WFM: Empower People & Improve Processes

Aug 16, 2022, 16:51 PM by Seth Millis

In response to the massive structural shift in the call center that has occurred since 2020, organizations have been wondering what to do about managers within the organization. Middle management, senior level management and management trainees are all, to borrow from Ted Allen, “on the chopping block.” A once-ubiquitous business card title is now a harbinger of expendability.   

The desire to efficiently run your business yourself has always existed. Historically, ownership and management were synonymous, but assembly and industrial progress necessitated more workers, more workstreams, and subsequently more than one manager. Which leads to the obvious question who manages the managers? Typically, a managerial role could refer to people, technology, or processes, but rarely encompasses all three in the same role.  

The uncertainty surrounding managers’ roles and responsibilities has become even murkier as the ongoing pandemic has thrust many managers into administrative overload. The workload and day-to-day activities of your management (senior or otherwise) has drastically changed with the shift to hybrid workspaces and public health concerns as well as the ever-evolving implementation of new technologies and platforms. The great resignation and work/life balance decisions have exposed major skills shortages and a lack of technological expertise that continue to diminish. Managers that have been focused on process have been tasked with managing people and/or technology are in a scramble to restructure and reorganize. For managers to remain viable and valuable in the future call center, they must remain grounded in the skills of the front-line agents as well as the technological and administrative savvy of the senior leadership.  

But a new role may be emerging from the ashes of middle management. New workflow, operations, and processes require intelligent and thoughtful coordination with an eye for matching the need with the skill. Coordination is typically a step below a management in the organizational hierarchy, but not for any good reason. Our changing workplace desperately needs synchronization and workload administration. This polarity shift requires us to re-examine the immense need for coordination in our future call center.  

When teams are spread thin across multiple time zones, platforms, and workstreams, self-organization is impossible. A talented coordinator should be able to manage people, processes, and technology in a way that can distribute work, connect and ensure smooth platform interface, and apply logic and rules to administrative decisions and tasks. Does all of this sound familiar?  

The challenges of managing and coordinating workflow have only been exacerbated by post-COVID adaptations. Other industries are discovering what the call center has known for years: that properly integrated and customized call center workforce management (WFM) technology can empower your people and efficiently run your processes.

In our new workplace environment where job descriptions tend to be specialized and responsibilities tend to be fluid, it's important to understand what exactly we need managed as well. Organizations that expect their teams to run, organize, and actualize on their own are in for a rude awakening. The skills required for the management of human, technological, or structural resources is a challenge for even the most seasoned and talented individuals. Learn more about how  Alvaria Workforce can streamline processes and coordinate resource management today.