Workforce Management Glossary

Workforce Management Glossary

List of Terms Work load Calculator Key Average Handle Time Tracker Key


List of Terms


Occupancy (OCC)

Percentage of time the agents spend handling calls (and after call work) compared with the total amount of time they are ready or available for calls to arrive.

Calculate Occupancy by adding Total Talk Time to Total After Call Work Time.

Occupancy and Service Level have an inverse relationship.  The higher the Service Level, the lower the Occupancy will be.  When Occupancy is low Agents will be on available or ready.  If you are understaffed customer may be waiting on hold, therefore your service level will drop.  If you are overstaffed agents will be waiting for calls.

Example: If you go to the counter at McDonald’s and all the employees at the working are taking orders from customers; you will have to wait in line.  The employees have high Occupancy.  Everyone is busy assisting customers.

If you go to the counter and 4 out of 5 employees are helping customers and one is available to take your order Occupancy is lower.  Service Level is higher, because you do now have to wait in line.

Talk Time

The amount of time the agent is on the call.

After Call Work or Wrap Up Time

The time after the call the agent is helping the customer.  I.e. processing notes from the call, processing order etc.

Average Handle Time

The average time an agent or group of agents assists customers.

Representative’s Total Handle Time / # of calls taken


Groups Total Handle Time / Total # of calls taken

**From a staffing perspective Average Handle Time should include total talk time + hold time.

FTE or Full-Time-Equivalents

The total number of hours of actual work or the true work hours.

I.e.  A representative works 40 hours a week.  Subtract the time you pay them for that is not work (lunch, breaks, meetings) = true work hours

** Full-Time-Equivalents help determine Overhead.


The number of hours it will take to handle call volume based on AHT & Occupancy.

Workload Calculator Key

Workload = the number of hours it will take to handle call volume based on AHT & Occupancy


Forecasted Calls input any number.


Average Handle Time. Best to use historical data.


Occupancy – Input with decimal i.e. 80% =.80


Time being looked at – Use 3600 for 1 hour or 1800 for :30 minutes.


Based on the variable this will be the number of production hours needed to handle that volume.

Average Handle Time Tracker Key

Use this to calculate new Average Handle Time goals for representatives throughout the month based current performance.

Note: Goals should not condone sacrificing quality.



Total Handle Seconds

Cycle to date

Cycle can be a month or a week, whatever your company determines

The agent’s AHT stats up to this point in the cycle

The agent’s # of calls up to this point in the cycle


Cycle End Goal

The AHT goal for the cycle

The number of call goals for the cycle



The new AHT goal they will need to reach the set goal for the end of the cycle.

The number of calls they will need to take to reach the goal for the end of the cycle.




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About the Author: Greg Meares

As a Sr. Consultant for Performance Connections, Inc., Greg's primary objective is to provide value to organizations that are focused on raising brand awareness. Additionally Greg works on improving the customer experience, through business process re-engineering, and call center best practices. Greg is an industry expert and is often called upon to provide his analysis and solution oriented approach to improving performance in the BPO and Call Center industry.

1 Comment

  1. I am looking to create a workforce management sheet in Excel and trying to see how to go about doing it, prior to purchasing a tool.

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