Can WFM be a role model to Ops?

Getting the most out of your contact centre is not often an easy task, considering that the deciding factor on whether or not your plan is executed effectively is very dependant on people. It therefore becomes a major and sensitive task to get people to follow the plan. Some will say that the execution of the WFM plan is the responsibility of the operations team right? That maybe so but can the WFM team do more than just provide a sheet of numbers predicting volumes and expected Service Levels?

When I managed my own WFM team, it changed my perspective on just how much of an impact we could have in the Operations, by simply practicing the same values we expected of our agents. We focused on three things:

  1. Team Productivity – Using the same dashboards and reports, aligned to the workload in our WFM team, we could showcase our Productivity in the WFM team, instead of just reporting on a Forecast Variance score.
  2. Time Management – I often heard the words “WFM isn’t chained their desks but they expect us to be”. While the workload in the WFM team is very different to that of an agent, managing one’s time is a behaviour. As a team, we ensured we kept to the number of breaks allowed as well as the break length, even though we did not have a set schedule due to the workload and meetings, when we took breaks, we practiced time keeping and eventually the other employees in the chill rooms and pause areas started taking notice of it and followed our example.
  3. Multi-skilling – Each member in the team had a defined role and specific responsibilities however, everyone in the team was up-skilled to compile, interpret and explain any WFM stat or insight that we provided because in the event that Head of Ops walked over to WFM and asked for information urgently, do we as a support function have the luxury to say “we’ll get back to you”?

Does your WFM team practice the same behaviours it expects from the contact centre agents they plan for and should they practice it?

Having a streamlined WFM team, performing at a 90% productivity level should surely set the ultimate example to Ops and create valuable relationships built on trust, knowing that those responsible for your contact centre planning, are doing so with commitment and belief.

Corey Sewpersad
WFM Leadership | BI Analyst | Financial Planning

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