Ensure Workforce Management is Aligned with Company Goals and Culture
Increasingly, workforce management is being used by a variety of industries to help make the most out of human resources. Once the provenance of contact centers, transportation fleets and factory floors, it’s showing up in sales departments, banks and even on executive floors. The software-driven nature of it – particularly when it’s in the cloud – means that it’s easier than ever today to manage workforces that are mobile or in disparate locations.
Companies should be certain, though, that their workforce management is properly aligned with their company goals, and vice versa. If the workforce management solution is driving employees in a way that doesn’t achieve company goals, then the entire organization will be working against itself. This is commonly seen in the contact center, where managers urge workers to keep standards of service high with customers while simultaneously flogging them (figuratively speaking, of course) to keep call times short. The two goals contradict each other.
In a recent article for Australia’s Financial Review, Shaun McCarthy writes that at the employee level, managers should recognize which employee behaviors lead to customer support excellence and reward that behavior.
“This means a supervisor praising a team member who is late for a toolbox meeting because they spent extra time examining an apparently working appliance just in case, rather than telling them off for wasting time and being late for the meeting,” wrote McCarthy. “If it wants to enable customer service, it needs to reward people going out of their way to solve a problem for the customer, not set limits like maximum four-minute calls in the call center.”
Contact centers will likely find, for example, that measuring first-call resolution and takings steps to boost it will translate to customer service quality much better than average handle time, which encourages agents to rush customers off the phone before their problems are solved. Making big changes requires companies to examine their company culture first, however. Sometimes, what companies wish their culture to be and what it really is are wildly different. By changing company culture not only with lip service, but with altered business processes that work toward goal achievement, the company will find a smoother path to success with outcomes.
Edited by Alicia Young