How to Achieve Higher Employee Engagement with Shift Bidding

Posted by Kathy Sobus on Aug 13, 2018 12:55:38 PM

Scheduling can be a complicated and daunting task, especially for companies that manage many employees. Between family, illness, and absenteeism, employees may choose to take time off work, leaving Contact Center managers scrambling to find coverage.

Has this ever happened to you?  How often?  

In all these cases, employees not only want to work and get paid, but they also want flexibility in their jobs. In contact centers specifically, staffing needs are consistently inconsistent, making it hard to plan for these situations.

This is where shift bidding comes in. Shift bidding allows agents to self-select when they would like to work by going online or by using an app on their mobile devices. These applications then use algorithms to determine the type of work or skills that are required for coverage and identify the most qualified bidders to cover each shift.

Read on to learn how shift bidding has evolved to help companies better schedule employees, boost engagement, and improve the customer experience.

Traditional Shift Bidding

Before shift bidding software existed, scheduling managers were required to compile agents’ availabilities and manually build out work schedules. However, this often led to confusion and employee dissatisfaction.

Consider the following scenario:

Susan would call Mary, the scheduler. Mary would then have to figure out what skill was needed for coverage for the rest of the day, Susan’s lunch and breaks, and begin dialing for help. She identifies three people who are interested in covering the shift.

So, who is awarded the shift? Is it first come, first served? Is it the most skilled employee? Is it the one needing overtime? What if she doesn’t get someone? What then?

With manual shift bidding, identifying the right employees to cover shifts is a time-consuming, tedious process that can ultimately hurt the bottom line. That’s why today’s Contact Center managers are taking proactive steps and adopting more advanced technologies to improve their workforce management programs.

The Benefits of Utilizing Shift Bidding Software

Shift bidding is a practical solution for any organization that relies on part-time or on-call staff members. Once you’ve incorporated it into your scheduling management strategy, employees can place bids on shifts or pick up additional shifts at the set pay rate. This in turn allows them to work when they choose, offering flexibility and autonomy.

The software then assigns shifts based on criteria, such as seniority, skill level, overtime, training, and the lowest acceptable bid, to ensure shifts are covered by the most qualified employees.

A simpler, more streamlined shift bidding process yields the following benefits:  

  • Reduced administrative costs associated with manual scheduling.
  • Scheduling with minimal employer intervention.
  • Increased level of flexibility for employees.
  • Higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.                                              
  • Time savings by eliminating the need to manually determine employee availability.   

In short, allowing your employees to manage their own schedules just makes good business sense. By leveraging the latest management technologies, you can keep one step ahead and ensure a more satisfied workforce.  

Smarter Management for Higher Employee Engagement  

Empowering your agents through self-scheduling is just one way to improve engagement within your organization. Download the FREE Workforce Engagement white paper to learn about more technologies that are transforming the workplace and helping to provide better customer experiences.

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Topics: Customer Experience


Kathy Sobus
Kathy Sobus  -- As the Senior Director of Customer Experience Strategy for ConvergeOne, Kathy Sobus leads a team with extensive experience in the contact center business and drives strategic alliances and partnerships with various vendors and providers. She is an expert in the area of customer experience and helps clients enhance their contact centers to more effectively respond to their customers’ ever-changing needs.