Workforce management is a complex software and hardware set of tools that helps organizations to collect employee time and attendance, manage workforce absences and schedules, monitor performance and labor cost and create real time reports for all workers at any location at any time.
What Is Workforce Management – Key Features
The range of workforce management solutions in cloud and on premise offers a number of important benefits for midsize and large companies looking for cost-effective and efficient ways of getting the most from the people they pay and includes:
- Time and Attendance
- Absence Management
- Biometric / Swipe Card attendance system
- Mobile Workforce Management
- FMLA tracking
- Employee Scheduling
- Time Allocation Systems
- HR Management
- Employee Self Service Portal
- Automated Payroll integration
- Real Time Reports
- Workplace health and safety in case of emergency
In the past, workforce management required large number of human resource workers to effectively forecast labor requirements, manage employee schedules, and make sure that the workforce was producing necessary tasks to move the company towards their goals.
For companies who manage a large workforce, finding ways to manage and optimize the productivity of those employees is essential for the company to be successful, profitable, and productive. Today, however, the digitalization of the business world is changing how companies manage and supervise the people they employ.
A recent article published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that American workers spend an enormous amount of idle time during their workdays. The study suggested that the time not devoted towards actively pursuing or working on job-related tasks costs employers an estimated $100 billion dollars each year. The study also mentioned that more than three quarters of all employees that were polled admitted to experiencing some type of idle time while on the job.
Workforce Management (WFM) can help businesses effectively manage their staff scheduling in order to avoid paying people to be idle during the workday. Furthermore, workforce management platform can offer important insights into business and employee metrics. Human resource departments that learn to utilize time management tools can find ways to employ the fewest possible number of workers to effectively get a job done.
The Uses and Benefits of Workforce Management Software
Workforce Management has several core functions that can help businesses and their respective HR departments effectively manage their employees.
Firstly, this software can optimize labor scheduling through identifying employee skills more realistically. Finding the most competent employee for a specific job can help reduce the number of people needed to be hired. Also, these software programs can deliver detailed analysis of labor management requirements during specific times and business-related tasks. This can take the guesswork out of making decisions for activity-based employee management.
Furthermore, time management software can be utilized to collect time and work data. This will give HR departments useful employee metrics related to labor use within the company. Leave management can also be another important function of workforce management software, allowing employees to request time off while allowing for a streamlined procedure to process these employee requests without negatively affecting the necessary staffing requirements.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, time and attendance software programs will allow companies to monitor their employees´ working hours, late arrivals, early departures, time taken on breaks and absenteeism. These programs can help companies of all sizes save time and resources, identify and reward the most dedicated employees, create effective policies that govern absentee employees and idle time, while also avoiding clerical errors that can be caused by paper tracking system.
Important Features of Workforce Management include:
- Customizable dashboards and portals so that companies can modify the ways in which they interact with their employees.
- Access on mobile devices so that HR leaders can remotely monitor employees attendance and performance. This is especially important for businesses who manage remote employees.
- Embedded real time reports: These reports can allow companies to observe and supervise real time employee output to make sure that hour to hour tasks are being completed adequately.
- Unlimited language packs: Around 58 percent of small businesses have international customers, so unlimited language packs can allow these companies to expand their workforce to include foreign workers who speak a different language.
- Advanced messaging functionality is essential for direct communication with employees. This function of workforce management software can get rid of the need for employee meetings which can cut into productivity.
- Recruitment: Workforce management software can also help businesses recruit and maintain the best employee talent.
- Workforce management software is also essential to manage pools of available employees. This can reduce the stress that comes with finding needed employees during moments of intense business activity.
- Hourly employees are certainly common, though some businesses are looking to find workers who will be paid by task or project, especially when hiring freelance workers. Workforce management software makes it possible for companies to clock against tasks or projects, instead of the usual 9 am to 5 pm workday.
The Incorporation of Technology
Managing human resources is difficult, especially with businesses who have dozens or hundreds of employees. Artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly being incorporated into certain aspects of workforce management software. AI offers deep learning capabilities that can gather, organize, and analyze diverse streams of data and information. Not only does AI automate the processes of data collection, but the machine learning capabilities can make inferences and generate insights related to employee performance as these relate to business goals.
The incorporation of advanced technologies such as artificial and business intelligence and machine learning into workforce management software will allow HR departments to avoid speculation related to employee performance. Furthermore, HR managers will be able to use the ready-to-use insights and analysis provided by these systems to optimize workforce and employee performance.
The Changes and Evolution of Employee Management
Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies have already simplified employee workflow while also automating the routine, non-creative tasks that used to be the responsibility of HR workers. As these cutting edge technologies continue to advance and evolve, however, the deep learning capabilities of AI should be able to assume broader functions.
For example, workforce management software in the near future should be able to help companies avoid employee turnover through managing employee growth and satisfaction metrics. The Center for American Progress (CAP) estimates that the cost to replace employees costs:
- 16 percent of the annual salary for high-turnover, low-paying jobs,
- 20 percent of the annual salary for midrange positions, and
- Up to 213 percent of annual salary for highly educated executive positions.
AI technologies in workforce management will be help companies save money through avoiding common turnover. Furthermore, machine learning systems will also be able to assist HR professionals in the recruitment and appraisal of employees. This will help companies find and retain the best employee talent to move their business in the right direction.
Workforce management software offers a number of important benefits for business of all different sizes. Incorporating these programs will help your company move forward with the best human resource technologies available.
Additional Resource: Workforce Management Software Features