Featured Image for the blog: 19 Workforce Optimization Statistics to Steer You Toward a Better Customer Experience

Workforce optimization is a priority in today’s economy for many organizations, including call centers. 

As a leader today, you must manage agents across a variety of locations and geographies. Managing teams in different areas complicate employee engagement and make it harder to get everyone on the same page with processes and tools. 

Workforce optimization is the answer because it examines every process, department, and employee. Done right, workforce optimization can help agents manage their time better and increase employee productivity. 

When you encourage and create a flexible workforce, you optimize business results and boost the overall well-being of your agents. Making small shifts in processes and technology to optimize your workforce increases operational efficiency, boosts employee performance, and sets your agents up to do their best work each day. 

These workforce optimization statistics—and what they mean—will help you better understand what matters to your contact center agents and how supporting their needs better supports your organization.

19 Workforce Optimization Statistics to Help Your Call Center

1. 79% of contact leaders plan to invest in greater AI capabilities in the near term. (Deloitte)

In today’s world, a customer’s time is limited, and the customer experience is a priority. To ensure your agents have the tools to meet customer needs and expectations, artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly among the tools companies explore.

Cloud-based and conversational AI software can support agents in improving their processes and performance. Incorporate these tools into your call center to set your agents up for success.

2. Best-practice organizations have 70%+ engaged employees, giving employers a competitive advantage. (Gallup)

Happy and engaged agents create a more productive work environment, resulting in better performance and a greater likelihood of meeting key performance indicators.

3. Top performers are 25% more likely to standardize data capture across products, channels and units. (Aberdeen)

Tracking all your data insights in one place makes it easier to keep up with performance metrics and identify gaps where more training may be necessary. Consolidate your data tracking in one user interface and make it more accessible.

4. Only 40% of employees clearly understand their company’s purpose and differentiation. (Gallup)

That means 60% of employees surveyed lack clarity on organizational goals, strategies and differentiators, leading to low performance and employee productivity teamwide! The solution? An internal knowledge database and a workforce management system to store and showcase key knowledge. They also improve awareness of company objectives, especially with a distributed workforce.

If your agents aren’t aware of what they are working toward, then they can’t align with company goals. Communicate with your agents regularly about your call center’s purpose, goals, strategies and tactics. Give your agents a mission to rally around.

5. 87% of HR leaders considered changing up performance reviews, showing they struggle with performance management success. (Gartner)

Leadership styles and employee investment make a proven difference in an agent’s performance. Consistent one-on-one meetings, workshops, and coaching help agents improve their skills and simultaneously help leaders discover where they have performance gaps. 

Quality performance management makes the difference for agent-customer interactions when appropriately trained managers lead and support their teams.

6. 76% of employees report that their manager establishes their workplace culture. (SHRM)

Your manager will make or break your teams. As a leader, your top priority is developing an effective team that aligns with your company’s objectives and mission. A good manager simply manages their team, but a great manager leads them beyond the mundane into the extraordinary.

7. Managers account for 70% of the variance in team engagement. (Gallup)

Effective management is crucial to agent engagement and productivity. A great manager works with and coaches their agents to peak performance through performance management and upskilling.

Regular check-ins aid agents in keeping up with company expectations and ensure more effective customer interactions. Good management and workforce optimization practices also help leaders manage conflict in the workforce.

8. The global cloud contact center market is forecast to grow at a 15.3% compound annual growth rate, totaling $7.4 billion by 2026. (Frost & Sullivan)

Technology capabilities and corporate spending on tech continue to expand. Automation, analytics and other inputs can now be tracked and recorded in a single system, allowing contact centers to optimize their processes in one place.

9. Only 21% of employees agree that performance metrics are under their control. (Gallup)

No matter how much you prepare, sometimes things go wrong. Customers don’t pick up the phone, problems cannot be fixed, or the market is slow. 

Likewise, not every aspect of performance metrics is within your control. Allow agents more autonomy by granting easy access to their call center agent performance dashboard. This permission unlocks live insights into their performance, giving them the incentive to improve.

10. Only 1% of workers said they were less productive while working at home. (Owl Labs)

Remote and hybrid work has become normal for many companies in the U.S. and elsewhere since the COVID-19 began. Even as offices reopened and pandemic-era restrictions lifted, many companies listened to employees and offered flexibility in work schedules and locations.

A comfortable environment raises agent morale, leading to more goals achieved, better time management and a happier work environment. A happy and engaged agent is a productive employee.

11. Almost 60% of employees have suffered from work-related stress, including lack of interest, motivation, or energy (26%) and lack of effort at work (19%). (American Psychological Association)

Many employees experience stress or burnout at the workplace. You might not stop every case, but the workplace culture plays a prominent role in how employees manage stress and workloads. And you, as the manager, play a significant role in forming and maintaining that workplace culture.

12. 98% of the respondents who currently use a knowledge base said the tool drives moderate to significant value towards achieving their workforce optimization. (ICMI)

Your organization’s knowledge base assists agents in finding the resources and materials they need to perform their job. These bases are considered libraries that have helpful resources such as process details. A knowledge base allows your agents to find solutions faster. 

13. Agents with the worst burnout risk are 63% less likely to have daily metrics on display in their office. (Jeff Toister)

Lack of communication and visibility can worsen burnout tendencies. This lack of communication manifests in call centers when agents don’t have sufficient visibility into goals, metrics, and progress. 

Poor visibility leads to a culture where agents work hard without knowing the true goal or how they’re progressing. That leads to disengagement and, ultimately, employee dissatisfaction. 

14. 38% of companies say agents struggle because they don’t have an integrated desktop. (CCW)

Many tools and integrations optimize the agent process, but not all of them work with your strategy and setup. Leadership needs to communicate with agents to evaluate any missing resources and what tools will set them up for success — something SharpenCX’s dashboards make easy.

15. Since the pandemic began, 66% of companies expanded the use of collaboration tools, while 53% increased the use of digital channels. (CCW)

With more companies opting for remote work, collaboration tools and other digital technologies have become a necessary part of the workforce. They allow agents to stay connected with colleagues, work more productively and ensure their efforts align with company objectives.

16. Staffing shortages and supporting at-home agents are the top contact center challenges. (Contact Center Pipeline)

The pandemic and the Great Resignation forced call centers to grapple simultaneously with a shift in where agents worked and a newfound difficulty finding talent. Companies respond by looking at self-service options and investing in ways to better support customers and agents.

17. 90% of agents believe that new agents get effective training, but only two-thirds say their jobs offer a program to help existing agents grow. (ICMI)

To have an effective team, they must be trained and coached with intention. If your agents aren’t trained in the right processes and technology, it’ll negatively influence their performance and the company’s performance. 

18. 34% of respondents said moving to an actual omnichannel model where agents handle all channels was the biggest challenge in managing digital channels. (ICMI)

Switching to an omnichannel model can help streamline many processes in your contact center. However, getting all agents on board with this new model can be a slow shift. Extensive training and coaching in the omnichannel model makes a smoother transition for your team.

19. Over 1 billion people need reskilling in the modern economy. (World Economic Forum)

Technological transformations and new customer demands mean countless employees across geographies and industries need reskilling to continue succeeding.

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Why Workforce Optimization is an Imperative

Right now, the workforce is in new territory. Employees are experiencing shifts in both career and life priorities and are no longer willing to stay at jobs unwilling to invest in them. Many contact centers are facing high rates of employee burnout and attrition.

When your call center prioritizes workforce optimization, you choose to put your most valuable assets first—your employees, current and future. Your workforce may even have multiple generations of agents ready to take their skills to the next level. Implement workforce optimization now and learn how to tackle the challenges of managing a multi-generational workforce.