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How to Calculate Adherence for Call Centers

Published: July 1, 2024 | By: Barrett Bolton

In the fast-paced environment of a contact center, efficiency and precision are key to maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and operational success. One critical performance metric that helps in achieving this is adherence. Adherence measures how well agents follow their assigned schedules, including their login times, breaks, and shifts. Learn how to calculate adherence in contact centers with this guide and improve customer satisfaction and operational efficiency by understanding this crucial metric.

What is Adherence?

Adherence is the degree to which contact center agents follow their planned schedules. It encompasses login times, break durations, and end-of-shift times. High adherence indicates that agents are following their schedules closely, whereas low adherence means agents are not. Maintaining adherence is critical as it improves customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. High adherence means staffing is optimal throughout the workday and that agents scheduled to work are engaged. Idle time is reduced, agents are available, and overstaffing is avoided.

Calculating Adherence

Calculating adherence uses a simple formula by subtracting the time that agents spend deviating from the schedule from their scheduled time, divided by their scheduled time, and multiplied by 100 to attain a percentage.

Adherence (%) = (Scheduled Time – Non-Adherent Time) / Scheduled Time x 100

Collecting all the data to be able to use the formula can be challenging. To calculate adherence, you need to know the scheduled time of an agent. This is the total time an agent is supposed to be available for work, including logged-in time, breaks, and other planned activities. Then, non-adherent time needs to be calculated. This refers to periods when agents deviate from their schedule, such as extended breaks, late logins, or early logouts. Lastly, you must apply the formula.

For example:

If the scheduled time for an agent is 240 minutes (8 hours), and the agent is 30 minutes late to log in, the agent’s adherence calculation would be the result of 30 subtracted from 240, divided by 240 and then multiplied by 100.

[(240 – 30) / 240] x 100 = 87.5%

This formula shows that the agent’s adherence rate was 87.5%.

Improving Adherence

When addressing adherence, it is best to use clear communication, regular monitoring, and flexibility. Ensure that agents understand the expectations of following a schedule but allow flexibility for unforeseen circumstances.

Using tools like Intradiem can help ensure adherence in contact centers. Intradiem monitors pre-scheduled events like breaks, lunch, and end-of-shift times, alerting agents ahead of time that an event is approaching. It can prompt agents to leave early, based on service conditions, and automatically adjust the workforce management (WFM) schedule accordingly.


Adherence is a critical metric in contact centers, reflecting how well agents follow their assigned schedules. Accurate calculation and consistent monitoring of this metric can significantly improve customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and cost management. By following the steps outlined and implementing best practices, contact centers can ensure high adherence, leading to better overall performance.

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