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How to Improve Schedule Adherence in Call Centers


Call center schedule adherence is a kind of metric used, in order to determine whether or not the agents are working the amount of time they are intended to. Schedule adherence is important in call centers for ensuring smooth transitions between shifts but is one of the biggest challenges faced by call centers today. Recently, during a research study, it was found that “a single agent who is regularly ‘short’ on work-time adherence by 20 minutes per day throughout the year, costs the company 83 hours of lost work and $1,000 in wages (based upon an avg. $12/hr.),”. “This extrapolates to nearly 1,000 customer calls not handled by that agent over that same period!”

What necessary measures call centers can take to improve schedule adherence? To improve schedule adherence you have to adequately place your agents. The right number of staff with the right qualities and skills should be fixed at their right positions.

Here are the 5 tips to improve schedule adherence in your call centers:

1) Identify current performance adherence:

Identify existing levels of adherence and the amount of time wasted i.e. non-productive hours. You can determine the schedule adherence level by using this formula:


The equation will help you to know your call center agents’ adherence level and the amount of time they are spending on off-phone activities.


2) Detect the reasons for your agents going out of adherence:

Identify what times of days adherence is at its lowest, determine their main reasons, and then, the managers can work out their agents’ schedules. The reasons might be:

  • Agents frequently come late or take half-day holidays
  • Attending long breaks during their lunch hours
  • Taking the leaves for 5 days and don’t show up before a week

3) Implement automated Workforce management:

An automated workforce management system helps you to predict, schedule and track to get the most from available employees. By having the right resources at the right time and place, managers can improve call center adherence. Avoiding over-staffing and under-staffing is an added advantage of workforce management.

Research has found that only 71 percent of contact centers track or follow adherence to schedule, and only 66 percent of those companies are using commercial workforce management systems which make it easier to monitor adherence and make adjustments when schedules go out of alignment. Forty-two percent of contact centers surveyed revise their workforce schedules as required, without established intervals; 20 percent of respondents revise schedules on a monthly basis, 15 percent revise on a quarterly basis, and only four percent revise weekly.

4) Frequent adherence monitoring:

Consider your agents’ opinions when you develop company policies. Hold meetings where you can involve your staff. Motivate them to give their inputs, discuss with your teammates before bringing any changes in the schedule and make sure your team is comfortable. Define each policy clearly to them to avoid any sort of confusion and if they don’t agree allow them to provide constructive feedback for improvement. This would definitely help you to improve the adherence level in your call center.

5) Offer rewards who appreciate schedule adherence:

Offer rewards to the agents who adhere to their schedules. Compensate their sincerity with incentives. This can boost your agents to perform better and it can even motivate those agents who are underperforming their duties. It is important that agents are aware of the consequences of ‘out-of-adherence’ behavior to create a sense of responsibility.

No matter what strategies the managers apply to improve call center adherence, it can be not be accomplished completely without Call Center Software. But by using state-of-the-art scheduling solutions contact centers can make successive adjustments in schedule adherence.