• Doug Casterton

5 pitfalls of effective WFM & how to avoid them?

Updated: Feb 7


Here are my top 5

  1. Forgetting that the 1st rule of forecasting is that all forecasts are WRONG

  2. Not adopting a Communicate, Communicate, Communicate strategy with clear prioritization and expectations set.

  3. A Workforce Plan that ignores the Human side at its peril.

  4. Not balancing WFM outcomes or aligning them to business strategy.

  5. Driving productivity at the cost of employee engagement.


Forgetting the 1st rule of forecasting; that all forecasts are either WRONG or Lucky.

Workforce Management teams often fall into the trap of selling or letting people think that forecasts are absolutes when the dictionary definition says they are no more than an estimate.

Uncertain forecasts should lead to ensuring you have in place alternative plans you can enact with agility.

  • Deploy What-IF modeling to inform risk and decision making.

  • Prepare contingency plans ahead of time – so what?

  • Empowers the Real-Time Team / and Operations to act.

  • Removes the 'what are we doing about this?' question.

  • Increases the response time for remedial action.


Not adopting a Communicate, Communicate, Communicate strategy with clear prioritization and expectations set.

A Workforce Management team is rarely not busy, and its analytical insight has far-reaching impacts not just directly related to workforce elements but Process & Tech also. Thus it is doubly essential to engage and work with stakeholders to prioritize workforce management output and set clear expectations on what is achievable and by when. A lack of clear expectations undermines workforce management performance and negatively impacts engagement, relationships, and teamwork. Further to this, I have often witnessed the Workforce Management team's producing some fantastic results, but nobody has recognized it due to little outward communication.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?


A Workforce Management Plan ignores the Human side at its peril

Good Workforce Management considers human behavior. Software and the new wave of WFM/WEM automation software mathematically and financially make sense because they can reduce planning workload and speed up the process, but this just makes EQ and Empathy as skills in a workforce management team that much more critical.


Not balancing WFM outcomes or aligning them to business strategy.


Driving productivity at the cost of Employee Engagement

Excellent customer experience starts with great employee engagement …at every level… Driving productivity is vital for any business, but when your workforce management strategy is driving short-term efficiency at the cost of employee engagement, you rapidly lose productivity through higher employee turnover and absentee rates.

Check out the weWFM Podcast on Apple or Spotify

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