WFM – Introducing a New Scheduling Process, Part 2

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So, you’ve got your workforce strategy committee together. Now what? As previously mentioned, any little schedule tweak can cause a tidal wave. Why? Well, because, you’re impacting the lives of your agents’ and most often, they don’t get any say. Let’s change that.

Part Two of a Five Part Series: 

  1. Get Organized
  2. Ask Your Agents
  3. Share Your Strategy
  4. Test It
  5. Give It Time

I talk to many different contact center schedulers on a regular basis and each one has their own way of scheduling. Some have static schedules; some change schedules quarterly, some monthly and some even weekly. The common bond with each of these centers is that when changing schedules (not processes), the scheduler goes to great lengths to make sure there is equality in shift distribution. We care so much about pleasing our workforce, but it’s rarely considered to get agent feedback when changing processes.

There are several ways to Ask Your Agents about proposed scheduling process changes, but my recommendation is to create an anonymous survey. Anonymity allows your agents to give honest and candid feedback about what works and what’s broken. It will also help with the number of responses you’ll receive. There are some great free web survey tools out there that will allow you to easily create and distribute a survey to your agents. Some of these tools will even calculate your results depending on the type of survey you create.

Questions you may want to ask:

  • Is the schedule process fair?
  • Does the current schedule process work well?
  • What challenges, if any, do you face when getting your schedule communicated to you?
  • What challenges, if any, do you face when asking for time off?
  • What challenges, if any, do you face when asking for a schedule change?
  • Is it easy for you to swap shifts with another employee?
  • Do you like your current schedule?

    • If no, why?
  • Knowing that it is not always possible to have your preferred schedule, what are some schedule options you would like to have?

After you’ve got your survey results, sit down with your committee to review them and see what you can apply for your process changes. Asking these types of questions could uncover scheduling options that you never knew existed. You may find that you have employees that prefer nights or weekends, or prefer to have their days off spread out.  Most importantly, when you Ask Your Agents, you empower them and give them a chance to positively contribute to a process that affects their daily lives.