WFM: The Missing Link in Your Strategic Vision

Posted by Call Design on September 20, 2023

WFM teams can be, and should be, part of the strategic planning process. Unfortunately, though, Call Design has seen dozens of organizations that don’t understand why. Sometimes it’s the leadership above the WFM team that doesn’t get it, and other times it’s the leadership in the WFM team. Regardless of who doesn’t get it, we believe that WFM teams are critical to the success of every organization because of their added value to the strategic planning process.

To the Leaders Above WFM Teams:

One – We Sit at the Crossroads of the Organization:

As WFM professionals, we have a unique perspective that allows us to witness the intersections of various organizational functions. By being at the forefront of operations, we can identify opportunities to drive efficiencies, cut costs, and optimize resources. Our insight into the intricacies of agent management and scheduling positions us to contribute significantly to strategic planning discussions.

Two – Front Row Seats to Improve Agent Lives:

Happy, engaged, fulfilled, and aligned (HEFA) employees are the backbone of any successful organization. WFM plays a crucial role in shaping the work environment for agents. By involving WFM in the strategic planning process, leaders can leverage our expertise to design flexible schedules and implement automation solutions that enhance agent satisfaction. Happier agents lead to improved customer experiences, reduced turnover, and increased productivity. And that’s a strategic advantage!

Three – Early Adoption of Data-Driven Decision-Making:

Long before the term “data-driven” became popular, WFM teams have relied on data and analytics to optimize call center operations. By incorporating WFM into the strategic planning process, organizations can tap into our wealth of data and insights to inform future forecasts, resource allocation, and performance measurement. WFM professionals are well-equipped to guide organizations toward evidence-based decision-making and help align strategic goals with operational realities.

Four – Maximizing Cost Efficiency Through Resource Optimization:

One of the key contributions of WFM teams to the strategic planning process lies in their ability to drive cost savings through effective scheduling of resources and accurate forecasting. By leveraging historical data, advanced analytics, and industry expertise, WFM professionals can optimize staffing levels, align them with anticipated demand, and minimize overstaffing or understaffing situations. This proactive approach not only improves operational efficiency but also helps organizations allocate resources more judiciously, resulting in significant cost savings. By involving WFM teams in strategic discussions, leaders can harness their knowledge and insights to make informed decisions that directly impact the bottom line. Embracing WFM’s expertise in resource management is a strategic imperative for organizations seeking to achieve sustainable financial success while maintaining operational excellence.

We’re more than just the team that produces schedules and makes sure people are adhering to their schedules. The nature of our team requires us to hear from differing voices, digest qualitative and quantitative data, and make sure that appropriately balance the business, customer, and agent needs. If there was ever a team that needed to be at the table of strategic planning, it’s us!

To the Leaders In WFM Teams:

One – Don’t Just Focus on Tactics, Look Up and Consider the Strategic Direction:

While tactical execution is essential, as WFM leaders we must broaden our perspectives and align our efforts with the overarching strategic goals of the organization. Whether you want to positively impact your team, make a bunch of money, get promoted, or feel like you’re making a difference, all of these paths lead towards you participating in strategic planning. The best way for you to accomplish your goals is to elevate your impact past just tactics and start thinking strategically for your organization.   

Two – Manage Up:

Building strong relationships with leaders above the WFM team is crucial for gaining recognition and influence. Proactively engage with senior management, provide regular updates on WFM initiatives, and articulate the value that effective WFM brings to the organization. By effectively managing up, we can secure a seat at the strategic planning table.

Three – Support Others First:

To become trusted advisors, we should approach strategic planning discussions with a mindset of support and collaboration. By actively listening to and understanding the needs and challenges of other departments, we can tailor our contributions to align with broader organizational objectives. By demonstrating a commitment to supporting others, we can earn the trust and respect necessary to lead strategic conversations.

Four – Lead with Expertise and Influence:

As WFM leaders, we possess a wealth of knowledge and experience in optimizing operations, enhancing customer experiences, and driving employee engagement. By confidently showcasing our expertise and providing strategic recommendations, we can shape discussions and guide decision-making. By becoming influential voices within our organizations, we can elevate the role of WFM and solidify its position in the strategic planning process.

Integrating WFM into the strategic planning process is a win-win situation for organizations and their WFM teams. By recognizing the unique insights and contributions of WFM professionals, leaders can unlock opportunities for operational efficiencies, agent satisfaction, and overall business success. Embracing WFM as a strategic asset paves the way for a future where organizations thrive, employees are happy, engaged, fulfilled, and aligned, and customer experiences are exceptional.

Remember, WFM is more than just a tactical function; it is a strategic enabler that empowers organizations to achieve their goals while creating a fulfilling work environment for employees. Let’s work together to elevate the role of WFM and drive positive change within our organizations.

Dan Smitley