The workforce management market has evolved considerably in recent years. Once referred to as workforce optimisation (WFO), research and advisory firm Gartner recently redefined this software category to accommodate the growing millennial workforce that is driving change in the way it expects to be engaged by the employer.
As such, workforce engagement management (WEM) expands on the established multibillion-dollar WFO market to include various functionalities such as time management, recruitment, onboarding, recognition and Voice of the Employee (VoE). While WFO technology has traditionally focused on recording employee compliance, WEM builds upon existing WFO strategies to assist companies to realise the benefits of truly engaged employees – and in turn, forming the backbone of customer and operational success.
An overarching WEM strategy is underpinned by strong employee-centric functionalities and is essential to empowering the employee and customer concurrently.
3 reasons business leaders should have a WEM strategy:
Prioritising the employee
Serial entrepreneur Richard Branson aptly summed up the importance of the employee when he remarked: “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Empowering employees and enhancing workplace satisfaction is central to an effective WEM strategy, which we achieve by using solutions such as Performance Management and Gamification. To that end, organisations should prioritise initiatives that support a greater focus on flexible working arrangements, including more options for start times, shift durations, time off and work locations.
Sophisticated workforce management solutions allow for the optimisation of customer and employee needs, while next-generation technologies for recording interactions in remote locations and performance management help ensure that remote employees or those who work at times when their managers may not be present are still performing well and in compliance with organisational needs.
Understanding what drives and motivates employees and providing them with the tools and resources to do their best possible job will form the basis for a superior customer experience.
A positive impact on the bottom line
Discerning business leaders know that cost avoidance is often vital to strengthening a firm’s financial position. WEM can make a material difference to a company’s balance sheet particularly with retention levels, thus avoiding the associated costs of recruitment and onboarding.
Our customers often identify employee engagement and retention as a challenge and cost on the business. However, companies that do well in their financials also have high levels of engagement with their workforce. The financial benefits of engaged employees are too important to be ignored. Unengaged employees impose significant internal costs through lost productivity and subsequent recruitment and onboarding costs.
According to Gallup, engaged employees are 27% more likely to report “excellent” performance. WEM helps companies improve productivity and performance levels within their organisations. Our customers typically report up to a 5% performance increase in their employees as a result of implementing WEM technology such as Performance Management alone.
By combining Performance Management with other solutions like Coaching and Gamification, these benefits will increase even more. Further, WEM tools like VoE arm agents with the tools they need to best serve customers. This has never been more important, especially as customers become more demanding.
The future of WEM
The technology-driven workplace now calls for a high-calibre customer service employee who can effectively and efficiently resolve complex customer issues from whichever working environment they choose. The amalgamation of technology into every facet of a business and the rising millennial workforce will see end-to-end WEM solutions become mandatory in the customer service industry.
We are already seeing companies linking WEM to their employee financial and performance recognition programs, further leveraging the technology to elevate employee engagement levels.
Against the backdrop of all the ebbs and flows that occur in the twenty-first century customer service industry, one certainty business leaders can be sure of is the effectiveness of a well-executed WEM strategy on the quality of employee engagement levels and customer interactions.
This article first appeared in CEO Magazine.