Workforce Management Feature Article
June 02, 2011
Workforce Management Helps to Create a Solid Performance Plan for the Call Center
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
How motivated is your workforce? It is not enough for your call center agents to know what is expected of them. Yes, there are certain tasks they need to complete and a certain volume of work that you expect from them every day in order to hand them a paycheck at the end of the week. But, are you in business to merely survive or do you want to thrive?
In order to thrive in the call center space, you must be able to inspire and motivate your agents for greatness. This may require the implementation of a robust workforce management solution. Why? As important as it is to motivate your employees, this is also one of the more challenging tasks for a call center manager to take on in a given day. Its importance, however, is demonstrated in the impact it can have on call center performance and overall success.
This concept was explored in a recent Monet Software blog, stressing the importance of motivation and the role that workforce management can play in the task. It does require that you develop a plan of action and this plan will depend upon your industry, the size of your call center, the culture of your company and the people you manage, but by taking a few things into consideration, the result can be improved motivation among your staff and better performance overall.
To truly motivate your employees beyond the workforce management platform, practice clear communication. You need to clearly define what you expect from your agents and how their performance is measured. If you give them the tools to perform and clearly communicate your expectations, you are more likely to be rewarded with performance. At the same time, include your agents in your process to solve problems as they often affect them, too.
Be sure to recognize your agents who have done a good job. Make their accomplishments – and your praise – public. Combine this practice with building confidence among your reps as they are the face/voice of the company. Empower them to perform by giving them the knowledge to do their jobs well. Develop the skills of your agents through regular coaching and training and incorporate this into your workforce management.
Develop teams within your environment and be sure these teams can work well together. Create a solid infrastructure by making sure the office, chairs, headsets and other elements are functional and provide a positive experience for your agents. Don’t expect them to handle every call with a smile if they are sitting in an uncomfortable chair.
It is also important to develop flexible schedules. Communicate to your employees that you have heard and understand their needs. Offer flexible start and stop times and you’ll find happier employees and a more productive call center as a result of your workforce management platform. Properly forecast for call volume so as not to under work or overwork your agents. And, most importantly, lead by example. Don’t expect from your agents what you are unable to do or provide.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco