April 5 –

In 2010, I was not a WFM expert, even though I thought I was. I had been doing the Workforce thing for a while, but was incredibly discouraged. I liked what I did, but felt relatively isolated. I was a glorified RTA running a WFM team of three people supporting 1,000 agents in a very complicated 24×7 multiline, multi-channel environment.

I needed help. I did what one does and went to google. I found a website that said “It’s 9 a.m. on Monday morning. 20 agents have called in sick.  The e-mail box is full.  The voice mail box is full.  A promotional mailing went out over the weekend.  You feel like no one else has to deal with anything like this – or do they?…” I read on. There was a group for people like me? The Society of Workforce Planning Professionals? There was a regional meeting an hour and 20 minutes away in six weeks. I piled in my car and went. It was almost therapy! 80 of my peers sharing for a little over half a day:  trials, tribulations, best practices, and so much more. I met so many people. Even better, these were people who did what I DO!!! Literally these folks were Managers, Analysts, Directors, and RTAs just there to help make each other better. In the next three years, I went to the annual conferences, read newsletters and tips, then started to contribute and found myself on the board.  Over the last 11 years, I have learned far more than I thought possible from people who do this every day.

SWPP changed my career trajectory. I am running a larger WFM Team as part of a top 5 BPO, living quite literally my dream job. This would not have happened without me being influenced by these amazing people. I was able to grow and change as a person and employee because of the shared and selfless input of others who wanted to create a solid body of education and career path excellence for WFM/WFP professionals.

The annual conference (this year a Virtual Summit) is the apex of that experience.  There is so much content at your disposal and so many people you can meet. In the virtual setting, it takes a bit more effort to meet people, but the content is still amazing.  The sessions are more spread out, and far more accessible in that it is virtual, recorded, and delivered over weeks. It is still the same great content, delivered by practitioners, about relevant topics for the moment.  The virtual conference has a lower cost, and the geography is less a barrier – this is a great year to come check it out. If you do, I hope to see you there.

I am still not the most expert person out there in my opinion, but I know more than I did yesterday, and if you participate in SWPP – maybe we’ll both know more about this fascinating field together, from each other.

This tip sent by SWPP Board Member Marshall Lee of ttec. He may be reached at marshall.lee@ttec.com