In today’s fast-paced business landscape, effectively managing a workforce is critical to the success of any organization. As companies strive to achieve operational excellence, reduce costs, and increase productivity, workforce management has gained significant attention.
Workforce management (WFM) is a comprehensive approach to managing a company’s workforce across all its departments, functions, and locations, with the goal of optimizing operations and empowering organizations.
This article provides an overview and helps you determine what workforce management solutions are right for your business, as well as the ways in which our team of WFM consultants can help your company create a more mindful HR technology strategy to optimize operations and make the most of your investments.
Let’s get started!
What is Workforce Management?
At its core, workforce management involves a comprehensive set of practices, processes, and technologies that enable organizations to effectively manage their workforce in a strategic and data-driven manner. WFM encompasses a wide range of activities, including labor planning, scheduling, time and attendance tracking, performance management, and workforce analytics, to help companies improve efficiency, enhance service delivery, and maximize value across their entire enterprise.
Understanding the Importance of WFM
One of the key drivers behind the adoption of workforce management is the increasing complexity of managing a diverse and dynamic workforce. And, additionally, workforce management is not limited to a particular industry or specific-sized business — it’s applicable to almost every sector, including retail, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, and contact centers, among others.
Today’s global workforce comprises employees with different skill sets, experience levels, and work preferences. They may work in multiple locations, have varying schedules, and be subject to different labor regulations.
Workforce management provides organizations with the tools and processes to effectively manage this complexity, build smarter workforce plans, and align it with their strategic objectives.
What Does Workforce Management Do?
Workforce software helps organizations manage labor, workforce planning, and the entire employee lifecycle. They can also be equipped with features that help with workforce health and safety.
Here are some of the core features of functional WFM solutions…
Labor management and planning are crucial components. It aligns labor management with workforce demand based on historical data, seasonality, customer demand, and other relevant factors.
With accurate labor planning, organizations can ensure that they have the right number of employees with the right skills at the right time.
This helps to prevent understaffing or overstaffing situations, which can result in increased labor costs or reduced service levels.
Create strategic workforce plans that align with labor demand, employee availability, labor laws, and other constraints.
Modern WFM software leverages advanced algorithms and automation to generate employee schedules that minimize labor costs, ensure compliance, and accommodate employee preferences.
This leads to improved employee satisfaction, better work-life balance, and increased productivity. Managing staff scheduling doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter.
Workforce analytics is a powerful capability that enables organizations to gain insights from their HR data and more. A WFM system collects, analyzes, and unifies data related to labor costs, productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and other workforce metrics.
This data can be used to identify trends, patterns, and correlations, which can inform decision-making and accelerate business performance. Workforce analytics helps organizations optimize labor costs, identify areas for process improvement, and make data-driven decisions that can impact the bottom line.
One of the most fundamental elements of WFM software is time and attendance tracking. It involves accurately capturing and recording employee work hours, breaks, and leaves to ensure compliance with labor laws and company policies.
Flexible workforce management solutions often offer various methods for time tracking, including biometric clocks, mobile apps, web portals, and integration with other systems such as access control and payroll. Accurate time and attendance tracking helps organizations prevent time fraud, reduce compliance risk, and ensure fair and consistent pay practices.
Performance and Talent Management
Performance and talent management is another essential aspect of workforce management. It involves setting performance goals, monitoring employee performance, providing feedback, and conducting thorough evaluations and performance reviews.
Solutions often include performance evaluation tools that help organizations align individual and team performance with their corporate strategy and objectives.
By providing real-time visibility into performance metrics and identifying areas for improvement, performance management enables organizations to drive employee engagement, improve productivity, and achieve better business outcomes.
Benefits of Enterprise Workforce Management Tools
Workforce management software is extremely important in helping build an agile workforce.
It ensures efficient staff scheduling, optimizes employee time, and improved business processes. Global enterprise organizations that implement workforce management solutions effectively can experience these benefits.
1) Reduce Costs
Overtime and overstaffing can be costly expenses for any employer. With the right solution, you can minimize these costs by forecasting labor needs. You can even track budgets and measure the impact of schedules as they’re developed.
2) Maximize Productivity
By reducing manual processes, your staff can better manage time and attendance policies. You’ll have the visibility to see a comprehensive set of metrics, including hours worked, staff availability, and more.
This insight will increase workforce productivity and ensure that managers have every shift covered — and can quickly respond when things change.
3) Integrated Employee Communications
Improve employee communications and collaboration capabilities with tools that allow them to provide feedback and preferences that can help managers gauge employee sentiment.
You can also provide a connected global workforce experience by allowing employees access to manage tasks like requesting time off, clocking in and out, changing shifts, and more from their mobile devices.
4) Reduce Compliance Risks
Address complex regulatory requirements and reduce compliance risks all in one comprehensive solution. The online record-keeping functionality is also a lifesaver if there’s ever an audit.
5) Increased Accuracy
By implementing enterprise workforce management software, you can eliminate a lot of data entry and manual tasks, which minimizes human error and increases accuracy. Another example is payroll. By automatically analyzing hourly labor and finding patterns of overtime, your payroll process becomes more reliable.
6) Enhanced Security Measures
Several workforce management solutions employ biometric data collection devices, such as fingerprint scanners, to accurately track employees’ clock-ins and clock-outs, effectively eliminating the practice of “buddy punching,” where one employee clocks in on behalf of another. And, location-based access to a web clock ensures that employees can only clock in from authorized work locations.
Advanced workforce management systems also incorporate machine learning algorithms that actively monitor for any suspicious activity or anomalies in the workforce management data, thereby preventing errors or fraudulent transactions from affecting payroll. These robust security measures provide reliable safeguards against potential misuse or fraudulent activities within the workforce management process.
Considerations for Selecting Flexible Workforce Management Solutions
When you evaluate workforce management systems, there are a few considerations your organization should keep in mind…
Simplicity for the Entire Organization
Look for solutions that allow everyone, from employees to managers and the human resources team, to seamlessly use them.
By integrating your workforce management system with tools such as global human capital management, your organization will experience increased value. Integrated modules address forecasting, scheduling, performance management, and compliance. By streamlining processes, your staff can focus on higher-value projects.
A comprehensive cloud platform will save you money by eliminating the expense of IT maintenance and updates. The implementation time is also faster by adopting cloud technology.
Getting Started With Workforce Management Software
If you’re considering a workforce management solution, you’re going to want to do your due diligence. Here are some questions your key stakeholders should be asking as you’re planning for a new solution.
- What are your existing processes?First, put together a list of your current workforce management processes and who manages them.
- Where could we improve?Next, talk to all of your key stakeholders about the current challenges and how they could be improved with new collaborative tools.
- What does our future look like?Analyze where the company is headed and how a scalable platform can help you get there faster.
- What do we want?Prioritize all the requirements your organization wants and needs in a workforce management tool and base your software search around those requirements.
Partner With Workforce Management Experts
Managing a workforce in this ever-changing landscape and heightened regulatory environment is anything but easy. You’re responsible for controlling costs, increasing productivity, and managing compliance — and one mistake can be extremely costly.
If you’re ready to level up your workforce management strategy, Surety Systems can help.
Whether you need help moving from outdated Kronos applications to a new UKG Dimensions solution, additional support navigating integrations across systems and departments, or an extra hand supporting your current HCM platform operations while transitioning to a newer solution, our team of consultants has what it takes to lead you to success, no matter what.
Getting Started with Our Team
Our team of senior-level consultants can help you build a comprehensive workforce suite designed around your business needs. By consolidating systems and increasing automation, your organization can meet your business goals and stay a step ahead.
Contact us to learn how we can help with your workforce planning strategy.