Why time tracking is better for agents than managers - contrary to popular belief

Illustration of Why time tracking is better for agents than managers

As someone who worked with time tracking software as an agent, I know firsthand how aggressive this can sometimes feel. Agents dealing with time tracking can wonder:  

“You are following everything I’m doing throughout my day? Don’t you trust me…?” 

After a few short weeks I came to learn that it wasn’t about me, or the work I was doing. It was for me and to help me have a better life. Let’s take a look at why time tracking is actually beneficial for agents!

WFM benefits both sides: Agents and Managers

When you look for some of the benefits of WFM and agent tracking you’ll likely find things like boosting efficiency, better SLAs, putting the right people in the right place at the right time. All of these workforce management buzzwords are mostly for the managers’ benefit. Or the company itself.

The other side of WFM is the direct and positive impact it has on employee experience, and how it can help make work better for the agents in your workforce. 

Rather than just giving the higher-ups the ability to watch everything a specialist does, WFM actually provides valuable insights into the opportunities for improvement for your teams. You can go beyond knowing what your teams are doing, to explore which areas your team needs help with, what additional resources we need to build and disseminate, and when people are burning out. 

With more information, your support teams can have better support for itself.

Let’s look into 3 examples: 

1. Proper coverage = agents that stay engaged, and can take time off when they need it!

When managers have a clear understanding of how many people they need to meet their SLAs, it allows agents to take time off when needed rather than coming into work to sit when volumes are not high enough to keep everyone busy. 

2. Difficult requests take longer to handle and can get agents stuck and frustrated with their work. Frustrated agents get burnt out quickly without help.

When teams implement WFM tools (like time tracking), managers gain the ability to see insights into the workflow.  So they can look into more tricky requests and how those requests ultimately impact customers and agents. Their expectations and their satisfaction.

Identifying the requests that are causing frustrations for the support team empowers the team to explore options that make this workflow easier for the agents to deal with.

3. Validating team success when they are truly kicking a** directly benefits agent morale and your company culture.

Having increased visibility into agent experience means it’s easier to see when an agent pushes themselves to success. When agents are smashing their WFM metrics and making progress towards their KPI goals. So being able to see how they're doing offers the opportunity to create incentive structures that your agents love, and push their work to the next level. 

With that validation, teams feel better at work.

With scorecards, you can also develop competitiveness through gamification, bringing them together in a way that creates a result that is much more than the agent's combined work. The symbiosis and energy this brings within teams brings further success, reaching goals and smashing OKRs

WFM brings support and experience teams together.

Workforce management provides holistic planning and assessment of the help that is needed at any given time. It’s less about the managers being able to pinpoint good or bad behaviors because generally, managers trust agents. It is more about understanding that everyone is pulling their weight, and if someone is having a hard time, being able to determine why, and create a gameplan for improvement.

Generally, when we are seeing bad agent behavior - this is not because specialists don’t want to do the work - but rather they do not have the training, information or experience needed to handle the work they’ve been assigned. 

Time tracking in specific, and WFM tools in general, can help understand pain points and what you need to do to make sure agents can do their job well. It will highlight the resources, training, or coaching needed.

The purpose of WFM isn't big brother-ish. It's not to have people watching every move team members make during work. It's used by managers to gain an understanding of the resources and training that would drive the team towards their common goals. Rather than separating the team and singling people out, if something goes wrong, it allows the teams to have the full context of what went wrong. Which is the first step towards preventing that from happening in the future. 

The ultimate goal is to eliminate hiccups the team experiences through effective monitoring of queues and the allocation of resources.

About Tymeshift:

We’re Tymeshift, an effortless WFM solution made exclusively for Zendesk to make workforce managers’ lives easier. Our workforce management tools include shift scheduling, forecasting and analytics. A perfectly intuitive Zendesk integration makes your CX agents’ lives easier. Learn all there is about us and our product on tymeshift.com