Are your workforce management and agents’ team structures optimal?
Properly determining the right number of resources to complete a task can often feel like a coin toss. There are no guides to aid in identifying the adequate number of supervisors nor employees that should be dedicated to Workforce Management (WFM?). Indeed, several factors such as workload, the nature of operations and the opening hours can further complicate the exercise.
In order to make your job easier, we have surveyed our customers and identified the best practices that are currently used on the market.
Workforce management team
There are few standards that exist to determine the number of members that a workforce management team should consist of. However, it is important to consider factors like the type of business model used, the number of sites and the current tools used within contact center.
According to a study conducted by The Society of Workforce Planning Professional , contact centers with 500 agents or fewer should have a ratio of one WFM team member for every 50 agents. Furthermore, a benchmarking study conducted among LOEM clients from various different settings (see below) allowed us to identify the following ratios:
Study of the ratio of workforce management team members (WFM) for the number of contact center agents
The agent-to-supervisor ratio depends on the responsibilities of the agents and the supervisors. However, establishing a proper balance to the ratio is critical to its success. If the ratio is too high, the agents will not receive enough coaching and feedback. This situation can lead to lower motivation and agent performance. Conversely, having too many supervisors can become a significant cost burden for the company as well as leading to micromanagement that can cause further discouragement for agents.
The supervisor-to-agent ratio directly influences agent satisfaction, which has been proven to be an important predictor of agent retention and, in turn, customer satisfaction.
In 2012, MetricNet  conducted a benchmark study that allowed them establish the correlation between the ratio and agent satisfaction levels.
According to their findings, the average number of agents per supervisor is 8.5. At less than 8 agents, it seems that the budgetary impact is greater than the benefits obtained in terms of the satisfaction of agents. However, at more than 15 agents per supervisor and the satisfaction also begins to decrease drastically.
COPC  recommends an agent-to-supervisor ratio between 10 to 15 agents per supervisor in order to maximize service good quality and effectively minimize costs.
Based on these results and on LOEM’s experience, a ratio of 12 agents per supervisor is optimal.
Did you know?
Did you know that Calabrio Workforce Management (WFM) can help you plan and budget for the hiring supervisors that are necessary for the effective management of your contact center? In addition to aiding in the hiring of agents necessary to achieve your long-term objectives, the strategic planning module of Calabrio facilitates planning of managerial staffing requirements as well as the material resources required, such as workstations and headsets.
As of version 9.4, the Calabrio strategic planning module has been a part of the basic features of Workforce Management. Plan for the upgrade of your Calabrio workforce management tool today, to benefit from this feature and many others.
Do not hesitate to contact LOEM for more information on the Calabrio Strategic planning and Vacation planning modules.