Workforce Management (WFM) first came into the picture in the 1980s when it was deployed to streamline internal processes. In the following decade, WFM was never really picked up by employee administration teams in offices or by employees themselves as it had more to do with supply chains and in-market pipelines.
However, today it has gained much popularity and experienced resurgence, especially in Human Resources. It is also widely leveraged for labour, budget and succession forecasting.
But, what is Workforce Management, really?
For organisations, Workforce Management brings in a ton of functionalities which is exactly why it has garnered massive fanfare. By leveraging WFM, organisations can track the productivity and performance levels of the employees on a daily basis.
What’s more, WFM systems also allow companies to gain greater insights into metrics that affect and shape business decisions. For example, with a WFM system you can determine exactly the employee strength needed to complete a task every day, or on a weekly or monthly basis.
A good example of WFM being tested to its limits to bear fruit is the work that is done at a customer support center.With an efficient WFM system, the company can get a sense of how many support agents are to be deployed at any given time based on the metrics that are derived from the inbound communication via emails, text messages, and calls.Based on this information, the management can schedule the right support agents to communicate with particular customers/clients and handle the workload.
What else falls under a Workforce Management Process?
In the HR space, an all-inclusive, well-built and serviced Workforce Management System encompasses a multitude of activities. The benefits of such a WFM are tremendous and will be covered as you scroll down.
For now, let’s dive straight into the list of other activities that fall into the WFM bucket.
- Employee Attendance and Time
With WFM tools and systems employees are better placed to draw insights from employee attendance and time spent on the job. Such a nifty feature comes handy in the management of employee absences and leaves, especially in the prediction of the timeframes where demands for leaves and absenteeism are made by employees.
WFM analytics and data is what’s at play here, helping employers analyze and put a finger on potential stopgaps in coverage. The same data and the insights derived from it can also be utilized to address unpunctuality issues of employees and improve accuracy in payroll operations.
- Leave Planning & Vacation
There are endless possibilities of an integrated WFM system in the space of leaves and time-offs requested by the employees.
The digitalised nature of such a system and the data-driven insights effortlessly helps companies track staffing levels, approve requests, calculate and track leave balances of all kinds including paid casual leaves, view absences, schedule conflicts and so much more.
- Performance Management
Employee appreciation and rewards is a key factor that dictates the productivity and performance of employees. As the employer, it is your duty to gauge levels of productivity and performance of each employee, rewarding those who have worked hard and contributed immensely and finding out the reasons behind the sub-par performance of others who haven’t.
A WFM system helps employers understand the level of engagement and the performance and productivity metrics of each employee so that a reward and appreciation program can be developed that aligns with the long-term goals of the employee.
- Benefits administration & payroll
Automated payroll systems are also integrated into WFM tools. And with it, you can completely cut out manual intervention, or bring it to a level that has minimum to zero human errors in the sphere of benefits administration and payroll.
Such is the nature and the efficacy of the AI-powered payroll WFM systems that you can generate and transfer audit-ready payroll reports at the click of a button. What’s more, you can integrate banking APIs for quicker and faster payments for all kinds of scenarios such as payment at the end of shifts. Perhaps thebest feature of such a system is that it works in tandem with attendance, time-tracking, and performance tools to automatically calculate salaries and incentives (if any) in real-time, without any errors.
- Compliance Tracking
Compliance is one key area for businesses of any scale which cannot be ignored at any cost. What it is basically adhering to any central and state laws for a variety of reasons related to labour, salaries, taxes and so on.
Many businesses find compliance tracking and management a steep hill to climb as there’s a lot to do. But it is a hill which, nevertheless, must be climbed — timely and lawfully — regardless of its incline because non-compliance with any of the laws and regulations can result in huge fines and penalties that can financially cripple any business, tarnish its reputation amongst potential employees and investors which can lead to boycott, or worse, result in a total shutdown.
WFM systems help companies in this regard by building intelligent systems that can manage compliance. Businesses receive timely alerts about any upcoming compliance deadlines or updates about any changes in dates. What’s more, any reports such as payroll data, employee salary details, pension benefits, incentives are backed-up can be retrieved from WFM systems for compliance in an organized manner at any given time.
- Scheduling of Staff
How would you know how much and the type staff is required for any project or business activity? You could go with your hunch or leave the guesswork aside and take a call based on the information provided by WFM systems. The problem with the first solution is that it’s a manual process which note only takes a lot of time and effort, but — as per business learnings in the past — can leave any company short-staffed during peak seasons.
With a WFM system, you can automate staff based on a number of parameters such as absences, employee vacations, workload, and availability. You can quickly scale your workforce up and down by taking informed decisions from the data that is provided by WFM tools.
WFM also enhances the budgeting and forecasting abilities of any business. Through budgeting, you can precisely know how much staff you can sustain on your payroll whereas WFM forecasting facilitates the knowhow of the type of staff required, the numbers, and balancing of the workload and staff deployment on the basis of labour demands.
The integration of WFM systems for businesses and organizations is not a question of if, but when. It has, for many, worked wonders improving productivity, reducing costs, attracting talent, retaining employees, generating and converting leads, and accelerating growth.
Think of it as an overarching tool that focuses on all important aspects of your business proceedings without you ever having to break a sweat.
Digvijay Singh Kanwar is a professional content writer and digital marketing expert and he loves to write about finance and tech based articles. For more details, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org