Workforce Management

Workforce Management (WFM)

workforce Management in a call centre is the art and science of having the right number of employees, with the right skills at the right times to meet accurately forecast volumes of work and to do all that at a predetermined service level and minimized costs. 

Workforce management (WFM) is a critical task for call centres and poor planning and execution can have a negative impact on the business (revenues, cost), customers (satisfaction) and also employees (motivation/burn-out). Key tasks of workforce management (WFM) include the following activities: 

1. Calculation of an accurate forecast

Collect call history data

Identify call patterns (day, week, season, etc.)

Identify special day patterns (holidays, etc.)

Identify other event or business drivers that might impact call volume/pattern 

2. Calculation of staffing requirements

Define Service level, ASA and average handle time

Calculate workload

Define staffing requirements

3. Creation of schedule

Include all activities (call and non-call) into schedule 

Build in flexibility (start/end times, breaks, multi-skill, etc.)

Create schedule for 15 or 30 minute increments 

4. Monitoring and managing adherence

Inform and educate about adherence importance and impact

Measure and manage adherence throughout the day (real-time adherence) 

Provide incentives

5. Managing exceptions and changes throughout the day

Changes in call volume or arrival pattern 

Staffing or scheduling issues

Business related exceptions

6. Measuring and adjusting

Analyze daily/weekly reports

Investigate causes for under-performance

Apply learning into workforce management process
Workforce management software helps organizations to automate key tasks that have an immediate impact on the bottom line through more accurate call volume forecasting, optimized scheduling and daily performance tracking in real-time. 

Workforce management (WFM) allows you to:

Forecast your requirements – so you know how many employees with what skills you’ll need in the future

plan your work schedule – so you have exactly the right number of employees to meet your needs

Manage your employees’ time - so you can determine your employees’ work time accounts

Monitor and analyze your results – so you can see whether you are meeting your targets, and take prompt action if not.

Forecasting: For workforce planning to be successful, you must be able to predict your short, medium and long-term staffing requirements. When forecasts are inaccurate, the schedules are irrelevant. Unfortunately, contact centre leaders often lack complete visibility into activities that impact their future contact volumes, forcing them to do the best they can with available information. This information gap occurs when contact volume is driven by activities outside of the group’s control or as a result of unexpected events such as systems problems or lack of communication between departments.

In order to make sure you have the right number of staff in place at the right time, you first need to work out what the right number is. This number is chiefly determined by your operations. Workforce management is a set of tools that help you forecast how your business activities will develop and how these plans will affect your staffing needs.

A workforce management system uses historical data to provide predictions about future needs. It may also help in recruitment and training by matching the skills profile of your staff to your longer-term needs. If you run one-off or regular campaigns, a workforce management system can help you determine the staff you’ll need.

Scheduling: Automation, optimization and integration are the key ingredients of staff scheduling. Staff scheduling is a complex task which calls for numerous, sometimes conflicting objectives to be addressed. The main objective of staff scheduling is to create schedules that meet all legal and contractual requirements, as well as taking into account employees’ qualifications, personal working time preferences and availability. Workforce management gives you a way of automating these requirements and may allow employees to participate in the planning process, leading to happier, more motivated staff. Because a workforce management system also allows you to predict long-term needs, it can also support your training program to make sure you develop the capacity to meet those needs.

Time management: Effective workforce management includes time management that’s just as flexible as your employees’ working times. The processes related to recording and validating actual hours worked are closely linked with staff scheduling.

It therefore makes sense to ensure that your time management is closely co-ordinated with all the other components of workforce management. This means fewer errors in payments, and a clear means of resolving disputes.

Analysis and monitoring: The faster you detect any deviation from your plan, the more effectively you can react. Real-time monitoring means you can immediately compare your targets with actual data. It can also determine whether your requirement forecasts were accurate. This means you can respond more quickly to changes and you can adapt your plans to keep your schedules efficient. You can also monitor adherence (e.g. to agreed working times or legal requirements) and generate reports.

Why can't you do this with a spreadsheet?

Planners have to take into account a whole range of different factors when setting up a staff schedule. Many constraints have to be considered at once, including legislation, local agreements and employee contracts, as well as budgets, individual employee qualifications and employee availability. And, of course, schedules must conform to the rules, but they must also match your staffing needs. 

Too many staff means extra costs, too few could compromise customer service. Setting up a schedule is therefore essentially a combination problem, but the number of possible combinations is far too large to be handled in a simple spreadsheet; it requires a system with considerable power and mathematical sophistication.


The results of putting an integrated workforce management system in place can be seen in all areas of the business. By allowing you to automate and standardize routine recurring tasks, workforce management gives you time to focus on what’s important.


Workforce management helps you integrate operations, finance and monitoring to reduce costs related to staff, admin and IT, while enhancing your employees’ productivity. The benefits include:

Increased efficiency, as staff planning is always based on your business requirements

Reduced personnel costs, through avoiding unnecessary over staffing and overtime, and eliminating non-productive time; errors in payments are also avoided, as actual working times are captured

Faster and better decisions because you have access to all KPIs in real time

Reduced management costs, as processes are streamlined and integrated.

Work Force Management (WFM) - Software's and a brief.

Aspect : Aspect builds customer-company relationships through a combination of customer contact software and workforce optimization for the enterprise. 

Avaya : Avaya is the global leader in contact centre and enterprise customer communication solutions. The company provides unified communications, contact centres, and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, service and competitiveness.

Interactive Intelligence® Makers of Bay Bridge Decisions™ : Bay Bridge Decision Technologies is a company dedicated to Contact Center Operations.  Center Bridge, is the first operations planning and analysis system for large and/or multi-site contact center organizations and was designed to improve both contact center efficiency and resource decision-making. Center Bridge analyze complex operational scenarios in minutes.  These rapid analyses serve as the back-bone for long-term planning process enabling faster, more accurate decision making.   

Calabrio : Calabrio develops Calabrio ONE®, a comprehensive and powerful suite of contact center workforce optimization software including call recording, quality assurance, workforce management, speech and desktop analytics and performance-based dashboards and reporting. Calabrio ONE is intuitive and flexible - providing products with an easily personalized architecture that allows contact centers the freedom to integrate applications and scale these solutions to fit their needs. Calabrio strives to put the power of harnessed data to work, kicking complexity to the curb while bring the most important data quickly to the helm where it becomes simply actionable.

Cisco Systems, Inc. : Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet and a leading provider of communication and collaboration solutions, including solutions for the contact center. Cisco customer solutions combine powerful contact center multi-channel routing and queuing with voice self-service to create unique, content rich experiences. Cisco is also delivering the next wave of customer care that enables enterprises to integrate traditional contact center tools and processes with Web 2.0, emerging social media's, and video in order to deliver compelling customer experiences and pro-actively manage a company’s brand and reputation.  

Five9 : Five9   is the leading global provider of cloud-based call center software for sales, marketing and support. The award-winning Five9 Virtual Call Center and Predictive Dialer serve customers of all sizes on five continents. Customers profit from Five9’s reliable, robust functionality that provides the best technology, improves agent productivity, and delivers business flexibility. 

Genesys : Genesys is a leading provider of customer engagement and contact center solutions. With more than 3,000 customers in 80 countries, Genesys orchestrates more than 100 million customer interactions every day across the contact center and back office, helping companies deliver fast and optimal levels of customer service with a highly personalized cross-channel customer experience. Genesys also prioritizes the flow of work to back office personnel resulting from any customer interaction, internal workflow or business application, optimizing the performance and satisfaction of customer-facing employees across the enterprise.  

ISC : ISC (Irene® Workforce Management) 

Since 1973, ISC has helped call centers and other points of customer contact achieve measurable improvements in performance through the effective use of people, work-process design and technology. ISC patented Workforce Management software, Irene®, was the first hosted system for delivering forecasting, scheduling, analytics and planning capabilities over the internet. Ongoing innovation has assured Irene’s   
top-ranking status. With its long-term commitment to excellence in technology, training and support, ISC continues to advance the standards for performance in today’s dynamic call center and communications industries.   

NICE - IEX Workforce Management Group : The IEX Workforce Management Group at NICE Systems is a leading provider of strategic planning and performance management applications for call centers. Over 3,100 contact center sites with more than 1,000,000 agents in over 65 countries use IEX workforce optimization solutions to plan and optimize agent performance. As part of the NICE Smart Center, the IEX solution provides a centralized platform for optimizing the performance of contact center. It helps center to forecast and plan more accurately and schedule more effectively. It supplies real-time information to better manage the performance of people and operation. It integrates data seamlessly across  enterprise and automates many time-consuming and labour-intensive processes.

inContact : The inContact platform includes ACD software with skills-based routing, IVR with speech recognition, CTI capabilities, reporting, work force optimization, eLearning, agent hiring and customer feedback measurement tools. Taken together, the inContact service center platform creates an integrated, all-in-one software solution for operations seeking to support call centers, including those with a distributed workforce – either at-home or multi-site. 

injixo : injixo is the place contact center professionals go to manage the workforce, develop skills, and interact with peers.  The injixo cloud-based platform provides sophisticated workforce management software on a subscription basis, along with comprehensive training and a community of consultant and end-user support.   It’s the industry’s most affordable way to accomplish call forecasting, staff scheduling, and daily management of the staff.

LiveOps : LiveOps is the global leader in cloud contact center and customer service solutions. More than 300 companies around the world, including, Symantec and New Zealand trust LiveOps' technology to enable effective multichannel, social and mobile interactions with their customers. LiveOps' award-winning platform has processed more than 1 Billion minutes of customer interactions and managed operations for the largest US-based cloud contact center of 20,000 home-based, independent agents.

Pipkins, Inc. : Pipkins is a leading supplier of innovative and quality workforce optimization systems and services to domestic call centers and to strategic international customers. Pipkins supplies the world's first third generation management solution that forecast call volumes and staffing requirements, while correlating special business activities. It then optimally schedules agents in a multi-skill set call center environment.

Teleopti : Teleopti is the leading provider of solutions for strategic Workforce and Performance Management as well as Telecom Expense Management. The company is renowned for developing advanced and user-friendly solutions based on clients’ requirements. Hundreds of enterprises around the world rely on solutions from Teleopti to attain optimal operational efficiency and provide the highest levels of service. 

Teleopti have 500+ customers in more than 60 countries across the globe and offices in the Nordics, New York, London, Frankfurt, Moscow, Istanbul, Dubai, Delhi, Madrid, Paris and Bejing. The company has 16 consecutive years of solid profit and growth. High capitalisation and AAA credit rating. Other highlights include Winner of Microsoft .NET Awards 2007, three times winner of CCW-Awards as Best in Europe and most recently Teleopti was the first organization in Sweden to achieve 3 stars for SDI’s Service Desk Certification programme.  Teleopti, established in Stockholm, Sweden in 1992 operates through a comprehensive network of partners.

Uptivity - Workforce Management : Clarity by Uptivity is a workforce management solution that enables easy and efficient agent scheduling, staffing the right people with the right skills at the right time. A user-friendly tool integrated with Discover, Uptivity’s workforce optimization suite, enables sharing data among components and providing comprehensive views of contact center operations and customer interactions.

USAN - Workforce Management : USAN Workforce Management software helps contact center managers schedule call center agents, forecast staffing levels and track individual agent performance. USAN WFM simplifies staffing decisions, enables real-time visibility into agent activity and performance, and improves the efficiency of contact center operations.

Verint Enterprise Intelligence Solutions - Workforce Management : Verint® Enterprise Intelligence Solutions™ is the leader in enterprise workforce optimization solutions and services. Its solutions are designed to help organizations of all sizes capture customer intelligence, uncover business trends, discover the root cause of employee and customer behavior, and optimize the customer experience. From contact centers to remote office, branch and back-office operations, its award-winning, next-generation Impact 360® Workforce Optimization™ suite is the industry’s most unified solution set—featuring quality monitoring and recording, workforce management, customer interaction analytics (speech analytics, data analytics, text analytics and customer feedback surveys), desktop and process analytics, performance management, eLearning and coaching. Impact 360 helps improve the entire customer service delivery network, powering the right decisions to help ensure service excellence and transform organizations into customer-centric enterprises.

Workflex Solutions : WorkFlex Solutions is the industry leader in “auto-optimization” for service centers and has been recognized by Gartner Inc. as a 2011 Cool Vendor for CRM Customer Service. WorkFlex SaaS products “plug into” existing workforce management systems and apply real-time supply chain methodologies to automate intraday staffing and performance management processes, reducing dependency on forecast accuracy, improving performance and reducing G&A overhead.