Plan for WFM Shrinkage

Now more than ever, we know that people can call in sick and miss work. We plan for it in the contact centers with our shrinkage models, and generally have plans in place to ensure coverage in case the unexpected happens. What about your Workforce Management team?

Your people can get sick too – and generally, Workforce Management teams don’t have the same size of staff to easily cover for absences. The nature of our work can sometimes allow us to ride out short absences, but in the event that someone is out longer, it is important that you have people who can help in a pinch. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

Sharing is Caring: Leverage SharePoint, OneNote, Google Docs or other collaborative workspaces to make sure key information is available to those who might need it.

Cross-pollenate: Train backups to your core functions so people can step in with minimal onboarding to keep things afloat, or get up to speed more quickly.

Internal Development: Establish a Mentorship program to have people learn new roles: your Real-Time team can mentor with Schedulers or Forecasters to learn their roles, contact center agents can loan in to back up Real-Time, or any other career-pathing relationship that makes sense based on your organizational structure. This also has the added benefit of stacking your candidate pool the next time you have an opening on your team.

Unplanned absences can create a burden to the effectiveness of your team; by planning for it, you can minimize the impact it has on your production.

What do you do to plan for the unexpected on your team?

Note: This tip provided by SWPP Board Member Mark Rhodes of Edward Jones. He may be reached at