What is workforce management?
The term workforce management – or WFM – describes the process used by employers to distribute their resources and employees, to monitor attendance, and to keep up with regulations and laws in the workplace that are continuously shifting. The end goal of these processes is to identify priorities within a company and predict any difficulties. In turn, preventative actions can be put into place therefore enhancing productivity and lessening risks.
By designing workforce management functions into state-of-the-art software, companies can be supported to better engage with their employees, improve their customer service and have a positive impact upon finances.
What are the attributes of workforce management solutions?
Software that includes functions for workforce management utilises a combination of historical intel from the company plus AI to help foresee staffing requirements ahead of time. They can automate actions such as tracking staff attendance and hours, and putting together schedules that create a best fit for the envisaged picture. Let’s take a closer look at what they can offer.
- Forecasting workforce requirements
It can be a challenge to stay within budget when a whole range of factors can influence how much labour is needed, from the weather to demand from customers. A WFM solution can simulate potential scenarios, enabling companies to foresee situations where they might otherwise over or understaff.
- Creating schedules
With a workforce management solution, scheduling can be automated and managed digitally. Employers can filter and choose staff members for factors such as their skills and experience. It is also possible for employees to swap shifts or share availability ahead of time, to avoid any coverage shortfalls.
- Tracking time
By capturing information about time worked directly from the method of recording – such as online timesheets or time clocks – WFM solutions can help make sure that processing of payroll is efficient and precise.
- Managing absence
It’s easy to track absence with workforce management software, whether paid leave or extended sick leave.
- Managing overtime
A feature to assist with managing employee overtime can issue alerts to let the employer know when overtime occurs, or if a staff member attempts to work additional hours without managerial say-so. It’s a function that can help achieve balanced costs when it comes to payroll and to make sure any extra hours are distributed in a fair way.
- Data and analytics
Custom dashboards can give easy, real-time access to scheduling edits as necessary. Many products can also allow the running of reports to understand long term trends across a range of markers.
- Staying compliant
Complying with legalities around workforce management can be made easier with a cloud-based software solution which is configured to stay to date - so that the organisation is up to date too. The capacity to create timecard trails can be helpful in cases of disputes.
- Accessibility on the move
With mobile app versions of WFM solutions, employers are empowered to speedily fill schedule gaps or make changes to shifts. Just as plans can change quickly, an app can help to make sure of coverage even when employees are unexpectedly unable to work.
Workforce management: what are the benefits?
A good provider of workforce management solutions will ensure a match between a solution from their range, and the business that’s seeking support. The appropriate solution could help in the following ways.
- Regulated finances
Technology that calculates labour requirements can help businesses to minimise costs by reducing any excesses in staffing and overtime. Certain advanced WFM solutions can share the impacts upon budgets while the schedules are being made.
- More accurate payroll
The human errors of manual data inputting can be greatly reduced with workforce management software that analyses hours worked and ascertains typical overtime within the company.
- Enhanced productivity
Employers can compare data about attendance and time against companies that share similarities such as size, industry, and region. If the competition is performing more favourably, this function can be a catalyst to take action.
- Smarter schedule creation
There are many workforce management solutions that can alert staffing managers to labour shortages, enabling them to swiftly fill the gaps so that shifts can run smoothly. WFM software is also able to put schedules together based on parameters including role, department or geography to ensure all important considerations are covered.
- Compliance risk minimisation
Employee leave can be more smoothly managed with workflows that automate leave entitlement, allocation, and balances. The recordkeeping capacities can be valuable in the event of an audit being carried out.
How Workforce Management helped First Watch
A chain of restaurants with their headquarters in Florida, First Watch Inc. offer breakfasts through to lunches based around a concept of being inspired by the sun’s position. The business runs 400 restaurants in almost 30 states and employs 10,000 people.
“We determined that over 70 percent of our employees were looking at the ADP mobile app on a regular basis, and so we've used this to stay in contact with them, to put out information that's meaningful to them and make sure that we've got that solid connection.”
Laura Sorensen, Chief People Officer
First Watch Restaurants Inc.
Challenges faced by the company
- Difficulty keeping in contact with employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Challenges with prompt access to both pay data, and wage payment amid COVID-19.
- A need to foster employee engagement and quality work.
- Making DE&I decisions that are both informed and strategic.
Solutions delivered by ADP
- Delivering a mobile app version of ADP WFM solutions, to send timely employee news and help with engagement.
- The mobile ADP app was also utilised to provide swift access for employees to their pay data.
- A tool called StandOut helped First Watch to gauge and boost engagement to support exceptional work.
- ADP installed their DataCloud solution which provided the company with DE&I data to help inform their business and shape their decisions.