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  • Writer's pictureCorey Couger Sewpersad

Absenteeism WFM Insights

Ever asked for an Absenteeism Trend report from the WFM team and got the average absenteeism per day in return?

How useful has that been to you, other than just the "oh Tuesdays seem to be the days with the highest absenteeism" - what actual value did you get out of it to improve business, or was the outcome to merely be harder on your employees who are absent on those days?

If the data were presented to me in the way mentioned above, my first question would be, "Why is there such high absenteeism on Tuesdays'."

The root cause of absenteeism (specifically agents in contact centers) is usually related to four things:

Health-related - sick leave longer than three days, related to conditions other than the regular Flu.

Job market - New opportunities at other companies usually occur with low or high performers.

Workload stress - Inconsistent WFM planning causes back-to-back staff to take back-to-back interactions, work shorter breaks, and always need overtime.

General - usually those days whereby the agent takes a day off due to the usual 'tummy cramps' or 'food poisoning'

Looking at the number of absent days, be it the total or average, in isolation will not provide any insight into understanding your workforce and prevent management from making positive changes in the business to improve employee engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty, which will ultimately enhance productivity CX.

If done correctly, the WFM team should provide insights into absenteeism trends based on real-world factors, such as a 'burnout percentage', which is the increase in absenteeism to expect after a hectic period in the contact center. While all of this may be covered in your Shrinkage as an overall percentage that is planned for, are you comfortable aiming to come in under the Shrinkage percentage and end the conversation there with no further insight into your staff and business, or is there a chance to preempt absenteeism and even resignations to improve the efficiency of your business, considering that majority of the workforce today consists of the Generation Z?

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