The 5Ps of Workforce Management (Part 1: Principles)

Updated August 2016

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Check-ups are vital to keep a person running at their best. Your Workforce Management system is no different. We’ve identified 5 areas that every workforce manager needs take the pulse of in order to make adjustments and keep their WFM program at its best.​

The 5Ps of workforce management – PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES, PROCESSES, ​ PEOPLE, and PRODUCT – will strengthen your contact center, but first you need to know how to spot warning signs and get a healthy start. As part of a 5-part series, we will be outlining each week one of the five principles.

This week we will be covering the first P - PRINCIPLES.
Workforce Management principles represent the fundamental “truths” about the manner in which contact centers ensure their customer contacts are handled efficiently. Like the fundamental truths of physics at work in the universe, workforce management principles are at work in your contact center whether you understand them or not.

  • All contact center leaders are faced with the same challenge of how to do more with less but not all experience the same results.
  • The more a leader understands the principles of workforce management, the better he is able to harness the power of WFM to handle more customer contacts with fewer agent resources and “do more with less.”
  • Applicable to all contact center organizations, workforce management principles are there to provide the necessary foundation for the decisions you make about how you staff your contact center, the technology you use, the processes you put in place and roles and responsibilities you assign to your team.
  • DID YOU KNOW: The NICE Workforce Management Benchmark Report shows that your peers are doing some things right? They are finding more ways to engage their employees in scheduling. 56% are using schedule bidding, another 37% are using preference-based scheduling, and 17% plan on giving their employees access to a rules-driven, “design my own schedule”, solution in the next 12 to 24 months.           GET REPORT

Workforce management principles fall into 4 primary categories:

FORECASTING PRINCIPLES support your contact center’s need to accurately predict how many agents to hire and schedule in order to handle anticipated customer contacts within a given service level goal.

SCHEDULING PRINCIPLES support your contact center’s need to efficiently plan each agent’s time in a way that accommodates their personal needs, accomplishes necessary operational activities and ensures sufficient coverage of forecasted resource requirements.

INTRADAY MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES support your contact center’s need to proactively respond to changes in customer demand and agent availability in order to meet service level objectives consistently throughout the day.

PERFORMANCE REPORTING PRINCIPLES support your contact center’s need to monitor its effectiveness against a standard set of metrics to ensure that any issues are quickly identified and eliminated in the future.


Get a healthy start:

  • Service Level Attainment, as opposed to Average​ Speed of Ans​wer or Abandon percentages, is the best indicator of your business’s performance as it relates to contact handling efficiency. But when it comes to Service Level, the bigger your measurement, the easier it is to “look” good. Reporting monthly, weekly or daily averages can hide huge inefficiencies and less-than stellar customer service.
  • To measure your contact center’s true Service Level performance, and to identify specific opportunities for improvement, try the banded method:
    1. Establish an acceptable range, or “band” around your Service Level target. For example, if your target is 90/30, your band might be anything between 95/30 and 85/30.
    2. On a daily basis, report the percentage of intervals when your Service Level fell within the band, above the band and below the band (the total should equal 100%)

For more information about NICE Workforce Management Solutions, please visit​

UP NEXT: The 5Ps of Workforce Management – PRACTICES - a detailed guide of how to take create and strengthen healthy WFM practices.​​​​


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