Will Davenport of Business Systems looks at why keeping employees happy and engaged should be a number-one priority in improving services, increasing productivity and achieving targets.
The power of social media has made consumers sceptical about the claims brands make about themselves. The same now goes for the workplace.
Today, employees are no longer happy to read a company’s marketing brochure. Instead, they want to hear about the experiences of others who have worked there and how they feel they have been treated. It’s what has become known as ‘The Glassdoor Effect’.
This social media trend has made companies realize that online reviews about their culture, policies and so forth can cost them when it comes to securing new talent and then retaining them. It has made them look closely at their employee engagement strategies for retaining call centre staff.
The Glassdoor Effect has also given companies the opportunity to build up their appeal and sell themselves as a place where employees really want to work.
This is where the power of workforce management can come in, but its potential here is often not fully appreciated. Workforce management systems are usually labelled as administrator-led tools.
They enable contact centre managers to make sure the right people are in the right place at the right time. However, while workforce management systems are very proficient at optimizing resources, providing accurate forecasts and better cost management, this isn’t their only use.
They can also empower agents to manage their own work schedules.
A workforce management solution can offer agents control over their working lives. Agents can quickly and easily check shift requirements and make shift-change requests, for example, and get an immediate response.
Creating an environment of responsibility and self-development can help to motivate staff and provide them with real flexibility in managing their work/life commitments.
Connected and engaged employees take higher ownership of customer issues overall and are more productive, making it faster to hit targets.
Maximizing the Power of Workforce Management (WFM)
The proof, however, is seeing the concept in action. Take Zen Internet, for example, which offers data, voice and hosting services in the UK to business and residential customers.
The company, which has been quick to see the benefits of smart workforce management, has been mentioned in the influential Sunday Times’ Top 100 companies to work for.
Zen provides workforce management to its employees via a mobile app. Zen’s management team has been hugely impressed with the 72 hours of personal development that has been scheduled and delivered to its team of agents, against a low 12 hours before the app was implemented.
Line managers have noted the positive impact of taking an advisor offline in order to invest in their development. It has also been much easier for managers to see the availability of each agent and plan resources accordingly.
On the business side, Zen has been able to reduce processing times significantly, while having much greater visibility of the call centre as a whole.
This has allowed it to further improve operational efficiencies and become more agile, which is essential for business in the digital economy. As well as bolstering its bottom line, it has enabled it to better manage its transformation and expansion roadmap.