Workforce management (WFM) systems were initially used to improve the productivity and efficiency of call centers. Today, WFM systems are employed in a variety of industries, including retail, grocery, and restaurants. Businesses of all types rely on workforce management software to improve the performance of their staff, keep employees happy, and schedule their workforce in a cost effective way. These systems also make it easier for businesses to stay compliant with changing labor laws and guidelines.
Strategizing for workforce management
Before deciding on a workforce management system, you should consider your business’s big picture goals. What are its mission, vision, and values? How do individual employees contribute to these goals? What tasks are essential, and which ones can be automated? What policies and procedures need to be in place to support your workforce?
The answers to these questions will help you determine two things. First, they will help you decide on the most important pieces of your WFM strategy. Second, they will help you outline the business requirements for your chosen WFM system. For example, is the automation of time and attendance tracking a major requirement for your business? If so, what are the policies employees will need to follow?
Whatever route you take, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen solution is compatible with your policies. If your business operates in CA, for instance, you don’t want to invest in a WFM solution that can’t handle complex meal and rest break rules.
How the right WFM system helps businesses
As you consider the available WFM solutions out there, keep in mind that a good workforce management system should:
- Support automation and standardization of common tasks, such as hiring and onboarding employees. This will save you time, money, and ensure you hire the right staff.
- Prevent overstaffing and understaffing while helping your business avoid the 3 stages of labor law noncompliance. You’ll save money by ensuring you have the right amount of staff at the right times, and you’ll avoid costly fines and fees.
- Improve customer service and satisfaction through a consistent customer experience. When you have the right amount of staff on hand, you keep customers happy, which encourages their loyalty.
- Provide tools to track employee performance and productivity. A good WFM solution will provide you with the data and metrics you need to determine whether your processes are effective.
And should provide many more benefits.
Mobile and remote workforce management
With the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile labor management or remote workforce management has become more critical than ever. It’s important that you think about how your chosen solution can help you work through the challenges of COVID. For example, does your chosen WFM system support contactless clock-ins and health checks? (TimeForge does!) However, the benefits can and should extend to day to day operations outside of the pandemic, as well.
Some of the major benefits of mobile WFM during COVID and beyond include:
Streamlined team communication
When team members are connected via mobile apps and messaging, it’s much easier to stay in the loop and abreast of changes.
Employee time card self-service
When staff members can check their attendance with their mobile phones, they don’t need to bug their managers for updates. They also spot discrepancies faster and can get those errors fixed before payroll is processed.
Employee scheduling self-service
When staff members can pick up or give up shifts, perform shift swaps, or bid on available shifts, they have higher job satisfaction than if their schedules are rigid and inflexible. This also frees up managers to focus their time on tasks other than scheduling.
Transfer bid shifts
Did you know that TimeForge lets you schedule employees across stores or locations? Transfers ensure that your workforce remains flexible and can be shared across sites.
Ensuring effective implementation of a WFM system
The larger your business, the more likely you will need a full-featured WFM suite. Ideally, your solution should simplify workforce management with a variety of tools that meet your business needs. It should also be user friendly and relatively easy to implement. Some tools you should consider as part of your WFM strategy include:
- Applicant tracking system (ATS)
- Human resource management (including online document storage)
- Performance and training management
- Employee timekeeping, online time cards
- Scheduling and schedule enforcement
- Budgeting and sales forecasting
- Reporting and analytics
- Task management
These tools empower businesses to:
- improve time management
- hire effectively
- schedule employees
- schedule business processes
- forecast sales and predict labor needs
- automate many aspects of management
- and more!
The value of WFM systems
A good workforce management solution should be user friendly and easy to implement. It should support your company’s mission, vision, and goals by optimizing your workforce and ensuring the effective use of resources. Of course, this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Your WFM system should also be able to take into account things like labor laws, which can have a huge impact on your scheduling and attendance policies depending on where your business is located. Did you know, for example, that TimeForge can prevent managers from posting non-compliant schedules? It’ll warn you when you’re approaching an overstaffing or understaffing situation, too.
From certification tracking to schedule enforcement, TimeForge has all the tools you need to stay compliant and manage your workforce effectively.
PS: If you’re wondering how HCM and WFM differ, check out this post.