Measuring KPIs that Matter: Schedule Adherence

Schedule adherence is a useful indicator of productivity and performance predictability

Schedule Adherence

Last Edited: September 28, 2021

Anwesha Roy - UC Today

Anwesha Roy

High schedule adherence brings a degree of predictability that is invaluable in a contact centre environment. You can anticipate productivity, accommodate call volumes, and plan for dips/spikes. While achieving perfect schedule adherence is difficult in a large contact centre, there are small steps that can help you improve this metric. For example, the switch to WFH successfully improved schedule adherence by 7.4% this year.  

But before you aim for greater adherence to agent schedules, let us explore the precise meaning of this metric.  

What is Schedule Adherence?

You can define schedule adherence as a percentage measure reflecting how closely an agent’s actual daily activities as reported by the contact centre logs match their pre-scheduled tasks as originally set for the day. The number may lie anywhere between 100% and 0% – a higher value indicating greater, more predictable productivity.  

Here’s how you can calculate schedule adherence for individual agents at your contact centre:  

((Agent total handling time including hold time, talk time, wrap-up + scheduled breaks + scheduled meetings) ÷ total agent login hours for the day) x 100  

For example, let’s say an agent logs in at 9 AM and is scheduled to be available until 5 PM. that is a total login time of eight hours or 480 minutes. During this time, if they spend five hours on handling calls, half an hour in breaks, and half an hour in meetings, their schedule adherence will look like this:  

((300 + 30 + 30) ÷ 480) x 100 = 83.33% 

Do keep in mind that a higher schedule adherence KPI doesn’t necessarily mean that an agent is working longer hours or taking more calls. If they put in just four hours availability but are active for three and a half hours, they might be working less but are definitely more productive.  

Therefore, schedule adherence is a useful indicator of productivity and performance predictability – indirectly reflecting how engaged and loyal your agents are in the workplace.  

How to Improve Schedule Adherence? 

The first step to achieving a healthy adherence rate is pinpointing why agents aren’t conforming to set schedules. They might be spending too many minutes on personal activities like texting or checking social media. Attendance patterns might not be at par with industry standards, or your agents could be setting their status as “away” to avoid taking calls.  

Ultimately it comes down to how motivated your employees are and if they are genuinely interested in doing the job, versus just clocking in the hours.  

Here are a few tips to turn the needle in the right direction:  

  • Use gamification to inform agents about targets, performance, and progress in real-time 
  • Invest in an enjoyable work environment (with plenty of amenities, fun activities, etc.) so that agents are eager to turn up on time 
  • Inspire agents to deliver better customer experience through training  
  • Monitor agent status to keep prolonged “away” periods in check  

While 100% adherence is unrealistic – and could even lead to burnout – you should aim for anywhere between 80-90%. And don’t forget to dynamically update schedules so that you can measure this KPI correctly.  



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