NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – April 5, 2021 – The Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP) has announced Anton Nithianandarajah of TD Bank Group as the winner of the 2021 Workforce Management Professional of the Year Award, which recognizes a workforce management professional who has shown outstanding leadership in the industry.
“We are so thrilled to announce Anton as the winner of this prestigious award,” said Vicki Herrell, SWPP Executive Director. “His knowledge, leadership, and vision have helped him achieve great results for his company. We believe he is truly representative of the great workforce management professionals around the world.”
Anton Nithianandarajah is Senior Manager, Workforce Management for TD Bank Group. The bank employs approximately 90,000 people and is the second largest bank in Canada. The company operates 19 centers 24 x 7 with 10,000 agents. They handle 7.5 million inbound customer service, sales, investing and insurance contacts per month utilizing NICE IEX, Genesys Decision, and CISCO. The WFM team consists of 150 people.
Anton has over 20 years of progressive experience with WFM through multiple financial organizations. He can see a problem from every aspect and can drill down to the lowest level while remaining able to see the big picture. He continually taps into his wealth of experience to bring new approaches to WFM problems and has a unique ability to navigate business, technology, and WFM spaces with ease and bring the utmost confidence to any project. He has received the TD Annual League of Excellence Award twice and the NICEInnovation Award in 2020.
Anton led a huge WFM transformation project which undertook a complete talent review, organizational design, and procedural overhaul. Utilizing a core team of WFM industry veterans, Anton provided the framework and expertise to drive transformational change across the TD contact center footprint.
He moved the WFM department from a business-siloed structure to a streamlined functional structure. From this, WFM Centres of Excellence were formed – Forecasting, Scheduling, Command Centre & WFM Support. Leveraging a team of experienced Lean Six Sigma Black Belts, every process was mapped and redesigned with a simple mandate of simplification.
Moving schedule generation to monthly vs. weekly, approximately four WFM team FTEs were saved, allowing the Scheduling CoE (Centre of Excellence) to shift into an insightsdriven team providing more value-add activity for the Business Operation. Team Manager requests were moved from Excel-based forms to a fully-automated web portal leveraging bots. This automation saved two FTE for WFM and reduced the completion time of the forms from 3 minutes to 20 seconds.
Launch of the Genesys Decisions system allowed the Forecasting CofE to discard Excelbased forecasting and immediately realize a 3-5% improvement in forecasting accuracy. This also led to downstream improvements in capacity planning and supported stronger Service Level outcomes. Implementation of NICE Employee Engagement Manager (EEM)met with over a 90% adoption rate by frontline agents and queue optimization strategies through agent empowerment garnered approximately $4 million reduction in operations expense.
Overall, the transformational initiatives secured 18% efficiency gains amounting to $2.8 million in annual operational savings, improved WFM team morale with a 5% improvement in Employee Engagement Survey results, and provided non-tangible improvement in credibility and trust from operations leaders and a shift in perspective from what WFM provides both at the team leader level and frontline agents.
All the initiatives are being sustained through a unique Quality Assurance & Governance model introduced by Anton. A CoE-agnostic team residing within the overall WFM team performs quality assurance checks and balances to ensure process adoption. This team also performs Post-Implementation Reviews for Processes and Technology, holding accountability to the project objectives with the project owners.
None of these initiatives would have been possible without Anton Nithianandarajah. He was been the guiding force in driving the modernization of the Workforce Management teams. The SWPP Board of Advisors selected the five finalists from nominations submitted on the SWPP website. The other finalists included Dr. Debra Bentson of Kaiser Permanente, Richard Dean of Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Cherri Lindquist of Company Nurse, and Aaron Jacobs of GE Appliances. The Workforce Management Professional of the Year award was chosen from the five finalists by the SWPP Board of Advisors and announced at the SWPP Virtual Summit for Workforce Management.
Nominations for the 2022 Workforce Management Professional of the Year will open in January 2022. For more information on the award, please go to https://swpp.org/awards/wfm-professional-of-the-year/.