Use the SPIN method to enact change.

  July 9 – 

At its core, workforce management is about using math to enact change, right?  It has been my experience that the answer is no – not entirely at least.  While the math may indeed be proof of a problem that needs addressing, that alone will never allow you to fix it.  Some members of management care most about the customer experience, some care most about the budget impact, and others care most how it impacts our agents.  I don’t know about your organization, but in mine, I have all three of them in the room at the same time when I want to make a change, and no single equation answers all of those areas of concern.

Back in 1988, Neil Rackham wrote a book called Spin Selling, which I have found useful throughout my career in sales originally, and now in workforce management.  It has helped me organize my thoughts when trying to enact change and allows me to make changes to some of the thinking of senior management into a more holistic view.

Simply put SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need payoff, and a very brief example follows.

Situation:  We, at Omni Hotels & Resorts, have struggled with agent schedules and the nearly overwhelming desire for millennials to have as much flexibility as possible in the hours they work.  Most sessions I attended at this year’s SWPP Annual Conference were on this very topic.

Problem:  In our groups of agents under 180 days, we experience 3/4ths of the attrition from the class by 121 days.  The vast majority of these early terms are due to scheduling.

Implication:  This problem requires ongoing recruiting, training, and associated costs.  Newer agents are not as productive as agents with a year of experience.  They sell less, take more time to sell, and lack product knowledge that allows them to up and cross sell.

Need Payoff:  Creative scheduling will help in reducing the attrition of new hires which allows for fewer classes, a higher general knowledge pool through the call center, and stability in service level agreements.

And oh yeah – saving one agent more than pays for my SWPP Annual Conference registration!

Note:  This week’s tip is provided by SWPP Member Chuck Eason of Omni Hotels & Resorts.  He can be reached at