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The Fundamentals of Workforce Engagement Management

Workforce engagement management (WEM) is a great tool to increase agents’ engagement and productivity in the contact center. Learn more here!

A highly engaged workforce can determine the difference between a good organization and a great one. Data shows that engaged employees drive growth, and companies with higher levels of engagement outperform companies with low engagement by 10% in customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity. But cracking the workforce engagement management challenge can be exceedingly difficult. The good news is that purpose-built solutions do exist.

What is workforce engagement management (WEM)?

Workforce engagement management is the management approach that deals with contact center employee performance. WEM encompasses the entire lifecycle of contact center employees:

  • Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Assigning KPIs
  • Managing
  • Motivating
  • Rewarding
  • Call recording
  • Optimization

WEM has evolved from what used to be known as “Workforce Optimization” or WFO. WFO focused on efficiencies and managing end results, with a focus on metrics such as per-employee productivity and costs. WEM takes a more holistic, pyramid-flip approach, focusing on driving results through engaging employees. WEM tools include call recording, performance management, quality management tools, and workforce management.

Why Implement Workforce Engagement Management Software

Call centers have traditionally struggled with high employee turnover, keeping employees motivated, and ensuring that despite these challenges, results are consistent and of high quality.

Workforce engagement management software has changed the game when it comes to having a highly motivated and effective team. There are several valuable benefits to implementing workforce engagement management software, including:

Measuring engagement effectively

Management guru Peter Drucker maintained, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Effectively measuring call center metrics is first and foremost the most critical step when it comes to setting and meeting KPIs. However, the Workforce Engagement Management approach means focusing first on employees – on call center agents – and ensuring that they are measured effectively, motivated, and engaged.

Optimizing key areas

If one of your KPIs is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) for example, then using WEM software to keep employees highly engaged, happy, and motivated will undoubtedly have a powerful knock-on effect in terms of their performance – and ultimately, customer satisfaction scores. A dedicated and passionate employee is much more likely to go the extra mile to ensure that a customer’s issues are resolved.

Access to gamification tools

There is a strong correlation between gamification and engagement. By implementing gamification in your call center as part of your Workforce Engagement Management strategy, you’re well positioned to see a significant increase in engagement, and following from this, results.


WEM tools can be harnessed to increase personalization, making all touchpoints within the WEM journey more relevant to employees.


Workforce Engagement Management software is a powerful way to promote feedback within teams and between employees and management. Feedback – especially when delivered in as close to real-time as possible – is known to boost performance and engagement.

Accelerating time to proficiency

Significantly shorten the time from onboarding to proficiency when it comes to getting new agents performing.

How to choose a workforce management platform?

Using a workforce management platform within your organization is certainly the best practice. But how do you choose the workforce management platform that’s best for your needs?

Important elements to look out for in a Workforce Engagement Management platform include:

Gamification options

Does the platform offer advanced gamification at its core? Gamification is a key differentiator when it comes to Workforce Engagement Management software. Look for platforms that are designed with this in mind and go beyond the leaderboards, as opposed to gamification being added as an afterthought.


Given the sensitive nature of employee and customer data – for example, call recordings – security is of paramount importance. Ensure that your solution has the highest levels of security such as ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type 2.


Ensure the solution you choose offers fully customizable, easy content authoring so that you have the flexibility to drive the desired behaviors across the organization.

Key features/tools of engagement management software

Workforce Engagement Management software consists of a few key features and tools, including:

Quality control

Quality control within the contact center environment has a number of implications. There is quality management, which is all about the tools pertaining to metrics and analytics and continuously enhancing a culture of ongoing improvement. Another area is quality scores – in this case, specific scores that a contact center seeks to achieve, and how employees can be empowered to reach these goals – including with coaching and regular feedback.

Performance management

Performance management is another key component of a comprehensive WEM software solution. Based on analytics, performance can be measured, managed, and improved.

Call recording

Call recording forms the basis for many analytics when it comes to Workforce Engagement Management. Not only are recorded calls valuable in feedback and coaching sessions with contact center employees, but there is also a ton of data that can be mined from such recordings, and used for measurement and improvement purposes.

Workforce management

Workforce management is an integral part of WEM and deals with the logistics of the workforce – forecasting volume, reducing idle time, scheduling, and managing all channels from one place.

Case Study: Impact of workforce engagement management on contact center productivity

Comdata is a Customer Management Outsourcing company, and after a recent merger is the sixth largest such company worldwide – with over 110 contact centers in 22 countries. The company aimed to manage and track goals centrally while ensuring personalization for teams and individuals to get the best results.

After much research, Comdata turned to Centrical, where they were able to access centralized performance management along with powerful gamification and microlearning capabilities.

Comdata employees received interactive quizzes, fun simulations, and engaging content, at a cadence of two to three times per week. The collaboration also included competitive challenges that helped focus employees on specific activities and create a more enjoyable and exciting atmosphere.

The results were truly impressive:

  • Average sales per hour per agent increased by 12%
  • Average revenue per sale increased by 18%

What started as a pilot quickly developed into a full engagement. Based on the phenomenal results, Comdata expanded the use of Centrical to all front-end customer service agents, going from 400 users to over 3,500. This was effortlessly handled by Centrical thanks to the system’s inbuilt scalability.

Centrical solutions for WEM implementation

Centrical’s platform offers a complete Workforce Engagement Management solution, including market-leading gamification options.

Personalized, scalable content excites and motivates contact center employees, reducing attrition and maximizing results.

Features such as gamified goals, guided performance feedback, and AI-powered microlearning help to improve handle times and resolution rates, increase sales and customer satisfaction, and help employees exceed contact center KPIs.

The Centrical platform helps to encourage feedback and coaching, add context, and get the most out of the WEM implementation. To see it in action, click here for a quick preview.

Final Thoughts on Workforce Engagement Management Implementation

Workforce Engagement Management has come a long way since “Workforce Optimization” or WFO. There is now an understanding of the central role played by the contact center employee, and how giving those employees the tools to thrive is what drives results at the end of the day. Some key takeaways:

  • There is a difference between WEM and WFO. WFO focuses more on delivering results by focusing on efficiency; with WEM focuses on doing this by engaging and motivating frontline employees.
  • Organizations with highly engaged employees outpace those without by 10% in customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity.
  • WEM benefits include faster time from onboarding to proficiency, more effective measuring, optimizing key areas, and access to gamification tools.
  • Research proves that gamification plays a central role in successful WEM integrations.

To learn more about how Centrical’s Workforce Engagement Management solution can kickstart your organization’s WEM journey, request a free demo.

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