My alarm jolted me from my deep sleep – a jarring contrast to the stark silence and black abyss of my dreamless state.
I hit the snooze once. Then twice. Then, when I realized I couldn’t fit in another snooze cycle, I set an alarm. For one measly minute.
Did I think those 60 seconds would leave me completely rejuvenated? That all I needed was a quick wink and I’d be ready to tackle the day’s challenges? No, I didn’t. But, you see, I was out of my rhythm. And my sleepy brain craved more Z’s – no matter how fleeting.
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I was in college at the time and, so far, had meticulously plotted my classes and work schedule so I’d get up later and finish my day in the evenings instead of by noon. My freshman year, I realized making it to that 8 a.m. lab left me groggy and drained – no matter what time I went to bed. So, I sought out classes and time slots that better fit how I work.
And the one semester I couldn’t snag those later time slots? I was queen of the snooze and the one-minute alarm. When I finally convinced my legs it was time to put my feet on the floor and scurry out the door, my brain and body only reluctantly followed. I showed up to my classes in that reminiscent fog. Sure, I was in my seat. But my professor’s lecture sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.
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No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring my best self to class when my rhythm was off. And, along the way, I learned some other nuances about the way I work, too. I’m an analog gal when taking notes. The laptop method doesn’t cut it. And, a morning cup of joe does wonders for my focus (plus, my mood).
Turns out, I’m not alone in this. When people have little say in how they work, productivity suffers. Then, burnout spikes and your employees give customers a poor experience on their way out the door. But, when you flip this methodology and give your workforce some autonomy, you optimize business results and boost customer and agent happiness.
Charles Duhigg, researcher and author of the book The Power of Habit, shared a study out of a manufacturing plant in Ohio. It proved that giving employees a small amount of autonomy – like the ability to set their own schedules or choose what they wear – improved productivity by 20%. Even when pay scales and processes stayed the same.
Those few, small (and inexpensive) changes optimized an entire workforce to show up and do their best work each day. So, the question is, how can you, manager, discover what your agents need to show up in-full for your customers each day? And, how can you support them with the resources and autonomy to do better work?
We’re sharing 19 workforce optimization statistics so you can better understand what matters to your agents and how supporting their needs is better for business.
1. Nearly a third of contact center leaders, some 30%, believe their current tools aren’t cutting it and fail to help agents deliver standout customer experiences. (Strategic Contact)
2. Business units with highly engaged employees see a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. (Gallup)
3. Companies that use WFO software are 60% more likely to capture customer info scattered across communication channels and empower agents with insights to problem-solve. (Aberdeen)
4. Only 40% of people in the workforce are aware of their company’s goals, strategies, and tactics. (Bain & Company)
5. Only 21% of employees feel like they have the performance management (i.e. feedback, access to analytics, and clear expectations) they need to do outstanding work. (Gallup)
6. Nearly 75% of contact center leaders say a key goal of WFO is to improve the customer experience, while 67% said another key goal is to improve the agent experience. (Strategic Contact)
7. Only 20% of employees said they’ve had a conversation with their manager in the past 6 months about how they can reach business and career goals. (Gallup)
8. Cloud tools with Workforce Engagement Management capabilities and analytics are forecast to grow 18.9% by 2022. (Frost & Sullivan)
9. A slim 21% of employees say they have performance metrics within their control. (Gallup)
10. Employees are more engaged and productive when working from home. Some 75% say they have fewer distractions, 74% have fewer interruptions, and 71% are less stressed from commuting. (FlexJobs)
11. Three in five workers say they’re burned out at work. And 31% of workers report high or extremely high stress levels on the job. Yet, 33% of workers haven’t taken (and don’t plan to) take a vacation this year. (Career Builder)
12. Of those surveyed, the biggest percentage of contact centers only make schedule revisions or offer shift bidding once per quarter. (ICMI)
13. A lack of visibility into goals, metrics, and progress fuels agent burnout. Agents who sit at severe risk for burnout are 63% less likely to have daily metrics on display in their office. (Jeff Toister)
14. Some 38% of companies say agents struggle to perform because of disjointed tools and a lack of an integrated desktop. (CCW)
15. Since the start of the Pandemic in March, nearly 80% of companies have increased remote work. Another 66% have increased collaboration tools while 53% have built out their digital channels and boosted proactive engagement with customers and agents. (CCW)
16. Agent attrition and poor desktop tools (like your CRM, knowledge management and collaboration tools) are the top two challenges facing contact centers this year. (Strategic Contact & Contact Center Pipeline)
17. Some 57% of your agents’ daily interruptions at work come from switching between disparate systems and stand-alone applications. (Uclarity)
18. Almost three-fourths of employees, some 72%, can’t find what they need in their company’s systems and feel totally overwhelmed by information. (Deloitte)
19. As automation works its way into more of your business processes, by 2022 at least 54% of employees will need significant re- and upskilling to handle the growing complexity of their roles. (World Economic Forum).