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We know. On paper, Workforce Engagement isn't that complicated. But when you get into the nitty gritty, you may find terms like "WFM", "WFO" and "WEM" are used interchangeably. So, what's the difference? Is there any? Does it even matter?
We think so! So, to unravel this tangled web of terms and meanings, we propose a short rundown of WFM, WFO and WEM mean, and what that means for your contact center's success.
In the beginning there was no contact center. While customer service dates to the industrial revolution, the idea of a call or contact center only started coming into being around the 1960s with the Private Automated Business Exchanges (PABX), used to handle large numbers of customer contacts. In 1973, the firm Rockwell developed the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) which would make the concept of a call center finally possible. The technology allowed the system to gain traction and by the mid-90s it was a staple for businesses across all verticals.
Likewise, as the technology evolved, so did the roles and requirements of the contact center. Initially the main concern for businesses was to have an open communication channel and the bandwidth to handle an increasing number of callers. As time marched on, considerations of the quality of the agent-caller interactions and problem resolution came into play. That's where our different terms start to differ.
When we talk about Workforce Management, often abbreviated as WFM, we're talking about the capabilities that address staffing, planning, forecasting and agent time management. The capabilities associated with WFM allow companies to staff efficiently, prepare for the long term, and face day-to-day challenges quickly with easy-to-use tools across all contact center roles. These include workforce planning, recruitment, long term planning, process automation and capacity and budget modeling.
When we talk about Workforce Optimization, also known by the acronym WFO, we go a step further and consider how well a contact center performs and how to improve it. The capabilities associated with WFO help companies follow their customer experience interactions closely, ensuring levels of quality are maintained and both corporate and governmental policies are adhered to. These include: interaction recording, screen recording, quality management, speech and text analytics and voice of the customer.
As we broaden our scope further, we come into the concept of Workforce Engagement. At its core, Workforce Engagement wants to create the environment for workers to thrive; this means giving your employees the tools and options to become the driving force behind their own development and performance.
The capabilities associated with workforce engagement help companies track, manage and boost their service levels with tools to monitor performance, support employee development, and engage with workers in ways that motivate and drive results. These include performance management, coaching, training, employee onboarding and gamification.
What we call Workforce Engagement Management, or WEM, is the set of tools – or the full suite in the case of Genesys – that allows companies and employees to be the very best. WEM covers all three of the previous areas, from scheduling and forecasting to quality assurance and compliance to employee development, to offer a powerful and holistic approach to keeping your contact center running at optimum levels.
Stats don't lie. A recent report by Frost & Sullivan revealed that full Workforce Engagement Management adopters are 96% more likely to achieve overall profitability, 82% more likely to provide better quality customer experience (CX) and 60% more likely to have more highly-engaged and motivated employees. By implementing a full suite, you can leverage tools to boost any and all three of the main disciplines we identify in WEM.
This discipline is all about making sure your contact center is sufficiently staffed and ready to face the ups and downs of seasonal and everyday conditions. Capabilities associated with this discipline allow companies to staff efficiently, prepare for the long term, and face day-to-day challenges quickly with easy-to-use tools across all contact center roles.
This discipline, as its name implies, goes beyond just making sure you have enough agents on queue. Capabilities associated with this discipline help companies follow their customer experience interactions closely, ensuring levels of quality are maintained and both corporate and governmental policies are adhered to.
This discipline addresses, not just the need for your contact center to perform well, but the need for every individual player on your team to be and do their very best. Capabilities associated with this discipline help companies track, manage and boost their service levels with tools to monitor performance, support employee development, and engage with workers in ways that motivate and drive results.
Genesys® powers 25 billion of the world’s best customer experiences each year. Our success comes from connecting employee and customer conversations on any channel, every day. Over 10,000 companies in 100+ countries trust our #1 customer experience platform to drive great business outcomes and create lasting relationships. Combining the best of technology and human ingenuity, we build solutions that mirror natural communication and work the way you think. Our industry-leading solutions foster true omnichannel engagement, performing equally well across all channels, on-premise and in the cloud. Experience communication as it should be: fluid, instinctive and profoundly empowering.