Have you Popped the Question? Two Ways to Engage Employees With WFM

Many service organizations face an employee engagement challenge. According to Gallup’s Employee Engagement Index, service workers are the only category of employees that are less engaged today than two years ago.

It is no secret that engaged employees contribute additional skills, stay longer with the company, and deliver a better customer experience. So, how are your workforce management professionals engaging their people on a day-to-day basis?

Two ways to put this into practice are: schedule ownership and gamification.

We recently advised an organization with 2,000 agents that was using a giant Excel spreadsheet to manage schedules. The glut of data had created a problem – schedules were published 30 days in advance. If an employee couldn’t make a shift, they submitted a change request to a central email address, but it was taking 45 days to process those requests. This produced a lot of missed shifts and unhappy employees.

So, put more ownership of schedules in employees’ hands. Give them easy-to-use tools that allow them to trade shifts, request time off and more. Introduce shift bidding or ‘availability points,’ where every employee has a quota of points they need to meet for the week. Assign points to each shift, offering more points for the shifts that are hardest to fill. Best of all, automated processes can turn 45-day change request queues into instant approvals. Technology can help resolve the tension and ensure employees feel accountable for their schedule.

Beyond engaging employees in their schedules, engage them in their performance. Gamification is the application of game mechanics to workplace activities. For example, creating a ‘badge’ for an employee that works back-to-back-to-back graveyard shifts; or, rewarding an employee with points for consistently meeting adherence goals. This application of technology inspires healthy competition, but also collaboration - creating social channels for employees to ask questions and share ideas.

Motivate employees by involving them in the way they work. Offering more schedule ownership and introducing gamification will help your employees be more focused and more engaged. Ultimately, that means the right person will be ready to handle the right call at the right time - this is Workforce Management gold.

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