It appears we are rapidly becoming a nation of “gig-ers.” We love our Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, et al. And why not? These are services that improve the lives of many. For consumers, the convenience of these services is evident, since so many are using them regularly. For the workers who provide the services, the convenience of the schedule flexibility that comes with “gig” jobs, is just as evident, since so many are seeking them. The only people who are less than delighted about the brave new “gig” world of work are those employers who need hourly workers, but offer no, or not much, work-schedule flexibility. Many contact centers fall into this category.
Schedule Flex? Seriously?
Without “warm bodies” in place answering phones and manning the chat and social media channels, contact centers cannot deliver the service they exist to provide. That makes rigid scheduling the foundational model for the contact center workforce. It’s difficult to let Agent “A” take a few hours off to go watch little daughter Lily’s soccer game when contact volume may be too high to do without a replacement and finding a replacement is a giant pain in the workforce administrator workload. For most of the contact center’s decades-long existence, it has been difficult to contemplate any other scheduling method, so the employees – agents – have simply had to comply if they wanted a job. Things have changed.
Rise of the Millennials
Boy, oh, boy have things changed. There’s that “gig” factor mentioned two paragraphs ago. And then there’s Gen Millennial, the largest population segment in today’s workforce. Gen Boomer’s nose-to-the-grindstone, work, work, work ethic does not apply. Life is not all about work, in their estimation. They want the flexibility to balance their personal lives and their work life. They embrace “gig” work because it affords them ability to arrange their lives per their wishes. As the Uber recruiting commercials proclaim, “Drive when you want to, don’t when you don’t.” This is music to the Millennial ear. A contact center ad announcing job availability with shifts from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Friday just doesn’t have the same appeal.
Yes, Winning the Staffing Wars in the Game of Gigs Is Doable
The logistics are actually not that hard. Download our new white on the subject! It provides you with the data you need to make the case for arming your contact center with the right tools to win against the army of “gig” employers who are enticing many in your pool of employees and potential employees away from you and into their flex-work world.