How to account for temporary call center shrinkage

When calculating call center shrinkage, should you include time for call center representatives that are on a leave of absence (LOA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or short-term disability?

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Where you account for longer-term shrinkage events such as LOA and FMLA in the forecasting and scheduling process for your call center staffing, it has an effect upon visibility into your true staffing requirement. Overall, you need to consider it in staffing budgets, but there are different ways to approach it.

If you add LOA and FMLA time into the shrinkage factor in a workforce management system, the system may spread the requirement out over the days and intervals of your forecast. Alternatively, you may want the specific LOA or FMLA to only apply to a few days or hours (e.g., day or evening) within the forecasting period. Applying the shrinkage evenly to all periods could cause you to under-staff during certain periods and over-staff in others.

The alternative to applying LOA and FMLA to call center shrinkage is to track the LOA and FMLA headcount separately from your core staff forecast and scheduling. You’ll still need to add the headcount into your overall staffing budget.

This was first published in June 2010

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