January 1

 There is often grey area between what is considered a WFM role and what isn’t. One of these roles is training.

If WFM does not have at least one foot in training, then the control that the WFM team has in making sure agents with the right skills are present at the right time to handle customer contacts is limited. Then, when push-comes-to-shove and service level KPI’s aren’t being met, WFM will only be able to shrug and explain that agents were not up-trained to meet the need. But shouldn’t WFM have been able to prevent this?

Now, this is not to say that WFM’s role should extend to creating and providing training to agents – but what WFM can assist the training team with is the training cadence.

How many weeks, months, years after an agent has been hired should they be up-trained to another skill? Work with the training team on a reasonable timeframe and then assist the training team in making sure the cadence is carried out to the best of the department’s ability.

It is easy for the cadence to be thrown out the window when certain skills are suddenly suffering due to unforeseen events. In which case, WFM would forecast and determine if these unforeseen events are a new-normal and a deviation from the training cadence is warranted, or will it hurt the forecast FTE needs if the cadence is put on hold? If deviation is needed, then what steps will be taken to get the cadence back-on track once the crisis is over?

Also, close to the time when agents are expected to be up-trained, ask supervisors to identify agents that they feel are not ready for the up-training and schedule ad hoc coaching time to get the agent up-to-speed.

Taking on ownership of these roles will only help raise the value of the WFM team.

This week’s tip is provided by Katherine Tucker, CWPP, of Henry Schein One.  She may be reached at katherinec.tucker@gmail.com.