The 5P’s of Workforce Management (Part4: People)

Updated August 2016

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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.

In part four of this five-part series we turn our attention to the heart of any organization, its’ people. After all it’s the people – managers, employees, executives—who keep businesses moving, and nobody knows better how to keep all the cogs of the wheel spinning in perfect order than a workforce management professional.

Workforce management people are those who bear responsibility for actually doing the work of workforce management. The ones we all know and recognize are:

  • Forecasters, responsible for accurately determining the number of agents to hire and staff in order to meet service level targets.
  • Schedulers, responsible for efficiently planning agent time and activities against forecast staffing requirements.
  • Intraday analysts, responsible for effectively responding to changes in requirements and agent availability in order to maximize service level attainment.

But there are other people who contribute to this cog who may not be so obvious, but whose roles are no-less important, they are:

  • Senior leaders who are responsible for communicating the strategic value of WFM to the organization and holding people accountable for following established processes.
  • Human resource professionals, who partner with WFM in developing hiring plans and scheduling practices that meet the needs of the contact center while considering the personal needs of agents.
  • Members of marketing, who provide critical insight into sales initiatives and campaigns that may drive volumes or impact average handling times.
  • New hire trainers, who teach agents how to efficiently handle customer contacts and who prepare them for success by reviewing key contact center metrics like average handling time and adherence.
  • Members of IT (Telecom), who are responsible for communicating routing changes that have the potential to impact volumes and for soliciting input on the effectiveness of current strategies.
  • Supervisors, who are responsible for ensuring the agents on their team handle contacts effectively, adhere to scheduled activities and who act on their behalf when schedule changes are needed.
  • Agents, who are ultimately responsible for meeting the needs of the customer in the most efficient manner possible.

Getting the obvious and the not-so-obvious players on the same page is not an easy task, but it’s worth the effort. When you create a culture of collaboration where people view the workforce management function as everyone’s job, you eliminate corporate silos, minimize finger pointing and create an open environment where people work together to achieve the centers objectives.


Get A Healthy Start on Workforce Management:

  • Information is power. When educating staff on WFM principles, include members of support organizations like HR and IT. Greater understanding will pave the way for increased collaboration.
  • Identify individuals within these groups who can provide input into WFM process design and who have the authority to make decisions regarding their organization’s involvement on a routine basis.
  • Creating SLA documents (service level agreements) is a great way to secure buy-in with other support organizations as well as ongoing support, communication and accountability.

We have many tools to help you get the most out of your employee engagement and guarantee employee satisfaction in the back office. Here are just two tools to help you win when it comes to the people that help you turn your back-office cog.


Gamification Playbook

​Tap into powerful intrinsic motivators with gamification. Engage your team with competition, collaboration and social sharing through technology. This playbook will show you how to leverage gamification to get the most out of your workforce and answer all of your trickiest gamification questions.





Workforce Management Benchmark Study

Motivate your team through scheduling expertise.


For more resources on Back Office performance and efficiency, please visit

​​UP NEXT: Now that we’ve worked through how to leverage the first 4P’s of WFM – PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES, PROCESSES and PEOPLE - stay tuned for our fifth and final piece on the PRODUCTS impacting your WFM program.


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