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Helping your workforce stay healthy - and you stay sane

Matt Hughes 20-Mar-2020 14:22:36
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A time to reflect, connect, project and deflect

Closeup portrait of angry young woman, blowing steam coming out of ears, about to have nervous atomic breakdown, isolated black background. Negative human emotions facial expression feelings attitude

Reflect

In these increasingly uncertain times, I’m sure you have taken time to consider how recent developments will impact you, your family and business. Especially since many of you will now be working remotely or from your home. This changes the dynamics of both your personal and professional life.

At U-WFM, we are always looking for new ways to support each of you. You may have already devised your own shift rotas and divided your personnel into groups to help stop the spread of infection but consider how you will proceed from here should this need for isolation continue. Wouldn’t having an efficient workforce management system make more sense than ever now with employees forced to work under such challenging circumstances? Keeping control and a clear overview is essential to your success.

Connect 

You can connect with us for support and brainstorm specifics around your business. Either contact me directly or one of my team so that we may help each other whilst we get used to moving through these times of uncertainty. There is no pressure or obligation. Just an open door.

I would love to hear your thoughts and any challenges you are facing. Perhaps you’d like to be part of a group contact/brainstorming and support call or take part in a co-working session – we could accommodate this.

Project

I have spoken to some of you individually and would like to extend my help. If you are open to the idea of a group activity, such as a round robin email or a google drive doc so that everyone can get involved, we can then pinpoint the main challenges and support each other. Otherwise, it can be kept at an individual level. Again, please let me have feedback on whether this is something that would support and help you.

Deflect

In the meantime:

  • Let us know of 2 adjustments you made to ensure your business or call centre continues to run smoothly that you could you share with others in the same position
  • What could sabotage your business or call centre in the coming weeks?

Please let me know your thoughts on the above.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Contact the team at U-WFM

 

 

Wellness in the Workplace

Matt Hughes 05-Mar-2020 11:15:00
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An organised workforce for improved well-being.

How does that work? Find out below.

wellness_in_the_workplace

This article is not suggesting contact centres should call up the masseurs and roll in the soapy tubs at work, but rather it invites them to shift their frame of knowledge a little to include the topic of well-being and personal wellness in their agenda.

Workforce Management Systems Can Help Improve Staff Well-being

We may not often see the terms “workforce management” and “well-being” in the same sentence. But if contact centre operators were to adopt the former to ensure the latter, it would be a sure-fire way of their staff being constantly on their A-game and feeling good about themselves.

U-WFM’s next generation Cloud Workforce Management can help contact centres plan a healthy year for both their employees and their business. Afterall, workforce management – a big part of Workforce Optimisation - is just another way of referring to the planning of staff (resources) at a more effective level. Since staff are the most important resource at a contact centre, operators would want to make sure they are motivated, happy and healthy.

 

Shocking Statistics

Mental health issues in the workplace are on the rise and UK employees are working some of the longest hours in the world and yet our productivity lags behind many other countries[1].

1 in 6.8 people are experiencing mental health

problems in the workplace (14.7%). [2]

This would suggest that more contact centres should be trying to strike a healthy work-life balance as this sector can be very unpredictable and erratic if not analysed with consistency and reliable data.

"That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing," says Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster.

In terms of looking after staff, the benefits of managing a workforce well include:

  • reduced stress
  • gained sense of control
  • improved happiness levels

instead of a stressed-out workforce, which often manifests itself in

  • high absenteeism
  • low productivity and
  • poor customer service.

This is costing UK bosses billions of pounds each year in lost revenue due to compromised productivity. The effects can be catastrophic for both the health of the team and the health of the business.

Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days

in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.[3]

 

Promoting Well-being at Work

Studies have proven that being organised can reduce stress. We are looking after our well-being in our personal time, so why should it be any different at work? In brief, if the workforce is optimised as a resource, the employees benefit as well:

  1. They know what they are doing
  2. They do not suffer from undesirable surprises (such as sudden changes in shifts or unplanned/increased/decreased workloads)
  3. They feel like they have everything covered – that goes for the boss too!

Combining the world of technology and telephony with the soothing idealisms of wellness and personal well-being may be one of the most powerful tactics in a company’s arsenal of successful business strategies.

 

How Can Workforce Management Help Your Staff’s Health?

The outputs of WFM would ensure that agents have schedules that give them a work-life balance, with no shifts they dread because they are going to be extremely busy or bored. Balancing the workload throughout the week is important to avoid an unpleasant number or sequence of shifts to work. If agents are bored or over worked, this will ultimately impact on sickness and absenteeism figures.

workforce management

WFM makes for a more efficient organisation, use of resources and time management. When people are more at ease and know what is going on, know that everything is in hand and planned they are more relaxed and able to focus on their work, on the customer.

 

Bottom Line

Staff are more motivated and productive. Essentially, when the endorphins go up so do your profits!

More and more companies are getting their company’s health checked and not just their books. Instead of investing in office chair yoga training or meditation rooms, why not start with something that everyone will feel comfortable with and that is beneficial holistically, i.e. to the business and the people in it? WFM will make staff feel valued instead of overloaded, anxious, frustrated and undervalued. This then impacts on the bottom line and the company’s reputation.

Schedule a FREE Demo

We’d like to invite you to try this out for yourself with our FREE demo offer, where you will see that it’s possible for you to have a successful business AND for you and your employees to have a life – a healthy and happy one at that.

SIGN UP FOR FREE TRIAL

 

[1] A study by the TUC

[2] Mental Health Foundation

[3] ONS: Sickness Absence on the Labour Market

American Logistics Firmly in the Driving Seat with U-WFM Cloud-based Platform

Matt Hughes 20-Jan-2020 11:58:26
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London, 20 January 2020: U-WFM is pleased to announce an exciting collaboration with transportation company American Logistics – another perfect match made on the Twilio developer platform for communications.

U-WFM provides American Logistics with the next generation Cloud Workforce Management for Contact Centres that focuses on driving improved outcomes leveraging their most important and valuable asset: employees.

American Logisticssignature tagline: “Powered by Tech, Driven by People,” beautifully encapsulates the value proposition of both companies. The US-based transportation company embraces innovative technology, harnessing its benefits to make the journey for end customers as efficient and easy to access as possible. It’s imperative that American Logistics’ state-of-the-art operation centres’ personnel are constantly supplied with accurate and timely information.

This is where U-WFM comes in; U-WFM’s cloud workforce management platform helps American Logistics ensure optimal coverage on the phones to respond to customer requests, and timely service to ensure reliable and professional transportation.

We conducted an extensive search for a software platform to support our contact centre scheduling and call performance measures,” said Michael McAlpin, Chief Technology Officer for American Logistics. “U-WFM not only solved these needs but has empowered our agents with the ability to see and manage their schedules. We have seen great business value gained through efficiencies as well as the ability to measure and manage our contact centre performance and call metrics.” 

Offices at American Logistics

U-WFM’s CEO Matthew Hughes welcomes the challenge of working with such a fast-paced company that continues to grow and deliver a high-quality service. “I’d like to thank American Logistics for the faith they have placed in us and look forward to a rewarding collaboration.”

 

Click here to read full press release...

 

Was Your Contact Centre a Juggling Act last Christmas?

Matt Hughes 08-Jan-2020 11:19:53
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Had enough of Christmas? Well here’s one last gift for you that is sure to make your phones jingle with joy.Contact centres need seasonal workforce management

The Christmas rush

Did your contact centre face a crazy peak in demand in the run up to Christmas? I hope you were prepared. If not, instead of honing those juggling skills, how about using strategic planning to avoid the crush this year and take away the circus act. Prepare for the peak season with the help of a workforce management system that will help you optimally structure your staffing.

How seasonal workforce planning can help

A WFM system can help you with seasonal workforce planning through Forecasting, Scheduling and Real-Time monitoring.  With improved resource planning, you would know for sure if it is a good idea to hire more staff over the festive period. The investment could prove very profitable to you in the long term. Customers will get a better service because your staff will provide a better service as they are not overstretched.

Benefits of being organised

Many of us bemoan how early Christmas appears in the shops with all the tinsel and yule logs but planning ahead in business can never come too early. It is an opportunity for growth and improved corporate image. And if you are currently experiencing a “lull” in January, why not put that time to good use and explore the advantages of a workforce management system.

U-WFM for seasonal workforce planning

Being organised made simple

Excellent organisation is the basis of a company's success. It is what allows each company to deliver value to its customers every day. Because you are so busy with the day-to-day running of your company, the actual “organisation” of it ends up being managed mainly through “common sense”. Rather risky.

An optimally organised company ensures that all its resources (people, materials, tools) are coordinated with each other (processes) in order to direct their results (outputs) towards the company's objectives.

To achieve this requires the following factors for success:

  • the correct sizing of resources (number of personnel, equipment, etc.);
  • coordination between resources;
  • process management;
  • standardisation of all flows (information, people);
  • workload management;
  • seasonal workforce planning;
  • performance control (measurement, incentive, feedback);
  • communication and reporting systems;
  • continuous improvement processes

All these factors need to be continuously monitored and reviewed as a business is a forever evolving entity. Do you have time for this? U-WFM does.

How U-WFM can help you

A cloud-based Workforce Management solution from U-WFM will support the dynamics of your company, making sure demand is met at peak times and helping you plan your workforce for other seasonal shifts – after all at U-WFM, our customers, like yours, are not just for Christmas!

U-WFM solutions will help you help your customers in the right way, at the right time and for the right price, responding to requests at the lowest possible cost and in the shortest possible time.

Being organised is therefore at the heart of your company’s service. Don’t leave it to chance. Give yourself an early Christmas treat for 2020 and get organised.

For more information and to try our cloud-based workforce management system for yourself, please contact us at:

Tel: +44 (0)207 043 4178 - Email: info@u-wfm.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duka selects U-WFM’s Cloud Workforce Management

Matt Hughes 17-Oct-2019 13:34:56
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London, 17th October 2019:  U-WFM is delighted to announce Duka has selected its Workforce Management in the Cloud for its contact centre in Hinnerup, Denmark.

 

Duka Contact Centre

 

Duka is an innovative Danish company with ambitions to make a big difference to society. Duka’s goal is to make computers and the internet accessible to everyone regardless of age, thereby increasing communication with family and friends and providing access to information and services that are otherwise out of reach.

 

Designed as an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform, U-WFM will support Duka’s fast-growing operations with the proven benefits of automated forecasting and scheduling for its entire contact centre workforce. 

 

Mikkel Degn, Head of customer service at Duka says, “U-WFM’s solution is a great fit with our agile and innovative approach.  Our personalised IT support is being really well received, and our contact centre needs a workforce management solution that is not only cutting edge but can accommodate our business growth.  U-WFM’s comprehensive, yet flexible workforce management functionality, speed of implementation and future-proofed cloud technology, will help us to deliver the market-leading service levels that our customers have come to expect.”

 

U-WFM’s CEO Matthew Hughes says, “There is a lot of synergy between U-WFM and Duka and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.  It’s great to have the opportunity to work with Duka to maintain their market dominance and look forward to supporting Mikkel and the team during this exciting time in their development.”

 

Click here to read full press release...

 

 

Simply Business Contact Centre to benefit from U-WFM’s Cloud Workforce Management

Matt Hughes 27-Jun-2019 07:03:21
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London, 27th June 2019:  U-WFM has been selected by Simply Business to provide Workforce Management in the Cloud services for its Contact Centre in Northampton.

 

Simply Business  & U-WFM Partnership

 

With over 580,000 customers, Simply Business is one of the UK’s biggest business insurance providers. Making it simple for small businesses, landlords and the self-employed to create tailored insurance policies, the fintech company has offices in London, Northampton, and a growing Boston office in the US.

 

Technology is a vital part of Simply Business’s success. Supported by full-service in-house data capabilities which optimise efficiency and streamline customers’ online experience, yet Simply Business recognises that some customers prefer to speak to someone over the phone regarding their insurance. That’s where over 200 skilled consultants based in Northampton come in.

 

U-WFM’s flexible workforce management functionality will support Simply Business by providing automated task forecasting and scheduling for its entire Contact Centre workforce. The solution is scalable to meet the increasing volume of policies and subsequent contact into the company and deliver the optimal customer experience.

 

Daniel Cotton, Head of Operational Innovation at Simply Business says, “Our partnership with U-WFM is symbolic of our ambition to create one of the UK’s most progressive Contact Centres. We believe our customers of small business owners deserve the best possible insurance experience online and through the Contact Centre – so anything which enables a simpler process, including handling customer interactions even more efficiently, is to be welcomed. Crucially, our consultants will benefit too from the added flexibility U-WFM provide to our Operations – at an exciting time as we experiment our way to turning perceptions of what its like to work in a call centre on its head.”

 

U-WFM’s CEO Matthew Hughes says, “As passionate technology companies, there is a lot of synergy between U-WFM and Simply Business. One of the many advantages of   U-WFM is that it can quickly scale up so it’s great to partner with Simply Business during a sustained period of record growth.”

 

Click here to read full press release...

 

 

Schedule Accuracy Free Webinar

Matt Hughes 30-Apr-2019 10:20:52
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Join our COO, Tim Wharfe for a Webinar on Schedule Accuracy

Tuesday 4th June 2019 2PM BST

How accurate are your schedules?

The best practice answer to this question is that you set a threshold for what you consider acceptable for under or over staffing, then divide the number of acceptable intervals by the total intervals within a period. 

But, what if there was a better way?   A 100% mathematical way that doesn’t use made up thresholds, regardless of which WFM vendor you use. One that gives you a score on your schedule efficiency regardless of how under or overstaffed you are.  

Want to find out more?  Click below to join us for our free webinar...

RESERVE YOUR FREE PLACE

 

Schedule Optimisation

At this Webinar

What's in it for you ?

  • Demonstrate how to calculate schedule efficiency regardless of which WFM software you use 
  • A bespoke tool to take away and use in your own environment
  • Advice and guidance from Tim and other WFM experts on ways to improve schedule efficiency

About the Presenter

Tim Wharfe has been involved with call and contact centres for over 20 years.  Specialising early in Workforce Management, Tim has worked for some of the biggest contact centres in the UK including Aviva and Ventura. 

 Click here for more information and to reserve your free place:

RESERVE YOUR FREE PLACE

 

 

We look forward to welcoming you on the 4th June!

 

Ten Warning Signs That You Need an Automated Workforce Management Solution

Matt Hughes 16-Apr-2019 12:31:09
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Lola

 

 

Outgrown your 

in-house

Workforce          Management?

10 Contact Centre Warning Signs that it's time for Automation...>> 

 

Photo of Lola courtesy of @lola_chaz_anya_sandy

 

Part 1 of our blog series on justifying the case for Workforce Management focuses on the 10 telltale signs your contact centre is crying out for automation.

Is it time for your contact centre to make the move from spreadsheets or manual methods of forecasting and scheduling to an automated workforce management (wfm) application? Is your contact centre suffering from any of the below?

 

 Click here to read the full article...

 

See U-WFM at iNet's Contact Centre Executive Briefing

Matt Hughes 08-Feb-2019 15:17:50
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Come and meet us and see U-WFM in action at iNet's upcoming Contact Centre Optimisation Executive briefing.  This 1/2 day event takes place on 27th February at Vintners Place in London. 

RESERVE YOUR FREE PLACE

 

Tim Wharfe

At this interactive event, Workforce Management will be discussed in detail including the opportunity to see the U-WFM solution and ask questions.

What's in it for your Organisation ?

  • Understand the emerging trends related to contact centre resource planning 
  • Hear from contact centre resource planning experts and have the opportunity to ask questions
  • Share ideas and experiences and learn about best practices from the experts as well as fellow attendees
  • Networking opportunities with your peers
  • Take back ideas and practices that you can put in place to improve your organisations resource planning processes

 Click here for more information and to reserve your free place:

RESERVE YOUR FREE PLACE

 

We look forward to meeting you! 

 

iNet & U-WFM - A Winning Strategic Partnership for Contact Centres

Matt Hughes 09-Jan-2019 06:57:21
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U-WFM is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with leading telecoms network provider and one of the pioneers of cloud-hosted call centre solutions, iNet.

iNet & U-WFM Partner

iNet’s CEO, Michael Pavlou commented, “The partnership with U-WFM represents a step forward for iNet and our clients. With embedded Workforce Management driven by source call centre data, our clients enjoy a turnkey cloud contact centre solution.  Effective across all communication channels, customers have peace of mind that Service Levels are boosted by scheduling the rights agents, at the right time, with the right skills.”

 

With customer contact centres now under real pressure to rationalise costs and pursue a digital transformation agenda, the iNet/U-WFM partnership brings a complete, elegant, per-user solution that scales on-demand.   

 

The Future is OPEX. 

“The capital expenditure, installation, setup and management of traditional infrastructure based WFM tools with their associated complexity often outweighs the efficiency, value and purpose of utilisation,” remarked Matthew Hughes, CEO of U-WFM. “One of the benefits our partnership with iNet brings is the synergy in our understanding of the cloud operating expense model, its reduced complexity leading to increased effectiveness and where the customer service sector is heading,” said Matthew.

 

Click here to read full press release...

 

See U-WFM in action at iNet’s upcoming event, “Effective Resource Planning for Strategic Contact Centre Optimisation.” Workforce Management will be discussed in detail, including the keynote presentation, “The Impact of Ineffective Resource Planning Decisions on Contact Centre Efficiency.”  This Executive Briefing session will take place at the end of February at Vintners Place in London, click here for more information and to reserve your free place.

RESERVE YOUR FREE PLACE