Workforce Management (WFM) and Shrinkage

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In this video we look at shrinkage and how it impacts contact centres.

We asked a number of experts in workforce management for their definition of the term shrinkage. Includes interviews with Krzyś Leśków of Genesys as well as Paul Weald and Andy Turner of ProtoCall One.

This videoCast was filmed at the ProtoCall One Genesys Workforce Management User Group.

Click here to use our Call Centre Erlang Staffing Calculator – including Shrinkage

Video Transcript


Hi, I’m Jonty Pearce, and welcome to the Call Centre Helper three minute videocast.

Now if you’re not actively involved with workforce management you may be confused about the term shrinkage. So recently at the ProtoCall One Genesys Workforce Management User Group we asked a range of experts for their definition of the term shrinkage.

This issue of the video cast is brought to you by ProtoCall One – making contact centres work for you

Krzys Leskow, Senior Solutions Engineer, Genesys:

Shrinkage effectively is a measure that has to be taken into account when you’re looking at staff requirements.

Paul Weald, Strategy Director, ProtoCall One:

Shrinkage is an absolute number in the same way that the service level is and so forth. But shrinkage is about understanding how much of the time that someone is planned to be doing an activity, they actually spend doing it.

So in other words if you are late going on a break, if you’re late returning from a break, then you’re cutting down in terms of the time that you’re working that particular day.


So just to give you an example – if you think about coming into work on Monday morning, when you start the shift 8 o’clock you have something like 10 people who’s required.

But effectively we need more than that because people will be late, people have doctor’s appointments, people might not be turning up for work.  And that effectively takes that figure into the realm of 12 or 13.


And what factors would you say, you know what things make up shrinkage?

Andy Turner, Solutions Director, ProtoCall One:

There’s this, there’s two types: essentially the planned shrinkages and the unplanned. The planned being we’re going to allow so many today for breaks or training, or say for comfort breaks we’re going to plan that in.

The unplanned is when people or either late coming into work, or they’re sick, or they’ve had a domestic sort of situation means they can’t come in.

So you’ve got planned and unplanned essentially, that you need to be aware of when you’re doing resource planning strategy.


And what would you say would be a sort of an average shrinkage figure or shrinkage target?


That’s a good one. I mean there are a lot of people that would sort of think if you’re getting 55% sort of performance you’re doing very well. So sort of you know the difference being that they’re not you have got that coverage in terms of reality.

People will say they plan for seven hours, we’re actually working for five hours, for example. By the time you’re stripped out all those sort of planned shrinkages type of thing. So you know it can be quite significant depending on the business you’ve got.

A very people-oriented business for example, that invests heavily in their staff, then you know you can have to expect that you’re going to be taking people away from the phones for some significant amount of time


That’s all we’ve got time for. I’m Jonty Pearce and thank you for watching the Call Centre Helper three-minute videocast

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 26th Jan 2011 - Last modified: 15th Nov 2023
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