Managing and measuring a workforce management team

Cayley Muir Workforce Management May 22, 2017 3 min read

How do you measure the measurers? As contact centers leaders of workforce management and resource planning teams we know there is never a shortage of data at our fingertips. Most organizations are challenged when it comes to translating data into information and even more so when it comes to acting on that information.

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The best Workforce Management teams are those that can do that on behalf of an organization. WFM professionals are a trusted source, for providing insights into operational performance, a forecast of what’s to come, a staffing plan to deliver customer outcomes.

In this environment with an endless selection of measurements, how do you measure the performance of the measurers? To what extent can you hold a planner accountable for the accuracy of their forecast? What about an intraday team to queue service level performance? In the big ecosystem of a contact center these are oft-disputed metrics when it comes to individual and team performance evaluations, as it is well understood that the WFM team has a significant impact on the numbers but there are so many other factors at play.

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What are the key metrics your contact center is focused on? Look for things that show up repeatedly on scorecards at many levels, every environment is different but there will always be 3 - 5 numbers that pop up on scorecards from Supervisors to CEOs.

Get S.M.A.R.T.E.R

Strong leaders know the value of a SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-bound) goal. All the metrics available to leaders in a WFM environment essentially mean that this basic criterion is fulfilled. So, we need to take it two steps further, when applying this to a metric that accurately and fairly represents the performance of a WFM team. We need to get SMART-E.R.

Empowering - Consider empowering each individual on your team to ‘own’ one key metric. This allows for a shift in mindset from seeking out the reasons why they can’t influence it and instead encourages creative thinking and collaboration with others. This allows you to leverage the diversity of the team, drive overall performance and foster an environment where each person has a distinct objective and focus that there can drive for whilst still balancing the many aspects of the operation.

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Rewarding - This can come in the form of incentive pay or bonuses but also in a more human sense which can also often be lacking from teams that are typically heavily numbers driven. Contact centers are often so focused on driving and rewarding front line agent behavior that behind the scenes teams get forgotten. Ensuring clear and appropriate rewards are tied to your goals is a powerful motivator not to be forgotten for Workforce Management Professionals.

Simplify for the Win

In a world where things quickly get complex, keeping things simple is key. As a leader setting out goals and measures of success for a WFM team three simple concepts can make this process painless.

  1. Find the common metric that is measured from Supervisor to CEO
  2. Empower WFM teams to take ownership of a metric
  3. Reward achievement consistently
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