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What is Workforce Engagement Management (WEM)?

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Workforce engagement management (WEM) is replacing workforce optimization (WFO) in contact centers. Learn why WEM is becoming the new standard and how it can support better employee engagement. 

Over the last few years, workforce engagement management methods evolved to focus more on employee engagement than task management or quality management efforts. That shift sparked industry-wide interest in workforce engagement management (WEM), which helps managers track and improve agent engagement while improving the customer experience.

At ActivTrak, we know employee engagement is essential for business success, whether you’re running a contact center or a large enterprise. That’s why we created tools to help managers track metrics related to engagement so they can create a happier, more engaged work environment where employees are empowered to work wiser.

Read on to learn how an effective workforce engagement management solution can help your team improve employee performance while also delivering better customer experiences. And you’ll learn how ActivTrak can help you transform your performance management strategy and enhance the employee experience across your contact center or organization.

What is Workforce Engagement Management (WEM)?

Workforce engagement management (WEM) is a collection of solutions that support better customer service management. The goal of WEM is to guarantee a high level of performance while also improving agent engagement and well-being.

WEM technologies expand on the pre-existing workforce optimization (WFO) management tools that have been on the market for some time. WEM is different because it focuses on increasing employee engagement as well as improving workflows and task management. This focus on the agent experience is not only a way to boost retention and well-being but also a way to increase customer satisfaction. There’s plenty of data to support that happy employees make happy customers. Happy employees are engaged employees, and Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report cites a 20% increase in sales when employees are engaged. For a successful WEM solution, you need management tools that are top of the line in each of the areas discussed below.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Employee engagement is central to both employee retention and performance. Employees who feel that their company values their well-being, recognizes their contributions, provides opportunities for advancement, and enables them to do their best work are typically more dedicated to the company’s success and more motivated to help achieve its goals. On the other hand, disengagement and generally poor employee experiences contribute to high rates of employee turnover and can negatively impact an organization’s profitability and bottom line.

In fact, Gallup found that a highly engaged workforce increases profitability by 21%, while disengaged employees can cost companies as much as $550 billion annually. Managers must take employee engagement seriously to boost bottom lines, regulate workforce productivity levels, and make long-term investments in their company’s success and the success of their employees.

Elements of Workforce Engagement Management

WEM solutions help contact centers empower employees with tools to help boost employee performance without hurting the bottom line. A WEM solution should support:

Recruitment and Onboarding

The recruitment and onboarding process sets the stage for employee engagement.  It sets clear expectations, delivers comprehensive training, and offers ways for employees to ask questions from the start. At the end of an effective onboarding process, employees should feel supported and ready to begin working independently.

Evaluation and Improvement

Both managers and individual contributors should know what employee performance or customer experience metrics are collected and should understand what is considered a good score. If possible, employees should have access to the metrics themselves in real time so they can better understand how they work and make changes to improve on their own. Self-improvement is a scalable way to see gains for the organization and an empowering one for individuals to grow on their own.

Time Management

A great WEM solution delivers insights that support better time management, like call center or contact center forecasting, and metrics on the most productive hours to drive better customer experiences.

Assistance and Task Management

A built-in coaching functionality that leverages collected metrics helps employees with task management.Workers and managers can more easily understand their specific roles and ensure that tasks are evenly balanced across teams.

Metrics and Recognition

Recognizing good work is a great way to improve employee engagement. Collecting employee engagement metrics with a workforce engagement management solution can help managers highlight who needs their exceptional work recognized.

Voice of the Employee (VoE) Feedback

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a critical component of WEM solutions. Through call recording and interviews — customer feedback delivers insights into employee performance, so you can identify potential issues while also making customers feel valued. The importance of voice of the employee (VoE) feedback in improving employee engagement and the customer experience is another metric recognized in WEM. It offers all the same benefits as VoC but with an additional perspective that can further support higher employee engagement.

What Applications are Included in WEM?

The three main applications included in WEM are:

Quality Management Tools

These collect metrics and leverage analytics to help facilitate a culture of continuous improvement supported by evaluations and coaching integrations.

Productivity Management Software

Productivity management software empowers agents and managers to engage in improvement while utilizing data. With access to real-time metrics to help agents better understand their workflows, time management, and more, individuals can boost their performance and engagement on their own. Talk about win-win.

Workforce Management Software

Workforce management software simplifies much of the daily management of a contact center or enterprise. It automates essential tasks, calculates head counts to ensure you’re never short-staffed, forecasts contact volume, and more. Given that fair scheduling and task management play a crucial role in the employee experience, contact centers must have a high-quality workforce engagement management solution that simplifies these processes through automation.

How Workforce Engagement Management Improves a Contact Center

A WEM solution can prove transformative for a contact center. A few of the areas where effective workforce engagement management makes a significant difference include:

Contact Center Agent Attrition

Attrition (when employees leave a company for any reason) is a common problem in today’s workforce. A WEM solution can increase employee retention by positively impacting agent engagement by supporting effective scheduling, creating access to coaching and feedback, and empowering employees to make real-time improvements to their performance.

Quality Scores

For a contact center to achieve target quality scores, its agents need training and coaching to succeed. WEM solutions deliver the insights necessary for effective feedback and coaching  to leads to better employee performance.

Customer Experience and Satisfaction

Customers can tell when your agents are happy, engaged and invested in improvement. Workforce engagement management improves overall agent performance, which in turn improves the customer experience and satisfaction. This can also lead to higher quality scores.

Contact Center Budget

The workforce management software included in a WEM solution can help you better manage staffing levels and workflows, reducing labor costs and helping you stay within budget.

Engage Your Workforce with ActivTrak

Increasing employee engagement should be a top priority for any manager, whether they’re running a contact center or another large enterprise. Workforce engagement management solutions boost employee engagement for a better employee experience, higher retention and increased customer satisfaction, but not every WEM solution is created equal. You need workforce management software that leverages quantifiable data to assess engagement and point toward lasting change.

ActivTrak’s workforce analytics  solution can help. Intuitive dashboards show workforce performance and productivity at a glance so you can surface patterns, view workload trends, and identify early signs of disengagement that could compromise employee experience. You can then use this data to set team goals and benchmarks to help you take concrete steps to improve WEM.

ActivTrak’s solution for workforce engagement management also includes granular reports and coaching integrations to personalize the WEM improvement process, empowering you to bring employees into the conversation and motivate them to improve engagement on their own. With a transparent, collaborative and data-driven approach to workforce engagement management, you can improve both the employee experience and the customer experience.

Contact us to learn how ActivTrak can help optimize workforce engagement management.

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