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Last month ICMI talked about the
importance of surveys
to collect the right data for your metric scoreboards, competitor analysis, and strategy discussions. This week we want to carry that theme a little further and look at how surveys can be used to evaluate agent satisfaction with their schedules, shift opportunities, and the workforce management team. This article originally was featured as one of the 'Tips of the Week' from the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP) , and we are pleased to share it here.
Use schedule surveys to evaluate agent satisfaction Are your agents satisfied with the available shift and break options in your call center? Have you identified a need for an option outside of the typical shift or break but aren't sure where the interest lies? You may want to create a schedule survey for your call center to provide answers to these questions.
Schedule surveys allow you to engage agents on these subjects to determine what you are doing right and where you have an opportunity to improve. It will also help you determine the level of interest in new options such as 10 or 12 hour shifts or perhaps a 60 minute meal. Get creative with your options but be sure to test them in your scheduling software to make sure they will work. In addition, be sure to clear new options with management or HR before making them available. Finally, develop an implementation strategy for the new options. Be prepared to make any option you include in the survey available to agents and don't forget to share the survey results. This will add credibility to the survey and your Workforce Management team. It will also sustain an open dialogue between parties.
It is helpful to ask identifying questions if your call center is multi-site or multi-skilled. You may notice a stronger desire for certain options in specific locations. An example would be a compressed 4 day work week in a location with heavy traffic. Agents on this shift would have one less day to commute per week. Perhaps you can allocate more of those shift options to those locations.
Provide a free response section to allow agents the opportunity to respond candidly. This will provide specific insight into what they are satisfied or dissatisfied with in regards to your current options. They may even suggest an idea that wasn't in the survey. Some of the best shift or break ideas can come from the front line!
Using schedule surveys will help you evaluate agent satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and provide a road map on what new shift and break options to offer. When you can match agent desires with call center needs, everyone benefits.
Jeff Bretana is the Business Operations Analyst - Technology and Operations - Workforce Management for Navy Federal Credit Union. Jeff is also a finalist for the SWPP 2013 Workforce Management Professional of the Year.