Workforce Management Basics

What is workforce management?

Workforce Management is a set of processes that have been integrated into a business or institution in order to optimise the productivity and efficiency of their employees from a multitude of levels. In layman’s terms, workforce management is a process that allows managers to assign the right number of trained staff to the right job at the right time.

One of the most popular ways to maintain workforce management is by using spreadsheets. 92% of organisations claim they still utilise spreadsheets in order to manage certain aspects of their workforce, but 42% of these businesses admit that using a spreadsheet makes it increasingly difficult to manage their workforce and keep track of customer demands.

Workforce management software is a cost effective and simple solution when it comes to managing your workforce, often resulting in lower operational costs, a reduced rate of attrition and enhanced customer experience. If your business relies on colleagues working on-site, then ensuring you know where your colleagues are, which job they are working on and whether they have the correct skill set and equipment to deal with the situation at hand is imperative, which is where workforce management comes in. Effective workforce management means that your service level attainment is better than your average speed of answering customer calls and resolving complaints on-site.

Workforce Management Principles

Forecast The Demands

Forecasting allows you to predict future workloads based upon historical data sets, allowing you to see if there is a pattern of calling time for customers. The more historical data you obtain gives a more relevant overview of trends analysis and patterns. Historical data should be collected from all the applicable channels used to communicate with customers. Whether that is email, chat, web, on-site or phone lines. Tracking and recording this data enables you to rota the correct amount of people with the correct skillset to each platform.

Pairing historical data with upcoming trends will also enable you to see plan for and rota the right number of staff with adequate skill set to on that particular time of the year. Certain trends and events will impact the volume of people needing services, and the services you are able to provide.  One off events may not be captured by historical data, and can have an affect on the efficiency of your workforce and the customer experience provided. The majority of workforce management software have unique algorithms that will give a much more detailed and accurate result that you would not get with a spreadsheet.

Schedule Your Agents

Staff scheduling is a very complex and often stressful task, that requires a magnitude of objectives and possible outcomes to be taken into consideration (holidays, days off, potential sick days and much more). Automation, optimisation and integration are imperative when it comes to staff scheduling, and it is important to meet all the contractual and legal requirements that go into creating a rota.

Workforce management principles automates all of these necessities whilst allowing employees to participate in this process. As workforce management software enables you to predict long-term needs, you will also be able to develop your training programme in order to fulfill your capacity and meet your training needs.

Assign Your Agents

There are numerous ways for organisations to assign specific tasks to colleagues in order to meet the operational needs. Shift bidding can simplify this, as each agent’s performance, problem handling ability, tenure and availability will be taken into consideration, therefore giving them a specific schedule that will benefit both themselves and the client. Workforce management software accounts for all of this, giving tasks and projects to colleagues who will execute them efficiently.

Monitor Performance via Analytic Management

As with any process that aims to improve workplace efficiency, workforce management requires the ongoing monitoring of every colleagues’ adherence to the schedules created in order to make sure every call-out has been seen to and their demands met. Analysing phone calls, call-outs, installations and repairs issued in real-time will help you to see if your forecast needs improving, and will assist in giving time for non-scheduled events such as retraining. Another obvious point that comes with analytic management of your workforce in real time means that you can see when the demands will likely be higher, and solicit for more staff and over time.