Bracing for the Great Resignation: 5 Ways Workforce Optimization Can Refine Remote Work
With more than half of Americans planning to search for a new job over the next 12 months, many employers are looking for ways to keep their workers engaged. Most of us have adjusted to a remote or a hybrid work style, but now it’s time for companies to rethink what that experience is like. They’ll need to re-evaluate – not just from a technology and environment standpoint but from a leadership, change management, and career-growth perspective as well.
A great way for companies, specifically Contact Centers, to refine remote work operations is through workforce optimization (WFO). Workforce optimization streamlines hybrid contact center operations by integrating tools for quality management (QM), workforce management (WFM), interaction analytics, performance management, gamification, and more. Here are five ways you can use WFO solutions to develop and optimize your hybrid workforce:
- Agent QM dashboards
It’s easy to kick-off monthly or quarterly KPIs with conviction but lose momentum as agents start to focus on the immediate task of serving customers. Providing remote agents with real-time KPI tracking using individualized dashboards keeps them actively involved and engaged in the quality process. Some solutions even show the agent how their supervisor has scored their customer interactions compared with an automated scoring engine. This gives agents visibility and the ability to respectfully disagree with an interaction score, opening continuous communication with their supervisor until a resolution is reached. Individualized agent dashboards create a transparent quality process, facilitate communication with supervisors, and allow remote agents to truly own their performance and growth.
A little healthy competition never hurts, especially when close-knit teams are no longer working in the office. Gamification is a great way to keep remote or hybrid agent workforces engaged. It fosters healthy, positive competition which, in turn, promotes increased agent productivity, motivation, and overall performance. Gamification turns agent metrics, such as first call resolution rate, into motivating challenges that lead to virtual or real-life rewards. Successfully implementing a gamification strategy helps engage your remote or hybrid teams, keeps them productive, and strengthens your company culture.
- Flexible scheduling and shift bidding
Agents working at home or in a hybrid model are looking for ways to manage their daily activities such as childcare, commuting, and even their new working environments. Working traditional hours is often hard to accomplish given these challenges. Flexible scheduling via workforce management solutions give your agents the opportunity to work hours that are most convenient for them. You can also provide your agents the ability to see all available shifts and select the shift that fits well with their lifestyle. This option, known as shift bidding, promotes morale and reduces agent stress while providing your contact center with accurate schedules that meet forecasts.
- WFM mobile apps
Whether you have a hybrid working model or your agents all work remotely, agents are not always at their desks 24/7. Your agents need to be mobile and accessible. Workforce management mobile applications allow your agents to keep up to date on their schedules and adhere to them from anywhere. Agents can receive instant notifications on their smartphones for shift openings, overtime, undertime, and more. Supervisors can also receive immediate responses to shift adjustments, helping to simplify schedule changes and free up time to work on other workforce management priorities. Lastly, unexpected things happen to everyone. Whether one of your agents is caring for a sick child or they discover issues with their car, there are some things we can’t avoid. Workforce management apps help your agents report they’ll be late or must call out, resulting in an automatic update to the schedule. This ensures everyone is in the loop and allows for WFM analysts to plan accordingly and ensure staffing levels stay optimized.
Regular check-ins and 1-on-1s
And finally, keep your agents connected. It’s common for remote agents to feel left out and sidelined. Now more than ever, you’ll need to work hard to preserve your employee experience and keep employees connected while everyone is juggling time working in-person and working remotely. Use workforce management solutions to schedule 1- on-1 meetings with your agents to provide agents individual opportunities to address any concerns in private and maintain that sense of connection to you. Similarly, meet regularly with your team for things like virtual workout classes, meditation sessions, a happy hour or whatever you can think of to build team spirit and support agent growth.
To learn more about how WFO can help refine your contact center operations, check out our CX Summit WFO Track: Empower Agents and Deliver Results Anywhere. It will feature deep dive discussions, customer panels and insights from industry experts such as Donna Fluss, President of DMG Consulting. Register today!