Benchmarks and Approaches for Managing Team Engagement Fin Analytics

Benchmarks and Approaches for Managing Team Engagement


While teams are at work for 8 hours a day, they are only able to focus a subset of their time on case work. What are benchmarks for team engagement on case work, and how should teams look to balance engagement?


Realistically, operations agents can’t spend 100% of their time on case work. Between breaks, team meetings, 1-on-1s, training, and more, a lot of things chip away at the 8 hours in any given work day.

So, what are acceptable benchmarks for how much time agents should be spending on case work, versus other things?

Many industry benchmarks suggest that your team should aim for an engagement rate of 80%. While that’s more realistic than aiming for 100%, it’s probably only possible for a small set of teams. If your team relies heavily on continuous learning or is always adapting to new processes, for example, your engagement rate will look different than that of a team whose knowledge base is well established up front and requires little to no iteration or re-training.

This article offers two main approaches for how to think about managing agent engagement: top-down, and bottom-up.

A Top-Down Approach to Target Engagement

A top down approach looks at the sum of all available agent hours, subtracts the necessary time for things like breaks and meetings, and sets a target engagement rate based on assumptions of what is rational, achievable, and good for the business.

For example, imagine you are deciding how long agent-manager 1-on-1 coaching sessions should be. The difference between an hour long meeting and a 30 minute meeting, on the margin, is not huge. When you add that up over a year, however, it ends up being a significant time cost.

Or, maybe you decide to design a tool that integrates agent education directly into the agents’ primary workflow tool. In-context learning can be a great way to disseminate training information, and will, by some measures, increase the percentage of agent time engaged on ‘case work,’ but it may not necessarily give you the real boost in productivity you are hoping to gain. If it’s less efficient, it’s less efficient, regardless of where the materials live.

The 80% engagement goal may be achievable in a week where nothing special is happening, but as soon as you introduce a new process, a new start class of agents, a broken tool, spiky demand, etc, that 80% goal becomes less realistic and harder to reach.

It’s important to set team-wide goals, but it’s also critical to make sure you’re thoughtfully allocating agent time and setting realistic expectations for what the breakdown of hours should look like on a given day, week, or month.

A Bottom-Up Approach from Measuring Engagement

The second approach for managing agent engagement looks from the bottom up. Rather than looking at team-wide averages and aggregate rollups, this approach benchmarks individuals against one another, and examines the variance within agent distributions.

In analyzing where agent time is going at the individual level, you can understand, on a given team, of a given tenure, the distribution of how much time agents are spending on case work versus other work. The goal then becomes to drive down variance.

Almost certainly, when you look bottom-up by person, you’re going to see a much wider variance in performance than you would expect. If you see that some agents’ engagement looks vastly different than others, it’s worth a conversation to understand what the expectations are, who is exceeding them, who is meeting them, and what the goal should be, at the individual level.

Every team is different, from the workflows, to the tool stack, to the people on the team. This bottom-up approach takes into account that complexity, which can be difficult to see from the top-down, and instead asks what a team is achieving not on average, but in the distribution. This data can then inform the types of goals to set in order to drive down the variation and set more realistic expectations for time spent on case work.

Conclusion

As an operations leader, you need to be thoughtful in both the top-down and bottom-up approaches when setting expectations for agent engagement. Ask, at a global level, what numbers are both healthy and achievable goals for your team, as well as on the distribution level, how can you drive down variance across agents. Having the data to give you a clear view from both perspectives will allow you to be scientific in your approach to both.


GET STARTED WITH FIN ANALYTICS

Fin Analytics gives your team ‘full funnel’ insights into your team’s work. Continuous live video and action logging you get the insights you need to provide better coaching and training, and the analytics you need to know where to focus process and engineering resources

We are happy to share with you industry specific case studies, and give you a custom walkthrough of the tool, or you can review our