The Art of Workforce Planning: How to Leverage Your Gut Feeling

When planning for travel, there are several different traveling styles. Some people prefer more of the discovery style while others want a well-structured and detailed visit plan. Likely, you’ve probably experienced a little bit of both types of travel and have come to a conclusion. You don’t need to choose one or the other type; you just need to let your free will guide you — especially when you want a remarkable experience. Often, a similar thing occurs in the contact center — and with workforce planning.

I faced this situation on a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. While this is a widely known destination for many travelers because of its beautiful streets, famous Malbec wine and the exquisite ribeye steak, as well as soccer and pizza, few visitors might have had a chance to walk through the colorful streets of the microcenter, enjoy some great Latin American literature and sip on a tasty coffee at “Café Martínez.” While a detailed plan lets you select and prioritize the places to include in your visit, the free will plays a key role in choosing places that give a unique touch to your experience.

Businesses typically rely on small teams to define work schedules or working hours for hundreds or thousands of agents who are constrained to meet specific indicators, such as occupation and service levels for multiple divisions or business lines. Much like other working environments, the hands-on experience develops certain instinctive skills in planners; they use these skills to fine tune forecasts and shift schedules across various lines of business. For example, a planner for financial services knows how traffic is shaped when considering pay day, payment cycles, the launch of new products or services, the weekday for the end of the month, holidays, and many other workforce planning factors.

In practice, there’s no problem using intuition itself. But, it takes time to make the necessary adjustments just to get to the desired scenario. For instance, a company had to publish the shift schedules for agents every Friday, each week for the succeeding two weeks. But despite having software tools to do this planning, the employer had to spend several manhours manually adjusting lunch schedules and break times to meet their service levels, abandonment goals and levels of abandonment. Often, many of these situations are attributed to software misuse and lack of knowledge as well as technical limitations in the performance of forecasting and planning algorithms that date back more than 20 years.

Progress in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing have overcome technical limitations with workforce planning. These technologies facilitate the use of highly sophisticated algorithms that generate very accurate workforce planning results in seconds.

Giving employees a better experience to manage contact centers, especially when it involves highly complex or manually intensive tasks, is an essential part of the development strategy for the Genesys workforce engagement suite. We continue to invest in the development of workforce planning technologies so that you can achieve business objectives — simply and quickly.

With Genesys AI-powered forecasting, cloud microservices handle the heavy lifting to determine historical data trends, identify outliers, handle missing data and select the best mathematical models — all with a single click. Having AI-based technologies embedded into the platform empowers you to increase workforce engagement, improve workforce  planning, boost employee skillsets, and develop and maximize human behaviors like intuition.

View this infographic to learn the best ways to combine agents with AI-based technologies to provide great customer experiences.