Do You Measure Your Agent Schedule Adherence? Is it 70, 80 or 90%?

Schedules only work if employees stick to them. Most will but as call center managers have discovered, even a small drop in adherence can severely impact both productivity and costs. Many call centers are now pro-actively focusing on improving schedule adherence for increased service levels and reduced costs. Raising the adherence from 80 to 85%, or from 90% to 95% can result in huge cost differences. For example, in this Adherence whitepaper there is the case of a 300 employee call center and the assumption that each employee is 10 minutes our of adherence every day, resulting in $250,000 per year.Fixing adherence issues is one of the quickest ways to avoid angry customers and rising costs. But first, you must determine your current adherence level. Yes, there will be math involved – but these are numbers that are vital to know. Here’s the formula: [phone time + other work related activity time] / ([shift time] – [lunch/dinner] -[break] + [exception time] + [overtime]) = schedule adherence Once you’ve got the results, you can add up the money now being wasted and put a stop to it.What Causes Adherence Issues?Are some agents taking too many breaks or absences? Is the schedule too rigid? Are employees showing up late and leaving early? Address these issues with agents, and make sure they realize how important schedule adherence is to the call center – and to their job. This need not be a confrontational situation – one method that has worked at call centers is the setting of adherence goals, with rewards offered to agents that aid in their achievement. Monitor progress whether the goals are achieved or not, and keep the lines of communication open. The Role of Workforce Management A workforce management solution can play a key role in agent adherence. First, you don’t have to calculate adherence, the system does that for you. Second, real-time tracking and monitoring makes it easier to adjust forecasts and schedules right when there is an adherence problem. Third, adherence reporting helps you analyze data from the past, identify potential issues that impact adherence and the opportunity to discuss with your team.For more information, please download the Monet white paper Strategies for Improving Schedule Adherence.