Post updated on 20th June 2023
Workforce Planning – How to Maximize Your Potential?
Workforce Planning is a process closely linked to reaching your customer experience targets. This article aims to help you analyze how to adapt it properly to your business.
Contrary to popular belief, workforce planning is not a rigid method with a single concept for all companies adhering to it. On the contrary, for its concrete success, it must be adapted to fit the corporate culture and the customer experience strategy that you develop.
More and more companies are investing in technology to provide a range of access points to the company’s products and services. Customers (current or new) look at the technology footprint of their service providers in a few clicks on the internet and decide by their short assessment whether they will do business with it or not. Hence, defining your targets according to your customer’s expectations is important.
Having made this observation about the industries currently, companies must stand out in both operations and the customer approach. Our article will focus here on the operational side and how to work out workforce planning to reach your targets.
Strategic Planning Based On Client Experience | Workforce Planning
Is workforce planning done to stick to your customer experience goals? Everything starts at this level.
In workforce planning, you must adapt realistic communication channels with specific objectives for each. Your objectives must be demanding, realistic, and above all systematically targeted.
As we pointed out in our previous article, the basis of your strategic planning must consider the customer experience and workforce planning must be consistent with this strategy.
The key elements that help frame if your PDE approach (workforce planning) is calibrated to the current directions of the company.
Are your customers satisfied with the quality standard while communicating with you? (In-person, phone, email, chat, etc.)
Are your customers happy with your speed of execution across all available channels? (% Abandon, % Response level, Wait time equivalence across all queues/languages, etc.
Are you using the performance indicators to evaluate your business performance related to your customer’s expectations or are they based on your internal processes?
Are they adequate and relevant? Do you reach them or find it difficult?
Do all the marketing operations take place as a team?
These questions define to what level you are able to situate yourself in relation to the industry, whether as a leader or rather inadequacy with the current market. We must be aware that the industries do not remain static on these strategies. So the calibration must be done regularly or at least every year. These three questions deserve a lot of feedback from the client side and weigh that in the balance. Do not forget that customer calibration will help avoid missing critical elements while putting energy into the best places for your business.
Validate Your Business Issues | Workforce Planning
Another aspect to properly correct your position is to validate if you have issues:
1- Staff retention?
2- Continuous training/coaching of your employees?
3- Recruitment to maintain standards on service delivery?
These key elements are usually a consequence of a protracted problem. Few managers believe that it will help to make a change. When you are unable to achieve the objectives, it is common to withdraw off-line activities. Such as training/coaching/ calibration / … for example, thinking that it will be for a short duration, then the days become weeks, then months, etc.
Actions Needed For Optimal Positioning
From these contacts and reflections, concrete actions may helpfull to orchestrate your operations to your customers’ expectations.
Identify whether achieving targets will always be possible during the budget process, considering all relevant online and offline activities. If so, stay on the course; otherwise, do not make the mistake of turning a blind eye to this situation.
Adjusting the targets so that you can apply point 2 to it in an applied way rather than stubbornly maintaining something that will only be a source of frustration for all involved. Your goals must still remain competitive in the industry; otherwise, you may suffer impacts that will be difficult to reverse.
Evaluate the communication channels used and analyze whether savings are possible. By improving the customer experience by offering other options: self-service and chatting.
Avoid reducing everything from internal activities to running a budget. What works on a spreadsheet hardly applies as it is in operations.
Canceling planned activities on an ad hoc basis is a good reflex to have. However, you must ensure that it remains punctual. If you eliminate these activities practically every day, it is necessary to put in place correctives by sustainable actions.
Real Impact on Your Staffing Needs | Workforce Planning
Know how to identify the real impact on your staffing needs in relation to any rule/constraint you have in place and budget it. These are normal constraints that management takes into account when assigning schedules, for example:
Consecutive days off
Rotation evenings or weekends
School or other constraints
Uniformity of the start times of shifts
Workforce Planning Must Be On a Competitive Advantage
It is, therefore, important to use the PDE tools to your advantage. If you or your key partners in the company stop joining, the consequences could mean a deceleration in growth and sales.
Evaluate deviations from objectives and target reasons for non-compliance on a continuous and rigorous basis;
Take concrete actions to remedy the situation as quickly as possible;
Establish sub-objectives in all aspects of operations that will more concretely equip those involved in achieving the objectives of commitment to your clientele;
Read about the performance of your sector and confirm if adjustments or training may help to become successful;
Are all your requests or transactions going through an agent absolutely necessary to trade as well? Could it be lightened through self-service or other automated channels without affecting the customer experience?
Keep in mind that revising these goals is essential and healthy for the organization. It’s not a failure; quite the contrary. What is likely to remain a thorn in your operations is precisely not to revise your objectives in time concerning the technical and human capacity you will have in time.
By these adjustments, of course, you will be able to guarantee a common implication to the objectives. More so, a structure in workforce planning that will be able to maintain the course toward the optimization of your results!!!
A business strategy is based on the customer experience we want to offer and to reach our targets, we must consider workforce planning as a stakeholder in this equation.
For a customer experience that lives up to your expectations, consider workforce planning as a business partner.
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