderful world of WFM has to offer.
Workforce Management isn’t about being the big brother of the Contact Center or simply updating agent schedules. When done right, WFM adds tremendous value and positively impacts all areas of the Contact Center, from Human Resources all the way to Executive leadership. If this isn’t your WFM team’s truth, here are just a few tips on how they can get started on positively impacting change and being used to maximum capacity.
1. Examine: Charity starts at home. Before you can go out evangelizing to the masses about what you do, ensure your internal WFM team knows what they do and why they do it. Whenever I’ve gone into companies and started asking questions about why things are done a specific way and the reply was “because we’ve always done it like this,” most often they’ve had no clue why it was done, the impact it made, or if it was even a necessity.
2. Educate: Tell them what they need before they know they need it. As WFM leaders, it is our job to observe and listen to the needs of the operational leaders and then tell them how they get the most benefit from your service. We are the trusted advisors of the Contact Center. However, it’s not until you start acting like it that they will feel comfortable leaving the business in your, very capable, hands.
3. Execute: OK, so you told operations you would do it, but you didn’t do it!?!?! Let’s go back to #1 and ensure your team knows what they do and why they do it. Once you’ve positioned the team as trusted advisors, execution is king. This is where playbooks come into play and running “what if…” scenarios are important. This ensures you can deliver on what you promised.
4. Evaluate: So simple, yet so impactful. When things don’t go according to plan stop, drop, and evaluate the process. Typically, when things go wrong, it’s not a people problem. Instead there is likely a process problem that need to be addressed.
Examine, Educate, Execute, Evaluate This methodology should be on “wash, rinse, and repeat” within your WFM operations! This should also be done for all 4 components of the WFM lifecycle (Data Analysis, Forecasting, Scheduling, Real-time / Intraday Management).