An interesting thing happened on the way to automating several of the mundane tasks that burden WFM teams and supervisors, a measurable increase in agent satisfaction resulted.
We implemented an agent self-scheduling project to automate transactions like shift selection, swaps, sick days, overtime, vacation requests, and other transactions that can bury our real time analysts and supervisors with data entry and less than equitable decision making. The design pushed much of the decision making into the hands of the agents via a rules based decision engine. The results were transactions that could be directly passed into the workforce management system, benefits management, and the payroll system thus freeing up analysts and supervisors to focus on more productive tasks.
The intended result of increasing efficiencies and applying consistent policies and procedures across the organization was achieved. ROI was justified based on the usual targets, (hours saved, transactions processed, increased supervisor/agent ratios, uplift in agent productivity) but the unexpected benefit showed up in agent satisfaction. Agents reported that the accessibility to make changes to their schedules and that rules/policies were fairly administered vastly improved their sense of participation and control. Agent satisfaction increased because of the ability to conduct these very personal transactions quickly and equitably. We are coordinating with Human Resources to measure the impact that agent self-scheduling has on retention.