Intern Program Gives “Home Grown” Feel to Workforce Management Team
By Rick Seeley, Convergys
The answer that I have found is to do some work before the vacancy in the department occurs. Periodically (NOT when immediate needs set in) offer workforce planning internships for a specific timeframe to familiarize more people with the functions and procedures of the workforce management group. Create a posting, interview, and selection process for internships every 90 days.
One or two people at a time are reassigned temporarily to learn to track the floor operations (real-time adherence), enter off-phone activity in the workforce software program, and to run the daily reports. As each person masters a new area, they then spread their wings to other areas of reporting and analyzing staffing so they have a well rounded understanding and “hands-on” approach to workforce operations.
After a few internships, you will have two or three skilled ex-interns on the floor. Now when that “real” vacancy in the workforce planning area comes up, you have a pool of qualified prospects from which to recruit.
This is basically a “home-grown” system of replacing or adding to your existing workforce team at minimal cost and recruitment. The Workforce Intern Program has allowed me to teach and select the best for my group without having to go outside the organization in several previous jobs. Also, many companies that have trialed this process have found it successful in development as well as protecting the need for workforce management personnel without having to retrain someone with absolutely no knowledge of workforce management and workforce management procedures.
Rick Seeley of Convergys is a member of the SWPP Advisory Board. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.