The Highest Bidder
Offering a bid system to agents for schedules, holiday hours or vacations is appealing to contact center and workforce managers. The bid processes supports systematic assignment and allows agents to have some input.
The question that managers often ask is how can we conduct the bidding. Seniority ranking is the most common approach to bidding. It is straightforward to rank based on new hire date and agents rarely question how the ranking was determined. The drawback is that seniority ranking can be demotivating for the less tenured agents.
Managers often ask if there is opportunity to reward certain behaviors and use an alternative ranking system for agents. Of course there is! The real question is “Can our organization implement an alternative ranking system that agents will embrace?”
Agent buy-in to an alternative ranking system mandates that the ranking system must be fair and impartial. It requires communication in advance and should give all agents ample opportunity to modify behaviors to impact the ranking. Some centers have tried to use quality monitoring scores and encountered pushback from agents. “A bad call was picked.” “The evaluator doesn’t like me.” “The other team manager scores calls more highly than my manager.” Quality monitoring in many centers is too subjective to be embraced by agents for bid ranking.
Look at the table below. This shows the impact of different ranking options including some blending of different factors. A little analysis up front can help anticipate the impact of the ranking and visualize the impact. To help ease agents into a different ranking option, some centers go with a 75% seniority, 25% other rank. This strategy is often mildly disruptive as agents acclimate to the new culture.