Updated: Apr 4
Imagine you run a delivery company that delivers thousands of packages each day. One day you suddenly find yourself with an overload of work. In an effort to satisfy sudden increase in demand, you immediately start hiring. However, you only get a handful of applications and none of the candidates match your job profile.
What do you do? Some would invest all their resources into recruiting, hoping they’d somehow find ideal workers. However, what if there was another way to fill in the gaps and run your business more efficiently, with no extra labor involved?
This is where workforce management comes into play.
This article will discuss how workforce management can reduce employee scheduling mistakes, ensure labor law compliance and improve overall productivity.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Image source: Adobe Stock
What is workforce management?
Workforce management—WFM—is a process that helps businesses understand and forecast work demands in order to allocate resources properly. What does this mean?
Let’s say your contact center business has taken off and is experiencing a new and unexpected influx of customer calls on the weekends. In addition to dealing with high call volumes and worrying about overtime working laws, you struggle to schedule your employees fairly.
Workforce management is a set of strategies that helps you:
Analyze and predict the workload
Measure current employee productivity and identify areas for improvement
Come up with a set of workplace strategies that will boost performance
Optimize scheduling, timekeeping and reporting processes
Make sure your business meets all laws and regulations
This is quite complex and requires a lot of time. Luckily, there are advanced workforce management solutions that automate the entire process, while reducing the risk of human error.
WFM systems are personalized to contribute to the workforce, depending on the business' necessities. They use cloud computing to complete daily management tasks otherwise allocated to business managers and team supervisors. Without it, 20% of the managerial time is wasted on administrative duties—such as scheduling and absentee management.
Workforce management components to consider
The number of aspects involved in workforce management is virtually limitless. All processes are uniquely molded to fit an organization's aspirations, requirements and strategies.
In the restaurant business, for example, it’s common for staff to clock in early and out late. These occurrences can easily cost a company thousands of hard-earned dollars annually. The solution is simple—implement a WFM software that uses restrictive time clock technology to prevent this from happening!
The following list includes components of WFM that are essential for all business sectors, regardless of size or demand.
Demand forecasting A business can better comprehend future demands and needs using historical data analysis. This information is useful when determining administrative costs, company expansion, and target clientele because it predicts the company's potential in the current market.
Scheduling Businesses must track time in order to distribute staff effectively throughout the day. This ensures that employees work on their most productive shift of the day. Plus, some complex WFM solutions consider employee preferences when creating schedules.
Absence management When people don’t show up at work, it creates scheduling issues, leaving other employees to address these gaps. Workforce management is all about predicting absence problems and providing solutions before the issue gets out of hand. WFM tools manage paid time off and vacation days of employees. They also keep tabs on any unexpected no-shows or sick days.
Overtime management Being unaware of employee time clocks leads to unnecessary overtime fees for a company. Labor costs explode when there is no WFM system in place to control time tracking. Sometimes, employees themselves are in the dark about how many hours they have worked or are approved to work. Alerts in a workforce management system let everyone know where they stand when it comes to time spent on each shift, ultimately saving the company money.
Workforce analytics Managers and higher-ups receive instantaneous data analysis on various factors in the workforce through WFM solutions. These factors include trends when dealing with scheduling, onboarding, training and efficiency. This information can be used to improve employees' performance levels and skill sets.
Workforce budgeting Budgeting for labor costs by sifting through financial data is no easy feat without a procedure in place. WFM software helps properly budget and minimize costs for a business, thus saving time and money.
Image Source: Workofo
Now that you know the ABCs of workforce management it’s time to put your company ahead of the game with an introduction to Workofo.
What is Workofo?
Workofo is a digital workforce management software that optimizes employee schedules based on predictive customer traffic and unique business needs. This AI-powered optimization platform can recommend precise staffing solutions for individual employees and businesses alike.
Workofo's WFM tools can be applied to a variety of enterprises and multiple industries. This WFM software has been used in retail, online grocery delivery, food service establishments, contact centers, logistics centers, warehouses and many more.
Whether your business is a smaller delivery service looking to expand its operations or a multi-chain enterprise searching for a better way to schedule thousands of employees, a workforce management solution is the obvious choice.
Why choose Workofo?
When searching for effective WFM software online, you are overwhelmed with options. Workofo stands out from other solutions because of its very fast time to market and almost instant ROI, hard data evidence, flexibility and adapting to each customer’s needs. One client stated that “the flexibility of the system, ability to fulfill all business requirements and the responsive customer service makes this solution superior.”
The 7 ways in which Workofo can help you improve workforce management
A workforce management system can easily boost a company's productivity and efficiency. Here are some ways in which the Workofo WFM system can assist your business
1) Reduce admin time & find extra hours
Managers spend much time acting as third-party mediators—scheduling shifts and solving shift changes. High-demand workloads make for a difficult job. Scheduling mistakes can result in large losses, which are not uncommon.
With Workofo, managers can focus on other tasks since the scheduling process is automated. In addition to reducing scheduling time, Workofo provides optimal shifts based on a variety of factors.
The software can consider each person's productivity, personal preferences, and availability before generating the most effective shifts.
This provides a unique, customized schedule that strives to find the perfect balance between the enterprise and employee needs. People are therefore more productive, and companies may find extra hours otherwise lost due to inefficiency.
2) Predict workload based on historical data & current trends
Forecasting workloads can be quite complex, as it involves analyzing past and current company trends. You typically identify peak service times and slow seasons with less traffic to create a roadmap for your business. With Workofo, these analyses are conducted automatically with the help of artificial intelligence.
In addition to predicting future workloads, the system also identifies staffing shortages and suggests scheduling changes to cover them.
Using Workofo, you can avoid over- or under-staffing during a particular shift, preventing performance issues. Major demand fluctuations throughout the year can be compensated for using this feature.
3) Calculate workforce demands
Workofo is an advanced solution that helps you understand and calculate workforce demands based on your specific business needs. How does this work?
Let’s say you run a busy chain of restaurants with over 300 employees. Suddenly, you start getting more customers in your existing locations and may have to extend working hours. How do you handle the workforce?
This is where Workofo can help. The software analyzes your current (and upcoming) business needs and gives you the optimal plan for scheduling your workforce. Not only that - you get an overview of how much flexibility you can introduce in scheduling and which shifts can bring you the best results. Perhaps you can benefit from introducing part time shifts to cover the extra hours?
It’s important to mention that Workofo takes into account employee preferences as well. This means that you may satisfy both your business needs and people’s wishes, leading to a much more satisfied workforce.
4) Take into account labor law when scheduling shifts
Labor requirements are quite complex and may differ between each worker. Human errors are common during manual shift assignments, as not every manager knows the existing employment regulations very well.
Workofo helps prevent these mistakes, allowing your company to respect wage and employment codes. This is accomplished by flagging labor code violations and suggesting proper corrections
In many companies, COVID-19 and similar issues have affected these regulations. As a result, the laws have also evolved. WFM helps ensure that your business is following them and does not risk disciplinary measures or loss of reputation.
5) Help transition to flexible shifts without hurting productivity
Having a fixed scheduling system that doesn't change much is always easier. Many businesses fear that introducing flexibility will damage their efficiency and create chaos. However, it doesn’t have to be so.
Workofo allows businesses to maintain their productivity while giving more flexibility to all or some of their employees as per their preferences. The transition is done as a result of careful calculations and analysis of historical data.
Flexible shifts help encourage employee engagement when it comes to working their preferred turn. For that reason, the employees working during a particular day or time choose to be there and contribute to a happier, more productive work environment.
Maybe there are certain staff who work better as a team. They mesh well together and know how to share responsibilities based on individual strengths. Having the flexibility to work simultaneously can boost the company’s productivity.
6) Highlight the difference between planned & actual hours worked
Planned hours are defined as the total number of hours allotted to a certain shift or task until its completion. Actual hours worked are calculated by time tracking employee timesheets and attendance data. Workofo allows you to measure workforce productivity by differentiating between the two.
For example, one day in a busy warehouse may require a total of 200 hours to finish all the work, based on your calculations. However, Workofo can help you calculate whether you actually use all this time. If not, you end up with extra hours that can be allocated to other tasks. The difference between planned and actual hours worked can save you a lot of resources in the long run.
7) Create detailed "what-if" scenarios
It's important to prepare for the unexpected within the workforce. Even global events may completely change the availability of the workforce. COVID-19 is a great example of how quickly (and drastically) things can change.
This feature allows you to take into account global trends and focus on the big picture, which often gets lost in the day-to-day tasks. With the help of what-if scenarios, you can model the changes to the way you do business before actually making them. You can also include plenty of variations and see which changes would give you the best results for your business.
Examples of the what-if scenarios that Workofo covered:
What if a certain part of your employees would have more flexible shifts?
What if a certain part of your employees would be moving between different departments or different nearby locations?
What if you had a certain share of part-time employees, flex workers or outsourced staff?
Image Source: Adobe Stock
Business benefits of using Workofo
The software solutions involved in Workofo workforce management can provide many business benefits for your company. Accurate Workofo algorithms predicting workload and creating optimal schedules can decrease employee work hours by 5-15%.
These perks can be specially noticed through Workofo clientele case studies.
Client #1: International telco company
Reported 17.5%—1,281—more hours allocated to outbound sales
Eliminated 100% of labor code violations
Stated a higher efficiency of employees and lower slack
Implemented fairer shift assignments through outbound call distribution
Client #2: Large international parcel delivery service
Improved company-wide efficiency by 5-6%
Saved 10-13% of working hours
Included a more structurally organized approach to tracking data
Described higher rates of employee satisfaction and a lower turnover rate
Client #3: large grocery delivery service operating in 4 countries
Claimed 5.4% more orders with pickers
Saved 7.2% of working hours
Efficiency analysis suggested changes to business rules that could save 3.5% and 6.4% additional hours if implemented
Optimally distributed work hours through the automated Workofo system
All businesses have unique benefits from working with the Workofo workforce management software. Get in touch today to discover what Workofo can do for your company!
Ultimately, we want to make our business more valuable, efficient and productive. Workforce management software can help enhance business processes on a daily, hourly or weekly basis, saving time and money.
Workofo is working hard to optimize businesses around the globe by implementing accurate workforce management. Addressing current challenges and making changes in strategy through proper WFM software can take your business to the next level.
What is workforce management?
Workforce management is a comprehensive set of processes that boost company productivity and efficiency. It is a way to connect employees and managers through a centralized online system that structures a company's wants and needs.
What is included in workforce management?
Workforce management processes include, but are not limited to demand forecasting, scheduling, absence management, overtime management, workforce analytics and budgeting. Its wide range of abilities makes WFM attractive to individual businesses.
Why is workforce management important?
There are ample benefits of workforce management, including saving a company time and money, automating daily tasks and contributing to customer satisfaction.
What do workforce managers do?
Workforce managers supervise the productivity at a company at all levels. These managers handle individual, team or even organization-wide managerial tasks to create a more efficient workspace.