The ‘Adherence – Occupancy’ Balance


I heard something the other day that intrigued me.  What it talks about is obvious, when you think about it, but it was put in such a clear and concise way that I couldn’t help but focus on it –


‘When adherence goes up, occupancy comes down’


Like I said, pretty obvious when you think about it – when people are doing what they are supposed to be doing, there are more people available to do the work and everyone will be occupied a little less.  It’s ironic that the more an individual agent looks to limit their own occupancy through non-adherence, the overall impact on everyone’s occupancy is the exact opposite and this can quickly spiral out of control.  There’s a direct link between high occupancy and high attrition rates so the impact on the business can be massive.


So, logically, this now places even more importance on your control of Real Time Adherence.  Rather than managing adherence upwards to maintain staffing and protect service, you are also protecting your workforce from burnout by controlling occupancy.  I’m fairly sure that the agents won’t see that you are only doing it for their own good, though…


So why do people not adhere to schedules?  Well, there’s a huge number of reasons (including high workload as an example) but, in terms of those driven by agent behaviour, I’d have to say a big one is dissatisfaction with their schedule.  Maybe they’d prefer to be on break 15-minutes later to be with a friend – agents can be adept at manipulating their day to get the schedule they want rather than the one they have – all at the cost of adherence and occupancy.


Traditionally, trying to manage break and lunch changes can be labour-intensive and time-consuming, whilst an effective shift swap system can be difficult to administer.  However, Workforce Engagement Management tools like QStory’s ARTI software can automate these processes and give a certain degree of autonomy to the agent via automatically approved shift swaps, shift slides and break moves.  By allowing the agent to change their schedules to something closer to the one they’d ideally want, whilst still ensuring staffing levels are maintained and service is protected, ARTI can help agents to improve their own schedule adherence and control the Centre’s occupancy levels, preventing burnout and positively affecting attrition rates.

David will be present at The National Planning Conference at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham on 21st November 2018. Feel free to come and speak with him on this subject.