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Workforce Wellbeing Recovery Toolkit

Practical strategies & resources to turn workforce wellbeing into your competitive advantage.

Whatever you call it — the new normal, the next normal, the evolved world of work — we are in it now. It’s now evident that many of the key changes that have defined the last two years will have lasting impact. Customer loyalty is up for grabs — not just because the pandemic changed buying habits, but because it opened consumers’ eyes to a new standard of seamless, personalized customer experience. But as companies strive to meet and exceed these higher CX (customer experience) demands, they’re hamstrung by a tight and tough labor market that experts predict won’t fully resolve for years. Talk to business leaders in just about any sector and they’ll tell you their growth will be determined — or limited — by their ability to attract, retain and foster a talented, engaged workforce.
Employee wellbeing isn’t just about hiring and retention: Fatigue and stress directly impact productivity and performance.

We are in the New Now.


Whatever you call it — the new normal, the next normal, the evolved world of work — we are in it now. It’s now evident that many of the key changes that have defined the last two years will have lasting impact. Customer loyalty is up for grabs — not just because the pandemic changed buying habits, but because it opened consumers’ eyes to a new standard of seamless, personalized customer experience. But as companies strive to meet and exceed these higher CX (customer experience) demands, they’re hamstrung by a tight and tough labor market that experts predict won’t fully resolve for years. Talk to business leaders in just about any sector and they’ll tell you their growth will be determined — or limited — by their ability to attract, retain and foster a talented, engaged workforce.


The root cause of the Great Resignation/Great Reshuffling/Big Quit isn’t exactly a mystery: Stats on job satisfaction, workplace stress and mental health have been trending downward for years now — the pandemic was just the inflection point. Employee wellbeing isn’t just about hiring and retention: Fatigue and stress directly impact productivity and performance. One report estimated that workplace stress, mental and emotional fatigue, and disengagement combine to cost companies $850 billion annually.1 In the contact center, the performance impacts are even more clear: Research consistently shows that engaged and satisfied agents and managers provide better service that drives higher customer satisfaction metrics. Companies that are successfully accelerating into this New Now are leaning into this challenge. They’re investing in workplace wellbeing in order to turn a tight labor market into their competitive advantage — building a compassionate and empowering work culture that attracts and retains top talent at all levels. And they’re hedging their bets on a simple equation that will define this next era:


People, Process + Technology


Contact centers uniquely feel the dual pressures of tight labor and rising customer expectations. But there is no silver-bullet solution — contact centers need to put together a combination of people-, process- and technology-powered solutions to address these challenges. Likewise, workforce wellbeing is not uniform across all employees — agents, management and operations staff, and senior leaders all have different stressors. This recovery toolkit provides clear insights and simple resources to help you make smart improvements and high-impact investments that hit every level. With every kit you will identify key stresses, receive checklists to improve wellbeing via processes, and get a tech buyer’s guide to support the wellbeing and success of each stakeholder.


Agent Wellbeing Kit: Drive Engagement + Retention


Just as workforce wellbeing is an inside-out strategy for driving growth, it’s also a strategy that must be powered from the bottom up. The unique stressors on frontline workers in every industry have been brought into the spotlight over the last two years, and business leaders increasingly recognize that focusing on the wellness of these workers is a foundational necessity for their success. So, as contact centers look to support and enhance agent wellness, where do they start? Calabrio’s 2021 Health of the Contact Center report sheds light on the three biggest stressors for agents today: Too Many Calls The day-to-day stress for agents stems from the reality that there’s always another interaction coming — the work can feel endless as the queue grows. 1 in 3 agents say too many calls is their biggest source of workplace stress. Smart call routing platforms can help balance the load, avoiding the all-too-common scenario where your top performers (your most talented and valuable employees) are also your most overburdened. The right tech can also help balance staffing levels and build in automated breaks, as well as directly supporting agents during those calls — helping them avoid decision fatigue that can quickly impact performance.

Managing Schedules 41% of agents said work/life balance is their biggest stressor. The unpredictability of life over the past two years — school and childcare closures, caring for loved ones, etc. — makes managing schedules a key opportunity to alleviate some of this stress. Self-service scheduling capabilities can empower agents to take control of their own scheduling, feeling a sense of control and flexibility that directly mitigates work/life balance stress. Higher Customer Expectations Three out of four agents say rising customer expectations are a big challenge. Our consumer research shows people want faster and more empathetic service for more complex needs today. Agents are calling for more support from employers to meet customer complexity. Adopting a data-driven approach to your performance coaching and adding automation to reveal skills gaps enables you to be more efficient and personalized in how you develop their skills, no matter where you are–head to the wellbeing focus zone on coaching.


Agent stress is an organizational problem that demands process- and tech-driven solutions — which we’ll get to next. But there are suprisingly simple steps agents can take that empower them to reduce their own stress levels and feel more in-control of their own wellbeing. This agent de-stressing checklist gives simple tips you can promote that they put into practice today to help lower their stress at work:

 Agent stress is an organizational problem that demands process- and tech-driven solutions — which we’ll get to next. But there are suprisingly simple steps agents can take that empower them to reduce their own stress levels and feel more in-control of their own wellbeing. This agent de-stressing checklist gives simple tips you can promote that they put into practice today to help lower their stress at work:


Juggling the work/ life balance is a major source of stress for employees in every sector today. But as empowered workers re-think what they want their jobs to look like in the future of work, it’s not just about offering flexibility to alleviate stress. Workers want to see companies that make flexibility a core value that drives wellbeing, satisfaction and engagement. Employees don’t want to be locked into rigid schedules that are handed down from above. They don’t want to be at the mercy of a slow, manual approval workflow when they need to or want to make changes. Companies that fail to adjust to these new expectations will continue to see high attrition and low employee engagement — and they’ll struggle to deliver the service levels and customers experiences they need to thrive in a CX-driven world. Ten years ago, handing scheduling power over to agents just wasn’t possible. But today, smart contact center management platforms use AI and automation to finally make self-service agent scheduling a simple and practical possibility in every contact center — empowering agents to set, manage and change schedules, right from their smartphones.


The proliferation of contact center technology keeps accelerating, creating an overwhelming situation for organizations looking to implement forward-thinking tools that will attract, empower and retain agents and managers. To help you get started, here are key agent self-scheduling capabilities to look for as you evaluate contact center management solutions:

  1. Build your own schedule: Letting agents work extra when they can, by giving them the freedom to add work hours on either unscheduled or scheduled days. Based on contact center service needs.

  2. Power over breaks: Enabling frontline employees/ agents to independently move lunches and breaks — and automatically re-balancing shifts.

  3. Shift trading: Enabling employees to trade shifts — with or without approval/intervention (depending on policy) — while maintaining staffinglevel requirements.

  4. Overtime management: Allowing employees to set their own overtime availability — and see and accept available overtime shifts.

  5. Vacation planning: Employees should be able to schedule their own absences and vacation time from a mobile-friendly portal.

  6. Absence/Overtime probability: Showing employees the likelihood of having a time-off or overtime request approved before they submit to streamline the approval process.

  7. Chatbot support: AI-powered chatbot technology that automatically notifies agents when voluntary time off or overtime is available. Conversational flows easily make the changes for agents.


Management + Operations Staff Wellbeing Kit: Lead Teams Amid Every-Growing Complexity


Here’s the focal point of major stress for contact center management and operations staff right now: They’re juggling multiple people-centric problems around agent stress and agent performance — but these problems are all filtered through an increasingly complex web of technology. On the back end, they’re adding new channels to their core platforms to drive omnichannel strategies, splintering data into more and more silos: 1 in 4 organizations now has more than 50 distinct data silos.

Those silos make it harder for manager to get the clear visibility to performance metrics and information they need to manage their teams. They’re being asked to provide more reporting and analytics insights from the contact center to the rest of the business — requiring them to manually pull together data and often create spreadsheet driven reports. On the front end, agent frustration with poor user experience is adding to stress and turnover. Half of agents say they don’t have the tech they need to be successful. And tech complexity is also making it more stressful to connect and communicate with teams. Two in three contact center managers are now leading remote or hybrid workforces, trying to figure out how to effectively onboard, train and coach agents when they’re not all just a short walk away. This complexity is all on top of the traditional challenge of balancing scheduling — which is eating up more and more time as it becomes trickier to find symmetry between more variable and dynamic contact volumes and the scheduling preferences of a hybrid workforce that is demanding greater control and flexibility than ever.


All of the agent stress trends and statistics covered in the last section fall squarely on the shoulders of contact center management and operations staff. They’re getting pressure from above to drive customer satisfaction and deliver stand-out, omnichannel experiences — and pressure from their agents who say they’re not getting the support they need to meet these rising demands. Agent coaching sits in the middle of these pressures. As customer self-service and automation handle more of the simple calls, agents have made it clear that they need more support from management to help with tough calls and the increasingly complexity of customer needs. Support doesn’t mean stepping in to handle those tough calls. Rather, agents want more individualized coaching to help them grow their skillset — including targeted training on how to better use the tech tools available to them.

More effective employee coaching also helps address the agent retention pressures that contact center managers are feeling right now. Agents are happier and less stressed when they feel they’re skilled and successful in their jobs. But more personalized training and coaching are also the core foundation for building a work environment that fosters professional development and growth. Considering that agents cite lack of professional development opportunities as one of the top reasons for leaving jobs right now, better coaching is a powerful strategy for boosting employee performance and satisfaction today — and creating a talented and loyal workforce for tomorrow. In addition to meeting employees’ expectations, improving coaching and training is proving to be a powerful operational strategy for many organizations. Facing the ongoing labor and skill shortages, leading contact centers are focusing on upskilling and reskilling to fill gaps and build out talent with the employees they already have. Data-driven performance coaching is no longer a nice to have, but a must-have in the era of remote and hybrid working.


The answer here isn’t more technology — it’s re-evaluating your tech and reinvesting in humancentric platforms that are purpose-built to address the real pain points management and operations staff are feeling today: Ease Of Use Comes First: Seek out technologies that are built to be easy-to learn and easy-to-use — simplifying and accelerating onboarding and training of new employees and mitigating agent frustration with intuitive functionality. Break Down The Silos: Make sure the platform is designed for an omnichannel future, delivering clear visibility across all channels for agents, management and operations staff.

Powerful Predictive Analytics: Leading contact center platforms to harness the power of Big Data — without requiring any background in data science — so management and operations staff can leverage smart, predictive insights for scheduling, planning and coaching. Purpose-Built Coaching Functionality: Look for tools that automatically deliver powerful coaching capabilities for management — such as identifying individual and team skill gaps, building plans based on these insights, tracking effectiveness of coaches, providing agent scorecards and enabling gamification to motivate performance improvements. Automating The Everyday: Modern contact center tools should deliver meaningful and empowering automation — from auto-generating perfectly balanced schedules, to enabling automated, rule-based approval workflows — that free up more time to focus on strategic initiatives that add higher-level value for the business. Agent-Empowering Self-Service: Innovative self-service schedule management capabilities create a powerful synergy — relieving much of the tedious schedule management and approval burdens for management and operations staff, while simultaneously enhancing agent satisfaction, engagement and retention. Visibility For Remote/Hybrid Workforces: Make sure your technology gives you real-time lineof-sight and communication channels for all agents, no matter where they are located. The most advanced platforms automatically connect agent location to their schedule and performance, making it easy for management and operations staff to identify actionable insights — such as tech gaps between remote and on-site workers, or performance trends that may impact how you schedule agents to deliver optimal service levels.


CX Leader Wellbeing Kit: Power the Next-Gen Customer Experience


At the senior level, CX leaders are feeling the same big, blunt CX and EX pressures as they work to build next-gen customer journeys. They know they need to deliver seamless experiences across every channel — so they’re investing in building (or stitching together) omnichannel platforms. They know they need to deliver hyper-personalized experiences to earn loyalty — so they’re implementing new analytics tools to unlock predictive insights on what customers want. And they know they need to empower customers to get faster answers — so they’re adding more selfservice capabilities for the basic customer needs.

But delivering the next-gen CX isn’t just a tech-driven challenge. Customer journeys are deeply human, and our 2021 research showed consumers not only want faster service and more self-service — they also want that empathetic human touch more than ever. The key stressor for CX leaders, then, is building a team of talented and compassionate problem-solvers — at a time when finding and keeping talented people is as difficult and expensive as ever. CX leaders are familiar with these stresses. But here’s something that’s too often overlooked: Stress at the leadership level permeates the rest of the workforce. Moreover, when CX leaders are overburdened by the day-to-day stress, they suffer from the same basic problem as agents, management and operations staff: They have less time and mental energy to devote to true problem-solving and value-building. High levels of stress at the leadership level shouldn’t be a given — there are people-, process- and tech-driven solutions to ease these burdens more effectively.


While everything already covered in this toolkit will ultimately ladder up to address these top-level stressors, CX leaders should be careful not to underestimate their direct, personal role in shaping work culture — how their own workplace wellbeing impacts that of the rest of their workforce. How you handle stress helps to define norms that are passed down to management and eventually to agents on the front lines. CX leaders can start with this simple checklist to help them understand and improve their approach to managing stress and wellbeing at work:


There are critical people-powered and process-driven components to CX transformation. But the reality is that a next-gen CX demands a next-gen tech stack, as well — and that starts in the contact center. This isn’t new to CX leaders — the vast majority are already aggressively investing in new technologies to power CX improvements. But as you look to build your next-gen tech stack, it’s important to make sure your tools and technologies are both human-centric — built to empower the real, live people who will use them — and forward-thinking — built to empower you to predict and adapt to the CX and EX demands of tomorrow.

Break Data Silos with True Business Intelligence Capabilities

Contact center platforms aren’t siloed within the contact center anymore — they’re the heart of customer intelligence and the foundation for organization-wide business intelligence (BI). Look for a tech platform that is able to automatically integrate all your data streams from across the organization — and harness that data with BI tools that give you predictive and prescriptive insights you can act on, without a team of in-house data scientists.

Automation that Unburdens Management + Operations

Today’s leading contact center platforms use sophisticated AI to automate the everyday management and operations functions. Seek out tech that can automatically generate and balance schedules, anticipating dynamic contact volume and aligning with available resources. And find a platform that can give management the automatic agent performance insights they need to provide real-time feedback and effective coaching.

Agent-Empowering Tools to Support Wellbeing

Your agents are your greatest CX differentiator. But most contact center platforms were built for managers and schedulers — not agents. Best-inclass platforms were designed from the ground up to empower your frontline agents with the information, intuitive capabilities and empowering tools to drive engagement, satisfaction and performance. This includes everything from simple-yet-powerful agent dashboards, to engaging gamification that makes improvement fun, to the self-service scheduling tools that enable agents to take control of their work-life balance.

Purpose-Built for the Cloud

Just about every contact center platform today offers a cloud deployment option. But most are limited by the square-peg-round-hole problem —they’re on-premise tools that have been shoehorned into a cloud deployment model. Seek out a platform that’s purpose-built for the cloud — and able to fully deliver on the speed, flexibility, analytics power and security of the cloud.

Deployment in Days — Not Months

The thought of deploying a new tech platform makes everyone in the organization groan. But today’s best built-for-the-cloud contact center platforms are designed to roll out quickly and easily on both the back and front ends. Pre-built integrations automatically connect with your existing tech and systems to pull in the data you need. Easy-to-learn and easy-to-use functionality accelerates onboarding. You can be up and running in days rather than enduring months of painstaking customization. Such freedom helps your brand grab the competitive advantage and reduces the stress of not keeping up with innovation and omnichannel expansion to meet customer needs.

Scalability to Grow with You

A purpose-built cloud platform gives growth-minded organizations perhaps the most critical quality: rapid scalability. You can get the exact solution to fit your needs today — without paying for extra capacity and functionality you won’t use — and easily scale up as the capacity and complexity of your needs grows along with your business.


Accelerating Growth From The Inside Out

It’s clear that pandemic-induced labor pressures are now living independent of the ups, downs and eventual resolution of the pandemic. To thrive in the future of work, organizations need to build strategies that focus on elevating employee wellbeing and staff empowerment. Those that play this game well will not only attack these challenges head-on but flip them into competitive advantages to attract and retain the best talent in a tight labor market. But take away the labor shortages — pretend the pandemic never happened — and we’d still be talking about these same core challenge and critical priorities around employee experience. That’s because the business world had begun shifting to a new experience paradigm years ago — from customer experience (CX) to brand experience (BX). Where the CX revolution elevated customer interactions as even more important than products and services, BX looks broader — including everything that lives in the space between those interactions. BX encompasses the full customer journey; it’s shaped and influenced by the values and purpose of the organization; and it includes the myriad intangibles that add up to the holistic sensation customers feel about an organization. Plenty of attention has focused on the technical side of the BX/customer journey.

Companies are making big, bold investments in omnichannel, automation, self-service — the tech to make a seamless BX possible. But BX transformation can’t be achieved through tech alone. Experiences are deeply human — and BX demands human-centric solutions. The early leaders in the BX revolution are building a human-centric approach by recognizing that employee experience should be the driver of process and technology changes. They’re elevating employee wellbeing as a core business value, making process changes that target key job stressors, and building human-centric tech stacks that ensure employees are supported with the information, tools and coaching they need to be successful. These strategies all drive rapid improvements to individual customer interactions. But much more importantly, these EX strategies build a work culture that values every employee’s contribution to BX, that engages and supports every worker in doing their very best work, and that inspires and motivates employees to fully buy in to the brand experience you’re aiming to achieve. Just as employee satisfaction drives customer satisfaction, a workforce that is fully supported and bought-in to the work they do and the value they deliver is positively infectious on customers.

Note: Content credit Calabrio. For more information please visit

Calabrio is a customer engagement software company that provides analytic insights to catalyze growth through customer service contact centers. The Calabrio ONE® software suite empowers everyone in an organization, from contact center agents to the CEO, with easy-to-use tools that provide a better understanding of the customer. Every customer interaction yields insights that expand customer consciousness, which is how leading companies now drive growth and long-term corporate prosperity. Calabrio ONE is a unified workforce optimization (WFO) software suite–including call recording, quality management, workforce management, voice-of-the-customer (VoC) analytics and advanced reporting–that transforms the contact center into a customer engagement center and a valuable source of customer insight.


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