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Workforce management software helps organizations to manage their staff. The software offers a wide variety of features such as employee scheduling, attendance tracking, efficiency optimization, and labor demand forecasting.Read full GetApp guide
Here's what we'll cover:
Punching a time card and submitting written requests for time off have become outdated processes. Workforce management software offers more efficient ways of working for both employees and managers.
If your business has shift workers, such as call centers and service businesses, a workforce management tool is essential. The software allocates resources by automating tasks such as employee scheduling and time tracking. It also helps reduce paperwork and streamline processes to ensure minimal chance for human error.
This guide will help you select the right workforce management tool for your business. Here is what we’ll cover:
Workforce management software automates employee scheduling, employee attendance, and labor resource needs. This helps organizations optimize scheduling, reduce labor costs, and follow labor laws.
Go to our future of work resource page for an overview of workplace trends and what they mean for managing staff.
A workforce management solution cuts expenses by optimizing employee schedules and management processes. It also helps to minimize non-compliance risks:
Streamlined operations: Workforce management solutions provide a single and centralized platform. It tracks operational data and automates manual processes, reducing time spent inputting data. This helps you streamline employee scheduling, optimize employee productivity, and analyze the business.
Scheduling automation: By deploying workforce management solutions, you can automate workforce scheduling. This reduces the risk of under or over-staffing, which impacts productivity and labor costs. It also offers compliance tracking features that identify issues such as unnecessary overtime.
Improved time tracking: Workforce management tools offer time and attendance features. This helps to track and monitor the working hours and real-time location of each employee. It also can send alerts for work items that need their immediate attention. This also helps you provide accurate salary information to payroll.
Key questions to ask your workforce management vendor before you buy:
How is this workforce management tool going to benefit my business?
How will your workforce management tool add value to my human resources (HR) processes? Do you offer integration capabilities?
Before you choose workforce management software, you should understand which features are right for your business needs.
Here’s a list of some common features offered by workforce management software vendors:
Employee database: Store employee contact information, salary details, hire date, and job status in a database. This keeps your company records organized in a consistent way.
Employee scheduling: Assign employees based on predicted workload and resources needed to complete tasks. The software creates schedules based on business needs, required skills, and employee availability.
Labor forecasting: Predict future labor needs based on past and present data, trends, and organization goals.
Time and attendance management: Track and manage employee work hours. This improves payroll accuracy and identifies circumstances that lead to understaffing or overstaffing.
Absence and leave management: Allow employees to submit leave and absence requests for managers to approve or deny.
Succession management: Identify high-performing employees with the potential for promotion.
Reporting/analytics: Create and share insights and data visualizations. This helps identify potential improvements, such as cost-saving and workforce management practices.
Compliance tracking: Ensure compliance with employment laws and industry regulations. This includes tracking training provisions, union agreements, necessary certifications, and absence requirements.
Key question to ask your workforce management platform before you buy:
What features do you offer with your workforce management platform?
Are there any special or extra features that you offer in your workforce management software?
Workforce management includes several HR functions. For example, time and attendance tracking, labor scheduling, compliance monitoring, leave management, and task management.
Let’s dive into the types of workforce management software:
Integrated workforce management solutions: These aim to streamline most workforce management processes. They include a suite of solutions to help businesses manage a range of tasks, including integrated work scheduling, payroll applications, and absence tracking. Businesses using this type of workforce management solution tend to have a large number of employees. Integrated HR suites help bigger workforces to work with multiple HR applications in a single solution.
Best-of-breed workforce management tools: This type of solution is specifically for managing timekeeping. It's for large workforces and is easy to integrate with pre-existing HR management (HRMS) and payroll software. These are helpful for organizations that have an HR system, but need more efficient ways to track and manage employees’ schedules.
Key question to ask your workforce management tool vendor before you buy:
Do you offer a workforce management software suite that offers multiple components? Or a best-of-breed solution specialized for timekeeping?
How does your workforce management software price change if I opt for a full suite instead of just a timekeeping module?
Integration issues should not be overlooked: One of the biggest pitfalls is thinking it's a solution to all workforce management problems. Some buyers think the system they choose will automate every aspect of workforce management, but that’s not always the case. Workforce management solutions aren't always an all-inclusive platform. It's important to identify specific product capabilities that will solve your business problems.
Overlapping functionality of similar solutions will leave you confused: Workforce management solutions are often confused with similar solutions such as time tracking software or time clock software. Although they seem to be closely related due to their functionality, they are not the same. Workforce management is more focused on scheduling, whereas time tracking software and time clock software are more for monitoring.
Multi-platform support: Modern practices and policies, such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), mean employees are using their personal laptops or smartphones to access centralized systems. If you're planning to allow this, you need to make sure the software offers multi-platform support. This means that no matter the hardware, employees have access.
Key questions to ask your workforce management vendor before you buy:
Does your workforce management tool integrate well with my existing HR tools?
Does your workforce management software offer all workforce management functionalities? Or is it a specialized tool?
Does your workforce management software support multiple platforms such as iOS and Android devices?
Workforce management systems are generally for organizations that employ high numbers of workers. However, the software is ideal for any business looking to streamline their management’s workload and provide more transparency to employees.
Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) often only consist of a handful of full-time employees. But when it comes to call centers, retail chains, and hospitality, even small and midsize businesses need to optimize their productivity.
Let’s look at an example of how SMBs are using workforce management solutions:
Contact centers can use call center workforce management software to optimize the productivity of their agents. They can achieve this by forecasting the volume of calls, messages, or emails transactions. They can then schedule the right number of contact center agents at the right time to handle the expected workload.
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