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10 Best Workforce Optimization Software for Your Business

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

According to research, an average employee wastes about 4.5 hours each week, which equals almost six full work weeks lost annually.


At the same time, the US Bureau of Labor announced a 2.4% decrease in work productivity in the Q2 of 2022. If 2.4% doesn't sound like a lot, you need to know that's the largest annual decline since 1948, when they started tracking workforce productivity.


Thankfully, we're living in 2023 and you don't have to develop elaborate strategies to increase productivity levels. There are workforce optimization software options you can use to save time and money. And isn't that what every employer wants at the end of the day?


In this article, we'll share the ten best workforce optimization tools for different industries.

Image source: Freepik.com


What is workforce optimization software & why do you need it?


Workforce optimization software is used for streamlining scheduling and overall employee management.


It is used in service-based industries such as hospitality and retail but also in logistics, distribution centers, warehouses, etc. Some specialized contact center solutions can be used both for workforce planning and improving customer experience.


The key features to consider are:

  • Employee scheduling

  • Labor forecasting

  • Rule management

  • Employee performance management

  • Time tracking

  • Payroll management

Here are some of the benefits of using workforce optimization software:

  1. Increased productivity and efficiency: workforce optimization software allows you to improve your workforce management by creating more effective workflows and optimal schedules, which leads to increased productivity, better results and less overtime.

  2. Saving time: Choosing workforce optimization software with a high level of automation can save your managers a lot of time otherwise wasted on repetitive tasks. That way, they have more time to solve more complex issues requiring their input.

  3. Improved employee + customer satisfaction: Advanced software solutions allow employees to create and customize their schedules faster than traditional systems. Some apps can also increase employee engagement by making communication quicker and easier. Satisfied employees are more likely to provide better service, which can increase customer satisfaction.

  4. Cutting costs: Workforce optimization software enables you to allocate resources most effectively, remove slack and do more with the same number of employees.

Selection criteria


Here are the main criteria we used when choosing workforce optimization tools:

  1. Automation: We've included software solutions with a high level of automation to help you save time and improve operational efficiency.

  2. User experience: We've included apps that are user-friendly and easy to use both by management and employees.

  3. Advanced features: We've included tools with some advanced features that may help you save time, achieve higher efficiency and replace multiple tools you're currently using.

10 best workforce optimization software options to try


1. Workofo

Workofo is an AI-based workforce optimization software known for accurately forecasting workload and automatically creating optimal schedules, coming with a mobile app for the employees.


However, it's much more than a simple automated scheduling tool because it features powerful AI-based forecasting and optimization engines which consider multiple factors and constraints – from historical data, seasonality, promotions, weather, weeks before/after salary to employee wishes and working speeds, and custom events specific to each location/industry.


Workofo uses advanced workforce planning and optimization algorithms that are constantly being tested and improved.


The platform allows for analyzing your business processes, choosing the most optimal schedules and finding further improvements for the most effective workforce management processes for your business.


As a result, it helps you save from 5% to 15% of your employees' time. You can reduce unnecessary overtime, cut costs and rearrange your resources to boost your employees' efficiency.


You can use it for intra-day planning, to split shifts and batch similar tasks into the same time block, to boost productivity. But it offers much more than other scheduling software solutions.


The system is very flexible and customizable. The first step is analyzing your processes and identifying work rules. It can consider around 80 parameters, from regulations and compliance to your internal operational rules. Then, the algorithms create custom workforce optimization suggestions based on your specific work rules.


It's ideal for medium to larger businesses with multiple locations that want to ensure service quality in all the venues: whether in retail, large restaurant and hotel chains, managing warehouses, distribution, logistics and contact centers.


You can optimize work in different departments or locations based on the competencies required.


Features

  • Precise workflow forecasting

  • Workforce optimization algorithms

  • Advanced rules management

  • Testing and optimizing schedules

  • Splitting shifts

  • Balancing service levels in multiple locations

  • Balancing of hours between different months

Pricing: Available upon request


2. Verint

Image source: G2


Verint offers flexible employee scheduling, coming with a mobile app to create schedules on the go, primarily for customer support and call centers. It facilitates time off requests and shift swaps, and users say it can improve employee efficiency and decrease overtime.


On the other hand, it could also be used for performance management, measuring employee productivity and targeted coaching.


Thanks to real-time adherence, you can compare planned activity to actional tasks done during the day. It provides you with actionable insights to forecast future workloads more accurately.


However, this workforce management software can overwhelm new users and you can’t keep static schedules without manually updating them.


Features

  • Real-time adherence

  • Security intelligence

  • Automated coaching

  • Scheduling appointments

Pricing: Available upon request


3. Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG)

Image source: G2


If you're wondering whether this is the same thing as the Kronos workforce management app, yes, it's the same concept but improved. Ultimate Kronos Group was developed when Kronos merged with Ultimate Software in 2020.

They offer three different workforce optimization tools according to your needs and the number of employees.

  1. UKG Ready: A classic workforce management app with features like employee scheduling, payroll, human resources and talent management.

  2. UKG Dimensions: AI-powered solution customizable to meet your industry needs.

  3. UKG Pro: A complex enterprise workforce management solution for multinational companies and global teams. It has some advanced features like tax calculation, pre-tax deductions and W-2 delivery.

The biggest difference is that more expensive plans offer more automation and integration with other apps.

Unfortunately, to get the most out of this software, you must use it on your desktop because its mobile app lacks many features. If you're looking for something more flexible that you can use from any device, you may want to check other Kronos competitors and alternatives.


Features

  • Real-time scheduling

  • Workforce analytics

  • Tax calculation

  • Onboarding process

  • Staff training and e-learning

Pricing: Available upon request


4. Relex

Image source: G2


Relex is not a typical workforce management app, but it might be worth considering if you work in retail.

It has some essential workforce optimization features, such as planning shifts or predicting workloads, but automation is not the strength of this app.

Instead, here are some other things it could be helpful for:

  • Supply chain management

  • Inventory management

  • Merchandising

  • Reducing operational costs in retail

  • Warehouse management

On the con side, the mobile app is limited because you can't use it on the go, like some other apps.


Features

  • Data-based scheduling

  • Demand forecasting

  • Merchandising optimization

  • Supply chain planning

Pricing: Available upon request


5. Quinyx

Image source: G2


Quinyx is a mobile app that you can use to quickly and easily create and manage employee schedules on the go.


The app offers communication channels where employees can use their mobile devices to arrange shift swapping, being absent, etc.


The best thing about this app is that it can improve employee engagement thanks to a user-friendly interface and initiatives like badges and rewards.


Unfortunately, there are some severe cons if you're in the phase of optimizing your resources and looking for reliable workforce optimization software.


This app is not great at AI-based schedule optimization, employee pooling and doesn't offer intra-day planning, which could be problematic if you have a complex workflow.


Features

  • Labor forecasting

  • Workforce engagement management

  • Effortless team communication

  • Mobile shift scheduling

  • Customizable review forms

  • Employee recognition

Pricing: four different plans based on your needs, pricing available upon request


6. Calabrio

Image source: Capterra


Calabrio, formerly known as Teleopti, is a workforce software primarily used in call centers. Thanks to its advanced voice and text analytics, you can use it for both workforce and customer relationship management.


When you run a contact center, it's essential to be able to forecast busy periods and plan your schedule accordingly. This software is excellent for long-range planning and strategic staffing and uses historical data to improve forecasting.


It's also suitable for remote contact centers as you can set up your virtual contact center wherever, whenever, in minutes. Its recent update also includes advanced features for managing and evaluating remote agents.


Workforce scheduling is one of its strong sides, especially if you have a combination of in-house and remote agents. Everything is based on the drag-and-drop principle, and it allows your employees to create their schedules and trade shifts without managerial input, according to the rules you've previously set in the app.

On the other hand, this software also enables you to create a complete picture of every customer, record customer calls and analyze customer interactions.

On the side of cons, it does not seem to be able to incorporate employee wishes well.


Features

  • Forecasting and planning

  • WFH monitoring and evaluation

  • Self-scheduling

  • Intraday management

  • Advanced speech analytics

Pricing: $468 per year


7. Hotschedules

Source: AppStore


Hotschedules is a simple and easy-to-use scheduling app. It may not have some advanced workforce management features, but it can be a good option when quick and easy scheduling is all you need.


It's used mainly in the hospitality industry for managing complicated schedules when there are a lot of employees.


You can use the app on your mobile, work iPad and even your smartwatch, allowing effortless communication between team members. They can swap or pick up the shifts with only a few taps.


Other features include calendar sync and real-time notifications.


It's a good option both for team communication and one-on-one messaging, as it's much faster than sending emails back and forth.


Features

  • Logbook

  • Labor forecasting

  • Calendar sync

  • Payroll calculator

Pricing: starting from $49 per month for one location and up to 30 users


8. Planday

Image source: G2


Planday software has three main functions: scheduling, time tracking and staff management.


When it comes to scheduling, you can plan your shifts based on labor forecasting, inputs about day offs, etc. Employees can easily manage their schedules on the go.


You'll no longer need a separate punch system; employees can clock in and out using a mobile app.


The app can also be used for communication via team channels or messaging.


Finally, staff management. The app’s user-friendly interface lets you keep all employee records in one place.


Planday allows you to seamlessly connect with systems you already use, whether it's your POS or payroll software. You can also use it to track your revenue and costs and report.


Features

  • Shift planner

  • Punch clock and time tracking

  • Reporting

  • Many integrations

Pricing:

  • Starter: €2.49 per user per month

  • Plus: €4.49 per user per month

  • Pro: €6.49 per user per month

  • Enterprise: custom pricing

9. Humanity

Image source: G2


Humanity is an online employee scheduling software formerly known as Shiftplanning. It's most popular in the healthcare and hospitality industry due to its dynamic shift scheduling.


This software has many schedule templates you can customize according to your needs without making one from scratch.


It uses forecasting and predictive rule-based scheduling technology to avoid overlapping and errors. That way, you can get the most out of your resources at any given moment.

One advanced feature is scheduling based on skills and certifications, which is especially important in industries like healthcare, and if you have to manage multiple locations. With Humanity, you can maintain compliance by ensuring the right staff is always in the right place.


Another reason Humanity is popular in healthcare, beauty studios and fitness centers is that customers can book their appointments easily and quickly. The app is also optimized for last-minute bookings and cancellations, and there are ways to cut unforeseen costs.


Features

  • Labor and sales forecasting

  • Certification-based scheduling

  • Intuitive budgeting

  • Compliance risk management

  • HCM integrations

Pricing: three different packages, pricing available upon request


10. Deputy

Image source: G2


Deputy may be the right workforce optimization software for you if you're looking for a combination of scheduling and compliance tools.


Apart from standard features like scheduling, time tracking and clocking in and out, there's also a whole set of labor compliance features.


With this tool, you can take care of wages, breaks, overtime, a fair workweek, etc.

This software simplifies labor law compliance and helps to protect your business from risks. There's even a test to check whether your work policies comply with federal and state laws.


On the con side, users said that analytics and the onboarding process could be improved.


Features

  • Labor law compliance tools

  • Scheduling

  • Time tracking

  • Time clocking

Pricing:

  • Scheduling: $3.50 per user per month

  • Time and attendance: $3.50 per user per month

  • Premium: $4.90 per user per month

  • Enterprise: custom price

The best workforce optimization software: Comparison table

Software

Key features

Pricing

Workofo

  • Precise workflow forecasting

  • Workforce optimization algorithms

  • Advanced rules management

  • Testing and optimizing schedules

  • Splitting shifts

  • Balancing service levels in multiple locations

Available upon request

Verint

  • ​Real-time adherence

  • Security intelligence

  • Automated coaching

  • Scheduling appointments

Available upon request

UKG

  • ​Real-time scheduling

  • Workforce analytics

  • Tax calculation

  • Onboarding process

  • Staff training and e-learning

Available upon request

Relex

  • ​Data-based scheduling

  • Demand forecasting

  • Merchandising optimization

  • Supply chain planning

Available upon request

Quinyx

  • ​Labor forecasting

  • Workforce engagement management

  • Effortless team communication

  • Mobile shift scheduling

  • Customizable review forms

  • Employee recognition

​Four different plans based on your needs, pricing available upon request

Calabrio

  • ​Forecasting and planning

  • WFH monitoring and evaluation

  • Self-scheduling

  • Intraday management

  • Advanced speech analytics

$468 per year

​Hotschedules

  • ​Log book

  • Labor forecasting

  • Calendar sync

  • Payroll calculator

Starting from $49 per month for one location and up to 30 users

Planday

  • ​Shift planner

  • Punch clock and time tracking

  • Reporting

  • Many integrations

  • Starter: €2.49 per user per month

  • Plus: €4.49 per user per month

  • Pro: €6.49 per user per month

  • Enterprise: custom pricing

Humanity

  • ​Labor and sales forecasting

  • Certification-based scheduling

  • Intuitive budgeting

  • Compliance risk management

  • HCM integrations

Three different packages, pricing available upon request

Deputy

  • Labor law compliance tools

  • Scheduling

  • Time tracking

  • Time clocking

  • Scheduling: $3.50 per user per month

  • Time and attendance: $3.50 per user per month

  • Premium: $4.90 per user per month

  • Enterprise: custom price

Conclusion


This was an overview of ten of the most popular workforce optimization software options operating in Europe and following the European legislation. We cannot choose a one-fits-it-all solution because it depends on your industry or team size. But whether you’re in retail, the healthcare or service industry, managing warehouses, distribution, logistics or call centers, we believe that you can find a suitable workforce optimization platform on our list.


If you're in one of the following businesses and need a tool with accurate forecasting, Workofo may be the best solution for you:

  • retail

  • call center

  • warehouses

  • distribution and logistics

  • larger restaurant/hotel chains

Sign up for the demo and learn how to free up to 15% of your workforce resources.


FAQs


Why should businesses use WFM software?


WFM (workforce management) software can provide several benefits to organizations, including increased efficiency by saving time for employees and managers, improved accuracy, better compliance, enhanced employee engagement, cost savings with optimized scheduling and reduced overtime.


What companies use WFM?


Workforce management software can be used in multiple industries with workload fluctuations: from hospitality and retail to contact centers. It's also used in remote companies to optimize scheduling and performance management.


Is WFM part of HR?


Yes, WFM (workforce management) is part of HR business processes because it helps to increase efficiency and productivity, while also encouraging engagement among colleagues which can increase employee satisfaction.


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