Rethinking WEM: It’s All About the Employee Experience

When we think about the term “workforce,” we often think about a large group of agents who, when combined, average out all experiences. But when we think about agents as unique individuals with specific skills, we’re able to personalize the employee experience — just like we do with customers. 

Recently, Paul Turner, Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) Solution Lead at Genesys, and Merijn te Booij, GM WEM at Genesys spoke about the shift on a live, interactive broadcast, followed by a podcast on how Genesys is rethinking as the workforce engagement management as the industry changes rapidly.  

Attrition is a major risk to delivering a great customer experience, so companies must focus more on the individual employee experience. High employee turnover rates mean companies need to consistently train new employees, which could lead to longer wait times for customers — and more frustration for everyone. According to Gallup, disengaged employees cost companies $250 to $300 billion per year in attrition, subsequent requirement, training and onboarding costs.  

Giving employees a better work-life balance and supporting their onboarding and development through coaching and learning tools can create an empowered, engaged and loyal workforce.  

And WEM tools are a critical part of the equation — they can do all this while improving performance and adding some friendly competition to the workday through gamification. 

From Commodities to Assets 

Traditional workforce optimization (WFO) solutions only focused on operational objectives, such as service levels and average speed of answer. They were designed to capture historic ACD data to create a forecast and produce schedules. In this process, employees were considered a commodity or cost, which often led to high attrition rates and low engagement. Although WFO brought together various single-point solutions — workforce management, quality management, performance management and analytics — the primary focus remained on driving operational metrics and efficiency.  

But the workforce has changed considerably in recent years. Employees want to know they’re appreciated in the work they do. High-performing contact center employees value having a sense of personal responsibility and autonomy. The want to learn new skills and opportunities for advancement, shows the Genesys report “Human values: The operating system for a high-performing contact center.”  

Successful companies put their employees first, viewing their employees as assets. And managers are leveraging WEM capabilities to increase employee engagement and reduce attrition. Modern WEM focuses on generating a positive employee experience, driving the right behaviors, performance and culture — and integrating all this into a single solution. 

Cloud and WEM Make a Great Team  

There are several benefits with aligning an engaged workforce to a modern omnichannel routing solution that’s ideally deployed in the cloud and offers agility, elasticity and flexibility. Further benefits include the ability to remove complex integrations between disparate systems and eliminate costly upgrade cycles and associated system downtime. Using an all-in-one cloud contact center solution also simplifies procurement processes and reduces overhead associated with hardware costs and IT salaries.  

While many companies have been considering a cloud contact center solution, the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated adoption. And that’s led to the expansion of WEM capabilities that perfectly complement remote workforce management, including the need for coaching, learning and gamification to support staff onboarding and development. Cloud technology enables work at home, work in office and any hybrid model while reducing total cost of ownership.  

The pandemic has also forced companies to allow for flexible employee schedules as working hours have changed — with people home schooling children or caring for friends and family members. WEM caters to this flexible work dynamic with rules and constraints to help planners schedule employees around their needs instead of being tied to traditional work schedules.  

As the traditional workforce dynamic continues to evolve, the need for a single cloud contact center solution that incorporates intelligent WEM capabilities has never been more important. Find a workforce engagement management solution that personalizes the employee experience — focusing on the human side of your contact center — to improve employee satisfaction and, ultimately, your customer experience.  

Hear Merijn te Booij explain how Genesys is rethinking WEM in our recent Customer Experience Insights podcast