What is workforce management and how it works?

Changing markets, a heightened regulatory environment, and an increasingly diverse and dispersed workforce have made the job of workforce management more complex—and more essential. Without integrated workforce management technology, organizations will see their bottom lines suffer because they lack the ability to access the strategic insights necessary to determine where change is needed and align HR activities to business goals.

Two people discussing workforce management

What is workforce management and how it works - cover

  • Real-time data collection — i.e. collecting workforce stats about performance management.
  • Field service management (FSM) — i.e. managing the company resources currently located at the client’s property (e.g. vehicles, dispatchers, inventory…).
  • Human resources management (HRM) — i.e. managing the people employed or involved in an organization or company.
  • Training management (TM) — i.e. carrying out employee training within an organization or company.
  • Performance management (PM) — i.e. making sure employee activities and their outputs meet the company or organization goals.
  • Recruiting efforts — i.e. reaching out, shortlisting, and then selecting candidates suitable for job positions in a company or organization.
  • Budgeting efforts — i.e. planning and using the company’s monetary resources for external or internal projects.
  • Forecasting — i.e. predicting the future outcomes of current work.
  • Scheduling — i.e. planning, controlling, and optimizing work in a company or organization.
  • Carrying out the analytics — i.e. analyzing the current situation in a business or company and then providing recommendations on how to make improvements in the future.

What is a workforce management system?

What this means is that, in order to implement workforce management within a business, a systematic approach needs to be applied. That’s the main point of a WFM system — to streamline the processes and steps, for the highest quality implementation of workforce management.

Moreover, it can help leaders get a better understanding of the individual team member’s capabilities. And, by doing so, improve one of the key aspects of a thriving and profitable business — appointing the right people for each task.

What are workforce management processes?

A process, within the workforce management system, refers to an activity or a procedure that serves one of the 2 purposes — monitoring the employees’ activity and, in accordance with the data, improving the performance of the whole company.

Human resources are (arguably) the most valuable asset of a company. Therefore, a strategic business plan must ensure that the selection of your employees for each task is appropriate, as well as compatible with the selected employee’s schedule and competency level.

To get optimal results, you should follow a specific order of workforce management processes. It’s because some of the processes create dependencies, meaning — their completion is required for the following process to start.

Process #1— Gather the data

Gathering the data is an obvious starting point in any kind of measurement. This is crystal clear — you can’t analyze your company’s performance, nor compare your workers’ productivity levels before obtaining the relevant data.

Process #2 — Forecast the workload

Once you have the relevant information about your projects and employees, you are able to make estimates. Estimates are crucial for long-term planning and accomplishing your company’s goals — on a monthly or yearly basis.

Process #3 — Calculate the staff requirements

For example, your time tracking results may show that your current staff is spending too much time on their tasks, and perhaps even missing deadlines as a result. This is a clear indication that you may need to hire more people to help up with your workload in the future, in accordance with the prediction from the previous step.

Process #4 — Build staff schedules

Depending on their energy levels and lifestyle in general, all people can be broadly categorized into — morning larks and night owls. That means there is no fixed period when everyone will feel most productive, and the fact should be reflected in the schedule.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s a broad categorization, and, it turns out, some people can fit in between — it’s a group called the intermediate type. The distribution of our energy levels throughout the day dictates our productivity levels as well.

Process #5 — Assess everyone’s daily performance

Higher-level employees are usually dedicated to the big picture stuff, and they can find it difficult to keep track of day-to-day activities, especially in regard to each employee. To be better informed about their workers, higher-level employees should use a workforce management system to assess employees’ performance.

WFM solution components

A typical WFM solution will include features that assist with tracking time and labor, scheduling workers, and managing absences. In addition to these fundamental processes, workforce management solutions may be extended to include workforce health and safety.

Time and labor

Absence management

An application that enables you to manage employee absenteeism and comply with global leave regulations. An absence management application provides you with the ability to reduce the effects associated with absenteeism, such as increased costs and risk and reduced productivity.

Workforce health and safety

This application enables organizations to easily and effectively manage environmental health and safety incidents. It improves the overall safety of your company by simplifying and automating the entire process including reporting, capturing critical information, and discovering the root causes of incidents.

What are the challenges of traditional workforce management solutions?

Every business is unique and has its own set of challenges. Your workforce management solution should address those concerns. Some of the most common workforce management (WFM) challenges include the following:

Time tracking

Time tracking impacts almost every employee in an organization. One of the biggest problems customers face with their current niche time and labor systems is the latency, or lack of integrity, of the data coming from their master HR system. Traditionally, time tracking has been confusing, slow, and highly error prone, which can result in unnecessary payroll costs and additional administrative burden. Even worse is the impact to employee morale when paychecks are inaccurate. No company wants to end up in court or have bad publicity because they paid their employees incorrectly or didn’t follow the law.

Represented workers

Represented workers who generally enjoy significantly higher wages and better benefits than nonrepresented workers. Complying with these regulations can be very challenging for some organizations because of the complexity of the rules for seniority, tenure, eligibility, benefits, absence, and pay entitlements. Managing contract rules can become difficult without a comprehensive workforce management solution.

Absence management system

The lack of a reliable absence management system can result in increased costs and risk and lower productivity. Organizations need to address the diverse and complex requirements that result from managing absence policies around the globe. Absence management systems are often challenged by the unique rules and user interfaces required for different countries and regions.

Many organizations find it very difficult to get notifications of health and safety incidents in a timely fashion. Workers are unsure or uncertain as to whether they should notify their organization of near misses or unsafe conditions. Many organizations lack simple, intuitive tools that encourage reporting and minimize the obstacles for employees to report on past or potential incidents. Ultimately, organizations are held accountable for health and safety policies, so it is in their own best interest to implement modern, efficient health and safety management processes.

Authorship:

https://clockify.me/blog/business/workforce-management/
https://www.oracle.com/human-capital-management/workforce-management/what-is-wfm/
https://getsling.com/blog/workforce-management/
Workforce management

When trying to plan out your workforce, don’t leave scheduling and resource management up to chance. ProjectManager is a cloud-based software that helps you to better track which employee is assigned to which task and plan ahead resources for future projects so you never miss a beat. See how ProjectManager can help you better manage your workforce by starting this free 30-day trial.

What is Workforce Management?

Advancements in Workforce Management tools now provide the ability to enhance an employee’s work–life balance, using features such as gamification, shift trading and mobile apps with the capability for employees to view upcoming schedules and request changes. The goal behind these tools is to reduce attrition and absence, ensuring staff are happier which feeds into improved customer service and a better bottom line!

Workforce Management is important because it helps an organisation ensure that not only do they have enough staff available to service their customers, but that they have the skillset necessary to do so. For example, in a contact centre, WFM helps ensure the right number of agents are available by forecasting the volume of calls, messages or emails, and scheduling the correct number of agents to handle the expected volume of transactions.

What does Workforce Management encompass?

Workforce Management Agent Scheduling

Scheduling is a really important aspect of WFM. The main objective of workforce planning scheduling is to create schedules that meet all legal and contractual requirements, as well as considering employees’ qualifications, personal working time preferences and availability. Workforce Management tools assist in meeting these requirements and allow employees to participate in the planning process, leading to happier, more motivated staff.

Tip: Resource Optimisation options within scheduling are a feature of most top performing workforce management tools; allowing touch of the button re-optimisation and agent notifications when the unforeseen occurs i.e.: higher than expected on the day sickness or a high volume of calls caused by an outside event

Workforce Management Forecasting & Budgeting

For workforce planning to be successful, you must be able to predict your short, medium and long-term staffing requirements. Remember – if the forecasts are inaccurate then the schedules are too! Workforce Management provides you with a set of tools that help you forecast the business at its usual baseline, whilst also factoring in future events using historical data in terms of volume and profiling, helping you create an accurate and efficient schedule.

WFM also helps with capacity planning, allowing you to optimise staff recruitment and balance workload as needs dictate. This allows companies to budget, in a streamlined manner with reduced wastage costs.

Performance Management

Performance Management is a means of ensuring organisations and staff fulfil their potential and effectively meet the targets and goals that they have been set. When applied properly, it can help organisations develop their workforce and staff, providing them with specific goals and objectives to aim for. This also enables them to track their progress over time.

For an organisation to implement any kind of performance management programme, they must first identify what it is they want to measure. Workforce Management helps organisations track these KPI’s, by providing a good understanding of employee engagement levels.

Tip: The best Workforce Management tools now come equipped with Gamification modules where agents can compete in targeted games based on imported metrics; with the agent able to view the progress, helping drive positive behaviours (read more on gamification further down!).

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement can help contact centres deliver high levels of customer service as well as decrease agent turnover and reduce overall operational costs. With generation Z and millennials now widely employed in contact centre roles; employee engagement is a ‘must have’ requirement rather than a ‘nice to have’.

  • Mobile application – Generation Z and millennial workforces expect to have flexibility to check shifts, book holidays, etc. The impact of being able to do this has been shown to reduce attrition and absence. Some workforce management solutions allow you to do this through a mobile app where agents can:
  • Submit overtime availability
  • Trade shifts
  • Request holiday or absences
  • Receive swift authorisation which helps increase employee engagement and loyalty
  • Receive instant feedback on requests e.g., has their holiday been waitlisted, approved etc.
  • View their remaining allowances for multiple absence types e.g., annual leave or personal days allowing access to reports detailing booked and planned absences
  • Based on pre-set allowances, it allows agents to see what the probability is of getting their request approved. Where a request cannot be approved options can be made to waitlist a request on a first come first served basis – improving engagement levels.

Thought: Providing agents with the option of flexible working patterns may be met with resistance. Managers or Team Leaders may fear logistical headaches and hours spent trying to figure out time and attendance spreadsheets.

However, with the right tools in place to help you manage flexible working, contact centres can boost employee engagement, optimise resource planning, save time, reduce costs, and improve employee retention . Seems worth it to us!

Payroll, Time and Attendance records

The results of implementing an integrated Workforce Management system can be seen in all areas of the business. By allowing you to automate and standardise routine recurring tasks, Workforce Management gives you time to focus on what’s important.

Let’s take payroll for example, or time and attendance records. WFM reduces manual payroll and benefits administration with the availability of audit-ready custom reports. These reports make payroll processes quicker and easier. Workforce Management also allows the syncing of timesheets to payroll, allowing for instant payment options and an overall more efficient payment process.

What are the Benefits of Workforce Management?

Workforce management is one of those processes that doesn’t just aim to make your employees more efficient, it also aims to benefit the employee by having them work on the processes they’re best suited for. In turn, this serves to better help customer service, increasing output and profits across the board. Call it a win-win-win.

The process started gaining popularity in the 1980s and 1990s with the rise of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, seeing large benefits from its use in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail and more.

But there’s a new benefit to workforce management: as we enter the era of the gig economy, many part-time workers are coming under financial stress as they’re either unable to find full-time work or are getting their hours cut. In the gig economy, workers are hired as independent contractors, paid by the project, rather than by the hour or salary.

Many workers in the gig economy will often have many different jobs to balance at one time, which can place a lot of strain on their financial certainty. When workers are under financial stress, productivity also suffers. For companies that use workforce management, this can help ease the burden of workers who are trying to balance multiple workloads by helping them plan out their schedules in advance just as you plan yours. The more you can help them plan ahead and ease that financial uncertainty, the more productive your workers will be.

Types of Workforce Management Systems

Most of the time, workforce management is handled using spreadsheets. However, there are a growing number of solutions that are tailored to suit their industries, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, ERP systems and project management tools.

Additionally, many project managers will integrate workforce management and project management through an application that will help schedule out tasks to their respective assignees, monitor resources, track employee time, analyze the project costs, and report on status updates. This is called Project Workforce Management. And more than just helping allocate your workforce’s time for projects, it also combines the additional elements listed above, making it a powerhouse of a process.

Authorship:

https://bslgroup.com/advice-hub/what-is-workforce-management/
https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/workforce-management
https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/workforce-management
Workforce management

Workforce management software automates processes and provides reports and analytics. Workforce management systems include functions for time and attendance, absence management, labor budgeting and forecasting, and scheduling. It combines the functions of budgeting, planning, analytics, collaboration and rules-based scheduling solutions. Data is reconciled with the availability, skills and eligibility of workforce personnel.

ADP Workforce Now

What Is Workforce Management (WFM) Software?

Workforce management software enables an organization to manage a significant portion of its expense allotment — its workforce. WFM software solutions help automate processes, streamline labor-intensive tasks, analyze massive amounts of data, and use algorithms to ensure the right workers are available at the right time and cost. To extend the system’s capabilities, WFM software is sometimes included in human capital management (HCM) platforms.

Composed of integrated tools and features, workforce management solutions enable all types of workers to accurately record hours worked and absences. It reduces manual processes, shows availability of workers, helps report safety incidents, and improves workforce productivity. Also, companies are able to control costs, run payroll accurately, minimize compliance risks, and gain valuable insights.

WFM Tools Key Features

  1. Multi-platform support, including mobile – Workforces may use their own device or have a platform preference so WMS must be OS and device agnostic.
  2. Real time scheduling and time clock access anywhere – Time management and time keeping on-the-go is increasingly crucial to the mobile, remote, and hybrid workforce of today.
  3. Automated reporting for crucial metrics – Managers will need ROI metrics and KPIs readily available to save time as they navigate large-scale or remote workforces.
  4. Remote management oversight – Managers should be empowered to check on, reach out to, and follow up with agents at every level of the company.
  5. Talent acquisition and ongoing training – The bottom line is that your workforce is an asset to you and you should plan to spend resources in order to develop, train, and promote them.

SwipedOn Pocket – Best for location-based workforce management

SwipedOn Pocket screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

SwipedOn Pocket is a workforce and employee management software built for tracking employees on-site and facilitating a risk-free environment. With the release of SwipedOn Pocket, the tool is able to assist specifically with staff safety through features such as contactless sign-in utilizing QR codes. Accurate date and time stamping provides a complete picture of who is on-site at all times and with proximity enabled, each employee sign-in is verified at a specific location.

SwipedOn Pocket users can add custom screening questions, which allows for daily health and wellness checks as employees sign in, and administrators can be alerted if any answers raise concerns. With a very clean, modern user interface, SwipedOn Pocket is simple and easy to use.

Oracle Workforce Management – Best for mobile workforce management

Oracle Workforce Management screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

Oracle Workforce Management connects time, labor, and leave management with payroll, financial, and personnel data in a single system solution. Managers will be able to navigate global absences while enabling local customization, configure rules and policies, and track absence trends and areas of low employee productivity. They also have Oracle Mobile Workforce Management (MWM), their highly functional, fully featured smartphone app companion.

Like all things Oracle, the platform comes with a bit of a learning curve but is well worth investing time into to unlock the potential of the full feature set. You’ll have access to assets like self-service compensation charts for employees, profitability and cost management dashboards, and easy incident reporting. Oracle offers many first-party digital solutions that, wholly integrated, can handle most of your business needs without leaving the platform.

Fuse Workforce Management – Best for self-service scheduling

Fuse Workforce Management screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

Fuse Workforce Management is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution with a suite of management features, real-time analytics about your workforce, ACA management tools for compliance, time-tracking and absence systems, and payroll. They boast a marketplace of third-party tools for high customizability. Their self-service workforce scheduling tool stands out, as it is super intuitive, mobile-friendly, and feature-rich. Change and PTO requests can be handled right in the portal.

Fuse WM helps you manage the entire employee lifecycle with their cloud-based HR services. You can leverage administrative process automation, ready-to-go hiring and training workflow templates, and applicant tracking tools to keep things running smoothly. They also offer built-in notifications and alerts that flag issues around potential employee scheduling conflicts.

BlueYonder Workforce Management – Best for remote workforce management

BlueYonder Workforce Management screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

BlueYonder is a workforce management solution with engagement and employee productivity at the forefront of its design. If you have a full- or partially-remote workforce in today’s day and age, you are going to want a modern, collaborative, user-friendly, and colorful platform like BlueYonder at your fingertips. They have the sleak UX of modern workforce apps while still boasting robust features for skill-based scheduling, volume forecasting, and detailed service reporting.

7 Steps to Successful Workforce Management

  1. Identify the business pain points. Where are operational costs increasing? Is absence costing the business too much? Is manual scheduling resulting in non-optimal staffing levels?
  2. Ensure the basic solutions are in place for governance and compliance—including core human resources functionality that has digitized employee data and payroll.
  3. With the basics in place, roll out self-service systems for web-based time capture—including punch cards, overtime requests and time-off.
  4. Analyze HR data. Create KPIs around labor costs and productivity to map to business goals and expectations and ensure your employees understand them.
  5. Hold trainings on how to use the tools and communicate their value. Make sure managers understand the process and the value behind it.
  6. Integrate workforce management with HR and payroll systems to help your HR team when calculating accurate pay for each worker.
  7. Ensure buy-in at the highest levels of the organization. Data-based workforce management won’t work if leaders are still basing all decisions on gut instinct and not giving proper due to the data.

Businesses of different sizes and organizational structures will use workforce management differently—from small businesses to professional services organizations. For small businesses with a contact center or complex staffing needs, workforce management software can offer significant savings in operating costs by reducing overstaffing levels. It also has a number of other benefits, including administrative personnel making fewer payroll errors, spending less time fixing them and keeping overtime costs in check.

Look for industry expertise. The best software packages include pre-built templates for scheduling based on best-in-class metrics collected from those within your specific industry. The vendor should have strong experience in the country of operation to ensure compliance with federal and local labor laws. Cloud-based workforce management brings added advantages of quick deployment, advanced analytics and AI capabilities, as well as the ability to access it anywhere at any time.

Improve Workforce Management With ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are shared database for all financial and operational information from across your entire company. Human resources modules are one piece of ERP. Integrating workforce management functionality with the HCM system ensures that scheduling and forecasting technology is working with the most current and accurate data. Integrating with payroll software helps make sure your employees are accurately paid for hours worked and overtime. And workforce management data can be combined with talent management systems to optimize schedules by skill levels, identify high performing employees and provide relevant training to employees.

The best workforce management solutions will take advantage of technology to balance the needs of employees and employers. Automated scheduling and time-off requests, as well as demand forecasting will help remove human error in the workforce management process. Small and large businesses alike will benefit from removing emotion from the equation and staff based off data. And cloud-based ERP systems will allow the platform to scale as your company grows.

Finding ways to best leverage employees’ skills to protect employment while minimizing unnecessary costs will be a key business advantage. What’s more, workforce management software is proving its viability in efforts such as contact tracing, employee health checks and ensuring staffing meets capacity regulations in the most cost-effective manner, with leading workforce management products adding functionality to that end.

Workforce management is about matching the right employee with the right job at the right time. From the hiring and recruitment process to scheduling, training and even performance monitoring and feedback. It leverages data from disparate sources to help you improve employee engagement while running as efficiently as possible.

Authorship:

https://project-management.com/workforce-management-software/
https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/tools/best-workforce-management-software/
https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/human-resources/workforce-management.shtml
Workforce management

The main purpose of creating a successful workflow is — to speed up the processes, originally created in call centers. So, we’ll stick with that operation in our examples below, to help you visualize what we’re talking about. There are 6 vital steps you’ll have to take if you want to optimize your workflow.

Summary report

What is Workforce Management (WFM)?

A workforce management (WFM) solution is a software solution that helps organizations streamline and automate the processes that manage workers’ time, organize and deploy their labor force efficiently, enable employee and manager self-service, and ensure employee safety.

HCM WFM video thumbnail

Effective workforce management encompasses all of the activities needed to maintain a productive and cost-effective workforce. This covers all the tasks and processes involved in efficiently staffing projects to ensure that the right labor mix is available—at the right time and cost. It also includes automating time tracking for all employees (including contingent and hourly shift workers) and managing absences and leave with consideration to regional labor laws and reporting requirements.

By providing integrated tools that extend beyond traditional compliance and automation activities, HR teams can become more strategic in how they deliver value to the rest of the business. As companies and employers have started to automate their time tracking, they’ve also increased their use of labor modeling and real-time analytics. Today’s leading HR systems are not a hodgepodge of disparate tools and legacy information systems, but strategic, connected, and integrated systems that meet the requirements of modern, digital enterprises.

What is a workforce management system?

What this means is that, in order to implement workforce management within a business, a systematic approach needs to be applied. That’s the main point of a WFM system — to streamline the processes and steps, for the highest quality implementation of workforce management.

Moreover, it can help leaders get a better understanding of the individual team member’s capabilities. And, by doing so, improve one of the key aspects of a thriving and profitable business — appointing the right people for each task.

What are workforce management processes?

A process, within the workforce management system, refers to an activity or a procedure that serves one of the 2 purposes — monitoring the employees’ activity and, in accordance with the data, improving the performance of the whole company.

Human resources are (arguably) the most valuable asset of a company. Therefore, a strategic business plan must ensure that the selection of your employees for each task is appropriate, as well as compatible with the selected employee’s schedule and competency level.

To get optimal results, you should follow a specific order of workforce management processes. It’s because some of the processes create dependencies, meaning — their completion is required for the following process to start.

Process #1— Gather the data

Gathering the data is an obvious starting point in any kind of measurement. This is crystal clear — you can’t analyze your company’s performance, nor compare your workers’ productivity levels before obtaining the relevant data.

Process #2 — Forecast the workload

Once you have the relevant information about your projects and employees, you are able to make estimates. Estimates are crucial for long-term planning and accomplishing your company’s goals — on a monthly or yearly basis.

Process #3 — Calculate the staff requirements

For example, your time tracking results may show that your current staff is spending too much time on their tasks, and perhaps even missing deadlines as a result. This is a clear indication that you may need to hire more people to help up with your workload in the future, in accordance with the prediction from the previous step.

Process #4 — Build staff schedules

Depending on their energy levels and lifestyle in general, all people can be broadly categorized into — morning larks and night owls. That means there is no fixed period when everyone will feel most productive, and the fact should be reflected in the schedule.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s a broad categorization, and, it turns out, some people can fit in between — it’s a group called the intermediate type. The distribution of our energy levels throughout the day dictates our productivity levels as well.

Process #5 — Assess everyone’s daily performance

Higher-level employees are usually dedicated to the big picture stuff, and they can find it difficult to keep track of day-to-day activities, especially in regard to each employee. To be better informed about their workers, higher-level employees should use a workforce management system to assess employees’ performance.

Responsibilities of a Workforce Manager

  • Managing processes — i.e. establishing and carrying out the relevant goals, policies, and procedures in a company or organization.
  • Managing finances — i.e. directing and overseeing all financial activities, including everything related to project budgets.
  • Overseeing production — i.e. managing activities related to making products.
  • Overseeing service provision — i.e. managing activities related to providing services.
  • Carrying out the necessary consultations — i.e. making arrangements with teams, executives, and department heads about company operations and goals.
  • Carrying out client and partnership negotiations — i.e. negotiating, but also approving all client and partner contracts.
  • Handling appointing — i.e. picking and appointing department heads and team managers.
  • Problem-solving — i.e. gathering and organizing information around a particular problem that needs to be solved.
  • Information processing — i.e. gathering and organizing information around a particular procedure or policy that needs improving.
  • Personnel assessment — i.e. assessing the current personnel to determine the type of personnel that will be needed in the future.
  • Equipment assessment — i.e. making onsite observations to determine the equipment that will be needed in the future.
  • Finance analysis — i.e. scrutinizing expenses related to equipment and personnel in relation to the revenue, to find room for improvement.
  • Finding alternatives to outdated practices — i.e. suggesting new apps, practices, and workflows the company can adopt in order to make improvements.
  • Overseeing the implementation of changes — i.e. making sure the accepted changes are carried out according to plan and that they bring the promised results.

Benefits Of Workforce Management

1) Recruiting

Overall, workforce management is part of a larger program of strategic human resource management that operates with the goal of attracting, hiring, developing, rewarding, and retaining employees for their benefit, the benefit of each department, and the benefit of the business as a whole.

2) Onboarding

3) Development

Two people discussing workforce management

4) Performance Management

Workforce management programs and software make it easier to be consistent with your performance management activities so that you can inspire your employees to new heights of performance and productivity.

5) Compensation Control

Workforce Management: The Present And The Future

Workforce management in a corporate building

1) Scheduling

Scheduling as part of workforce management

Look for a program that combines the simplicity of a calendar view and the easy distribution of a cloud-based technology. That way, you and your employees can access the schedule wherever you are, whenever you choose.

Sling, for example, harnesses the power of cloud computing to let you manage multiple locations from your base of operations. Or, if you’re mobile during the day, you can use Sling to manage all your employees — no matter where they’re located — on your iOS, Android, or Windows device.

2) Time Tracking

Time tracking is one of the most difficult and complicated processes managers are faced with on a day-to-day basis. Employees often forget to clock in or clock out. If they do remember, you have to worry about them clocking in too early or out too late.

3) Forecasting

Forecasting as part of workforce management

4) Real-Time Management

For example, if an employee at your second location fails to show up for his shift without telling anyone while you’re at your first location, you should be able to contact substitutes to fill the position and get everything scheduled as quickly as possible.

Real-time workforce management with Sling

Sling can do that. With its powerful communication features, you can broadcast your need for a substitute to all your employees through the cloud-based schedule itself or via text message to anyone and everyone you designate.

5) Assistive Intelligence

It can mean the difference between a high rate of absenteeism and late arrivals or a smoothly operating shift with no hiccups. It can mean the difference between overlapping shifts and double-bookings or the right employee in the right shift all the time.

Shift tracking with Sling

Assistive intelligence also lets you democratize scheduling if the need arises. You can set your workforce management software to allow your employees to sign up for shifts on a first-come, first-served basis or to apply for specific shifts pending your approval.

6) Budgeting

Workforce Management software can help you budget accurately.

7) Employee Performance

8) Project Success

Workforce Management software can help your project succeed.

Another essential component of WFM software is overall performance management. This goes above and beyond just employee performance to include everything from planning and preparation to time-on-task and everything in-between.

All of this combines to give you a hyper-accurate picture of the project on which you’re working. Though your team may have completed the project on time, was it successful in regard to other variables, such as hours worked, money spent, and resources expended?

9) Compliance

Employment laws and regulations differ from city to city, county to county, and state to state. Along with taxes, compliance is one of the most complicated and convoluted areas your business will have to deal with.

10) Payroll And Benefits

The tools included in WFM software also give you more options when it comes to the speed with which you administer your payroll and benefits. Some software suites include helpful features, like immediate end-of-shift payments and the ability to sync timesheets to payroll.

11) Communication

Communication app on phone discussing workforce management

That communication structure must function efficiently for everyday activities as well as any emergencies that occur. You don’t want there to be confusion when you’re trying to fill a gap in your busy dinner service that starts in an hour.

12) Task Oversight

Task manager on sling app

Resources:

https://www.oracle.com/human-capital-management/workforce-management/what-is-wfm/
https://clockify.me/blog/business/workforce-management/
https://getsling.com/blog/workforce-management/
Workforce management

While most of the WMS on this list can handle remote teams to some degree, BlueYonder Workforce Management does it especially well. They prioritize multi-source analytics on an all-in-one dashboard, extreme user friendliness for onboarding remote teams, and an excellent data and document management solution built right into the platform.

Calabrio Workforce Management screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

What Is Workforce Management Software?

Workforce management software (sometimes called a WMS, and sometimes called WFM software, depending on who you ask) is any digital tool designed to support the day-to-day operations of a workforce. This will most likely include many common human resource management tasks, such as timesheets, labor management forecasting, performance management, absence management, task management, and payroll software.

  1. User Interface (UI): Workforce management needs the UI functionality to support ease-of-use for HR departments as well as intuitive employee self-service when necessary. Therefore, the interface should update in real-time, streamline navigation, and display aesthetic and modern workflows.
  2. Usability: Large scale WMS training often incurs additional labor costs so it’s important for any software to be easy for a mobile workforce and/or HR management to figure out. Training should be timely, thorough, and accessible, and ongoing customer service assistance should be adequately provided.
  3. Integrations: Workforce management software is usually just one cog in a larger SaaS machine so it must be able to integrate (plug-in or API) with popular apps for staffing, task lifecycle automation, budgeting, employee time and clock in tools, shift scheduling software, and artificial intelligence. Does the software connect with a good variety of third-party apps and services easily?
  4. Value for $: Workforce management software pricing should be fair, flexible, and transparent for the needs of large enterprises as well as small businesses. Bonus: Does the cost include a mobile app, contact center support, and other perks?

WFM Tools Key Features

  1. Multi-platform support, including mobile – Workforces may use their own device or have a platform preference so WMS must be OS and device agnostic.
  2. Real time scheduling and time clock access anywhere – Time management and time keeping on-the-go is increasingly crucial to the mobile, remote, and hybrid workforce of today.
  3. Automated reporting for crucial metrics – Managers will need ROI metrics and KPIs readily available to save time as they navigate large-scale or remote workforces.
  4. Remote management oversight – Managers should be empowered to check on, reach out to, and follow up with agents at every level of the company.
  5. Talent acquisition and ongoing training – The bottom line is that your workforce is an asset to you and you should plan to spend resources in order to develop, train, and promote them.

SwipedOn Pocket – Best for location-based workforce management

SwipedOn Pocket screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

SwipedOn Pocket is a workforce and employee management software built for tracking employees on-site and facilitating a risk-free environment. With the release of SwipedOn Pocket, the tool is able to assist specifically with staff safety through features such as contactless sign-in utilizing QR codes. Accurate date and time stamping provides a complete picture of who is on-site at all times and with proximity enabled, each employee sign-in is verified at a specific location.

SwipedOn Pocket users can add custom screening questions, which allows for daily health and wellness checks as employees sign in, and administrators can be alerted if any answers raise concerns. With a very clean, modern user interface, SwipedOn Pocket is simple and easy to use.

Oracle Workforce Management – Best for mobile workforce management

Oracle Workforce Management screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

Oracle Workforce Management connects time, labor, and leave management with payroll, financial, and personnel data in a single system solution. Managers will be able to navigate global absences while enabling local customization, configure rules and policies, and track absence trends and areas of low employee productivity. They also have Oracle Mobile Workforce Management (MWM), their highly functional, fully featured smartphone app companion.

Like all things Oracle, the platform comes with a bit of a learning curve but is well worth investing time into to unlock the potential of the full feature set. You’ll have access to assets like self-service compensation charts for employees, profitability and cost management dashboards, and easy incident reporting. Oracle offers many first-party digital solutions that, wholly integrated, can handle most of your business needs without leaving the platform.

Fuse Workforce Management – Best for self-service scheduling

Fuse Workforce Management screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

Fuse Workforce Management is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution with a suite of management features, real-time analytics about your workforce, ACA management tools for compliance, time-tracking and absence systems, and payroll. They boast a marketplace of third-party tools for high customizability. Their self-service workforce scheduling tool stands out, as it is super intuitive, mobile-friendly, and feature-rich. Change and PTO requests can be handled right in the portal.

Fuse WM helps you manage the entire employee lifecycle with their cloud-based HR services. You can leverage administrative process automation, ready-to-go hiring and training workflow templates, and applicant tracking tools to keep things running smoothly. They also offer built-in notifications and alerts that flag issues around potential employee scheduling conflicts.

BlueYonder Workforce Management – Best for remote workforce management

BlueYonder Workforce Management screenshot - 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

BlueYonder is a workforce management solution with engagement and employee productivity at the forefront of its design. If you have a full- or partially-remote workforce in today’s day and age, you are going to want a modern, collaborative, user-friendly, and colorful platform like BlueYonder at your fingertips. They have the sleak UX of modern workforce apps while still boasting robust features for skill-based scheduling, volume forecasting, and detailed service reporting.

What are the Benefits of Workforce Management?

Workforce management is one of those processes that doesn’t just aim to make your employees more efficient, it also aims to benefit the employee by having them work on the processes they’re best suited for. In turn, this serves to better help customer service, increasing output and profits across the board. Call it a win-win-win.

The process started gaining popularity in the 1980s and 1990s with the rise of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, seeing large benefits from its use in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail and more.

But there’s a new benefit to workforce management: as we enter the era of the gig economy, many part-time workers are coming under financial stress as they’re either unable to find full-time work or are getting their hours cut. In the gig economy, workers are hired as independent contractors, paid by the project, rather than by the hour or salary.

Many workers in the gig economy will often have many different jobs to balance at one time, which can place a lot of strain on their financial certainty. When workers are under financial stress, productivity also suffers. For companies that use workforce management, this can help ease the burden of workers who are trying to balance multiple workloads by helping them plan out their schedules in advance just as you plan yours. The more you can help them plan ahead and ease that financial uncertainty, the more productive your workers will be.

Types of Workforce Management Systems

Most of the time, workforce management is handled using spreadsheets. However, there are a growing number of solutions that are tailored to suit their industries, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, ERP systems and project management tools.

Additionally, many project managers will integrate workforce management and project management through an application that will help schedule out tasks to their respective assignees, monitor resources, track employee time, analyze the project costs, and report on status updates. This is called Project Workforce Management. And more than just helping allocate your workforce’s time for projects, it also combines the additional elements listed above, making it a powerhouse of a process.

Improve Workforce Management With ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are shared database for all financial and operational information from across your entire company. Human resources modules are one piece of ERP. Integrating workforce management functionality with the HCM system ensures that scheduling and forecasting technology is working with the most current and accurate data. Integrating with payroll software helps make sure your employees are accurately paid for hours worked and overtime. And workforce management data can be combined with talent management systems to optimize schedules by skill levels, identify high performing employees and provide relevant training to employees.

The best workforce management solutions will take advantage of technology to balance the needs of employees and employers. Automated scheduling and time-off requests, as well as demand forecasting will help remove human error in the workforce management process. Small and large businesses alike will benefit from removing emotion from the equation and staff based off data. And cloud-based ERP systems will allow the platform to scale as your company grows.

Finding ways to best leverage employees’ skills to protect employment while minimizing unnecessary costs will be a key business advantage. What’s more, workforce management software is proving its viability in efforts such as contact tracing, employee health checks and ensuring staffing meets capacity regulations in the most cost-effective manner, with leading workforce management products adding functionality to that end.

Workforce management is about matching the right employee with the right job at the right time. From the hiring and recruitment process to scheduling, training and even performance monitoring and feedback. It leverages data from disparate sources to help you improve employee engagement while running as efficiently as possible.

Resources:

https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/tools/best-workforce-management-software/
https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/workforce-management
https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/human-resources/workforce-management.shtml
Workforce management

Organizations must be able to accurately and expediently measure and report on call center performance. Call center that do not have a WFM system find this job to be time consuming as they need to pull data from many different systems and compile it in a single format for analysis and consumption.

A Guide to Call Center Workforce Management

Having the right people in place, focused on key business goals and working productively is the foundation for success in any business unit. But when it comes to allocating and managing resources, the call center presents two unique challenges:

1. Externally determined workload demands

In a typical business unit, you have significant control over the goals and objectives you’re working toward and the workload you’re placing on your staff as you pursue those goals. But in the contact center, those goals and objectives are determined externally: Your customers call with needs—and you must be prepared to meet them.

2. 24/7 Workload Demands

Another privilege of internally determined goals and workloads is the ability to set expectations or limitations on when or how long staff will be working on achieving those goals. But once again, in the call center, those expectations are dictated by your customers—and they may contact you via various channels at any hour of any day. That means you must have the right people ready to meet customer needs on a wide range of subjects and complexity levels—24/7.

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Want to see workforce management in action?

What’s the ROI of WFM?

What does Workforce Management encompass?

Workforce Management Agent Scheduling

Scheduling is a really important aspect of WFM. The main objective of workforce planning scheduling is to create schedules that meet all legal and contractual requirements, as well as considering employees’ qualifications, personal working time preferences and availability. Workforce Management tools assist in meeting these requirements and allow employees to participate in the planning process, leading to happier, more motivated staff.

Tip: Resource Optimisation options within scheduling are a feature of most top performing workforce management tools; allowing touch of the button re-optimisation and agent notifications when the unforeseen occurs i.e.: higher than expected on the day sickness or a high volume of calls caused by an outside event

Workforce Management Forecasting & Budgeting

For workforce planning to be successful, you must be able to predict your short, medium and long-term staffing requirements. Remember – if the forecasts are inaccurate then the schedules are too! Workforce Management provides you with a set of tools that help you forecast the business at its usual baseline, whilst also factoring in future events using historical data in terms of volume and profiling, helping you create an accurate and efficient schedule.

WFM also helps with capacity planning, allowing you to optimise staff recruitment and balance workload as needs dictate. This allows companies to budget, in a streamlined manner with reduced wastage costs.

Performance Management

Performance Management is a means of ensuring organisations and staff fulfil their potential and effectively meet the targets and goals that they have been set. When applied properly, it can help organisations develop their workforce and staff, providing them with specific goals and objectives to aim for. This also enables them to track their progress over time.

For an organisation to implement any kind of performance management programme, they must first identify what it is they want to measure. Workforce Management helps organisations track these KPI’s, by providing a good understanding of employee engagement levels.

Tip: The best Workforce Management tools now come equipped with Gamification modules where agents can compete in targeted games based on imported metrics; with the agent able to view the progress, helping drive positive behaviours (read more on gamification further down!).

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement can help contact centres deliver high levels of customer service as well as decrease agent turnover and reduce overall operational costs. With generation Z and millennials now widely employed in contact centre roles; employee engagement is a ‘must have’ requirement rather than a ‘nice to have’.

  • Mobile application – Generation Z and millennial workforces expect to have flexibility to check shifts, book holidays, etc. The impact of being able to do this has been shown to reduce attrition and absence. Some workforce management solutions allow you to do this through a mobile app where agents can:
  • Submit overtime availability
  • Trade shifts
  • Request holiday or absences
  • Receive swift authorisation which helps increase employee engagement and loyalty
  • Receive instant feedback on requests e.g., has their holiday been waitlisted, approved etc.
  • View their remaining allowances for multiple absence types e.g., annual leave or personal days allowing access to reports detailing booked and planned absences
  • Based on pre-set allowances, it allows agents to see what the probability is of getting their request approved. Where a request cannot be approved options can be made to waitlist a request on a first come first served basis – improving engagement levels.

Thought: Providing agents with the option of flexible working patterns may be met with resistance. Managers or Team Leaders may fear logistical headaches and hours spent trying to figure out time and attendance spreadsheets.

However, with the right tools in place to help you manage flexible working, contact centres can boost employee engagement, optimise resource planning, save time, reduce costs, and improve employee retention . Seems worth it to us!

Payroll, Time and Attendance records

The results of implementing an integrated Workforce Management system can be seen in all areas of the business. By allowing you to automate and standardise routine recurring tasks, Workforce Management gives you time to focus on what’s important.

Let’s take payroll for example, or time and attendance records. WFM reduces manual payroll and benefits administration with the availability of audit-ready custom reports. These reports make payroll processes quicker and easier. Workforce Management also allows the syncing of timesheets to payroll, allowing for instant payment options and an overall more efficient payment process.

Why is Workforce Management so popular?

In order to hit targets and continue to improve the level of service provided, Contact Centre Managers need to ensure sufficient numbers of agents, with the right level of skills and experience are available at any given time, regardless of traffic volume fluctuations . In order to do this, workforce planners need to understand availability and consider planned and unexpected events as well as agent preferences.

Taking all these aspects into consideration and making these changes manually, requires a significant amount of time and is prone to human error. Workforce Management systems automatically compile highly detailed and sophisticated traffic forecasts that can be adjusted to reflect known events as well as the ability to amend forecasts using ‘what if’ scenarios.

Workforce Management also helps keep your staff engaged and motivated. According to statistics, companies with happy employees means profits and productivity are 20% higher and staff turnover and absence are lower*.

7 Steps to Successful Workforce Management

  1. Identify the business pain points. Where are operational costs increasing? Is absence costing the business too much? Is manual scheduling resulting in non-optimal staffing levels?
  2. Ensure the basic solutions are in place for governance and compliance—including core human resources functionality that has digitized employee data and payroll.
  3. With the basics in place, roll out self-service systems for web-based time capture—including punch cards, overtime requests and time-off.
  4. Analyze HR data. Create KPIs around labor costs and productivity to map to business goals and expectations and ensure your employees understand them.
  5. Hold trainings on how to use the tools and communicate their value. Make sure managers understand the process and the value behind it.
  6. Integrate workforce management with HR and payroll systems to help your HR team when calculating accurate pay for each worker.
  7. Ensure buy-in at the highest levels of the organization. Data-based workforce management won’t work if leaders are still basing all decisions on gut instinct and not giving proper due to the data.

Businesses of different sizes and organizational structures will use workforce management differently—from small businesses to professional services organizations. For small businesses with a contact center or complex staffing needs, workforce management software can offer significant savings in operating costs by reducing overstaffing levels. It also has a number of other benefits, including administrative personnel making fewer payroll errors, spending less time fixing them and keeping overtime costs in check.

Look for industry expertise. The best software packages include pre-built templates for scheduling based on best-in-class metrics collected from those within your specific industry. The vendor should have strong experience in the country of operation to ensure compliance with federal and local labor laws. Cloud-based workforce management brings added advantages of quick deployment, advanced analytics and AI capabilities, as well as the ability to access it anywhere at any time.

Improve Workforce Management With ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are shared database for all financial and operational information from across your entire company. Human resources modules are one piece of ERP. Integrating workforce management functionality with the HCM system ensures that scheduling and forecasting technology is working with the most current and accurate data. Integrating with payroll software helps make sure your employees are accurately paid for hours worked and overtime. And workforce management data can be combined with talent management systems to optimize schedules by skill levels, identify high performing employees and provide relevant training to employees.

The best workforce management solutions will take advantage of technology to balance the needs of employees and employers. Automated scheduling and time-off requests, as well as demand forecasting will help remove human error in the workforce management process. Small and large businesses alike will benefit from removing emotion from the equation and staff based off data. And cloud-based ERP systems will allow the platform to scale as your company grows.

Finding ways to best leverage employees’ skills to protect employment while minimizing unnecessary costs will be a key business advantage. What’s more, workforce management software is proving its viability in efforts such as contact tracing, employee health checks and ensuring staffing meets capacity regulations in the most cost-effective manner, with leading workforce management products adding functionality to that end.

Workforce management is about matching the right employee with the right job at the right time. From the hiring and recruitment process to scheduling, training and even performance monitoring and feedback. It leverages data from disparate sources to help you improve employee engagement while running as efficiently as possible.

Resources:

https://www.calabrio.com/wfo/workforce-management/
https://bslgroup.com/advice-hub/what-is-workforce-management/
https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/human-resources/workforce-management.shtml

Cassie

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