7 Steps to Healthy WFM Scheduling

How do you know when your schedules need a check up? Is it time for a check-up on your WFM scheduling?

Regardless of the tools you use in your contact center, schedules are produced based on parameters – or “fences” – that the scheduling system is required to schedule within. To make sure your schedules are at their most effective and productive, here are some of the settings that should be routinely checked:

  1. Are your supervisors complaining that they don’t work the same hours as their agents?
    Do you use block scheduling? If not, then you may have an issue scheduling supervisors with their agents. For example: if you have a supervisor responsible for 12 agents, but their agents come in anywhere from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM throughout the day, how can they effectively supervise when they are not scheduled together?
  2. Do you start schedules on the 15-minute, half-hour or hour?
    The difference is the ability to have more flexible break and lunch placements.
  3. Are you having trouble meeting adherence goals because agents are late for breaks and lunches? What is your Average Handle Time?
    If your AHT is greater than 13-14 minutes, be careful about scheduling breaks and lunches starting on the 15-minute mark. Generally, if AHT is too close to the scheduling interval, it is very difficult to meet adherence.
  4. What percentage of part-time and split shifts do you have?
    Typically, the percentage of part-time and split shifts should be 20-30% of your total schedules and should be used to cover your breaks and lunches.
  5. Do you have too many agents on break and lunch at the same time?
    Make sure the intervals from start time for first and last break and first and last lunch are wide enough to give you plenty of room to schedule. The tighter the interval, the more people who will be out at the same time and the tougher it will be to make your service levels.
  6. Do your weekend schedules match your weekday schedules?
    If your schedule start times on weekdays don’t match your weekend start times, you may be doing daily scheduling instead of weekly scheduling. As a result, agents and supervisors may have a start time of 9:00 AM on weekdays, for example, and a start time of 8:00 AM on weekends. Producing schedules that agents can’t or don’t want to work ultimately increases turnover.
  7. Are you scheduling people for less than 40 hours or more than 40 hours a week?
    Check your settings on schedule length by day so that you don’t have people working 10 hours one day, and six hours another. This can create work weeks of less than 40 hours, causing you to pay costly overtime to cover these shift.

You can’t do without WFM scheduling in the contact center, but you can do better. WFM scheduling can be enhanced with an intraday staffing solution that enables workforce management teams to adjust their frontline staff to meet customer demand in real-time. Intradiem’s Intraday Staffing solution responds automatically to unexpected staffing needs (and aligns with your healthy WFM scheduling practices) to reduce labor costs and protect your service levels.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Stop Playing WFM Tug-of-War

About the author

Bob Fletcher

Bob leads the sales and solution delivery initiatives for Intradiem’s global business process outsourcing (BPO) clients, helping to transform their business models and drive profitability via Intraday Automation. He brings a wealth of operations, management and consulting acumen to the BPO practice, having delivered guidance to more than 1,000 call centers and trained over 5,000 managers and supervisors worldwide. Bob's experience includes executive management of Arvato's customer service operations and as executive vice president for Deutsche Telekom. Bob has also served in critical management roles in engagements with leading companies such as T-Mobile, Verizon, Pitney Bowes, TeleDenmark, Gateway of Dublin, DecisionOne, Delta Dental, Wells Fargo and Cox Communications.

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