Workforce Management: It’s More Than You Think


On the surface, workforce management (WFM) can feel like a tough nut to crack. It’s not always well understood because while it performs the imperative labor management functions, agents and supervisors only have the insight into a small amount of that functionality. Primarily, only the workforce planning staff sees the whole picture of WFM capabilities.  Truth be told, WFM is a bit of a mystery to most contact center employees.  

WFM is often described as being comprised of three key functions:  

1.) Forecasting likely contact center volumes 

2.) Scheduling enough agents to service these volumes 

3.) Tracking agent activity throughout the day to ensure they’re adhering to their schedules.  

These are key components of the WFM planning process, but it’s actually much more than that.   

In fact, when you dig in, you get a better understanding of all it is capable of.   

  • A user-friendly interface for any actions related to contact center laborAgents, supervisors and workforce management planning staff use WFM every day. It’s the lifeline of customer-facing staff to view and change their personal schedules. And, for the planning team, it’s the best tool for understanding and managing how the labor matches contact center volumes.  
  • A collection point and storehouse of workforce information from systems and peopleA huge amount of historical and real-time data are required for WFM to forecast, schedule and track. This data is collected from the ACD/router, agents, workforce planners and administrators. It’s a powerful source of information on all things related to the workforce. 
  • A source of intelligence to automate many tactical workforce actions – For repetitive actions, WFM is a convenient way to automate that work.  This can include automated approval of agent requests for schedule changes, dashboard presentation of adherence to official schedules, and business rules that enforce schedule compliance with labor laws and business labor policies.  
  • An analytical tool to help workforce planners make the best strategic decisions – With the rich storehouse of data and mathematical models of how a particular contact center functions, WFM is a powerful tool that allows workforce planners to experiment with different control levers to see how most effectively meet the contact center objectives.  For example, they could test how service levels and labor cost are affected on Thursday by adding 20 agents to the customer service queue.
  • A conscience for the agent workforce – WFM can act as an invisible presence that is always monitoring agent activity. Because of real-time access to the ACD, WFM is constantly comparing timing of customer contact activity with the official schedule, and agents know that there is some level of scrutiny being given to their adherence to schedule.  In effect, it encourages attention to each agent’s work obligations.

Learn more about the capabilities of Aspect® Workforce Management™ solutions and request a demo.