What's Workforce Management?

Workforce management (WFM), as the name suggests, is a set of processes, techniques, and tools that an organization uses to optimize the productivity of its workforce. WFM was initially used in call centers to manage employees’ workload, but since then, it has expanded to other industries as well.


Workforce management includes recruitment, forecasting and scheduling employee rosters, time-off management, learning and development, performance management, and data collection & analytics.

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Why is Workforce Management important?


Your employees are the true assets and market differentiators of your organization. Proper Workforce Management can help you attract, optimize,

and retain top employees. Here are a few reasons why workforce management is crucial:

Components of Workforce Management

A solid Workforce Management strategy involves several components that help organizations track and optimize employees’ productivity. They include:


1. Recruitment

The right workforce management starts with recruiting the right people. Sourcing the right candidates, shortlisting them, and hiring the right candidates for a particular role goes a long way in optimizing employee productivity. Doing all this manually will turn out to be inefficient. Automating the recruitment process using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help you compile job requisitions, post on job boards, screen resumes, schedule interviews, and hire the right candidates. 


2. Forecasting

Forecasting essentially means predicting the number and type of employees required to complete a particular project within a specific timeframe. While forecasting, you should take the seasonal demand, industry trends, time-off trends, and labor compliance laws into account as well. Organizations use workforce management software for demand-based forecasting. It is also used to predict future demand-based staffing requirements and helps you build a talent pool for the same.


3. Scheduling

Once you forecast your demands accurately, scheduling employee rosters is the next important step in workforce planning and management. Employee scheduling when done manually can be extremely time-consuming and prone to errors. A workforce management software can help you automatically create shift patterns while factoring in multiple parameters such as labor costs, qualifications, roles, and labor laws.


4. Time-off management

Time-off management is also one of the crucial aspects of workforce management. An effective time-off management solution allows employees to request time-off/holidays with a click of a button. Manager approvals are also automated. Another important use of time management is the effective scheduling of employee rosters based on their availability. A time-off management system also reveals patterns in employee absence and addresses chronic absenteeism.



5. Performance management

It’s all about consistent feedback, growth, and learning. Employees are more likely to stay the course when they are given opportunities to grow and are recognized as a vital part of the organization’s success. Regular check-ins and performance management can help you get a pulse of your employees’ current sentiment about working in the organization, satisfaction with their roles, and the challenges they’re facing. Workforce management software removes manual intervention and keeps the feedback loop seamless in a performance management cycle.


6. Learning and Development

Training and development programs are essential to make sure that you have the appropriate skills to meet future demands. It also goes a long way in retaining employees as well. With workforce management software, you can create customized training plans for your employees based on their performance reviews and aspirations. It also allows for instant and continuous feedback between managers and team members and helps them stay engaged. 


7. Data collection and Analytics

According to Mercer’s “2020 Global Talent Trends Study,” 39 percent of organizations use analytics to inform their people-related decision-making. You can use workforce management tools to discover patterns, spot potential problems, and optimize employee productivity to stay ahead. This is only possible when organizations have access to their data and have the mechanisms to generate reports that are clear, easy to understand, and make the most sense for all stakeholders. 


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How to select a Workforce Management Software?

Gone are the days when workforce management solutions were just used for scheduling. They have evolved over time and with the rising adoption of remote work, workforce management softwares are forming the backbone of any organization looking to streamline their processes and optimize productivity. 

There are several workforce management softwares available in the market today. Selecting the right software depends on the size, scope, and need of your organization. Following are some of the important factors to consider when choosing a workforce management solution:

The software should be easy to use and support employee self-service. Employees should be able to view data, make changes and updates easily. Cloud-based software with mobile compatibility/ app is a big plus


Consider the requirements of your organization. A good workforce management system should be able to track employee attendance and time-offs, performance, and much more seamlessly


Data is everywhere, and business leaders should have ways to access workforce metrics. Hence, you should choose a workforce management solution that has the ability to generate reports with real-time data, prepare custom reports, and derive insights from it.


A single workforce management solution cannot fulfill all the requirements of an organization. Hence, it should be able to integrate with other softwares like core HR solutions, payroll, employee database, etc. This helps in consolidating all the business data


Advantages of using a Workforce Management Software


A workforce management software fulfills several use cases. Below are a few benefits that your organization can experience when you start using Workforce Management software:

lesser time spent by managers in

scheduling and approvals

lesser time spent in managing

time-offs and accruals

better talent forecasting and

candidate sourcing

Increased employee engagement and satisfaction

Workforce Management software increases employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. Your employees need not run to the HR department for each approval and clarification. With the self-service ability of most WFM softwares, employees will have clarity in their schedules, goals and can apply for time-offs and vacations with ease. Performance management also becomes a breeze with WFM software.


Increased productivity and reduced costs

With workforce management software, you can automatically allocate the right resources with the right skills in the right project at optimal costs, thereby increasing productivity. It leads to better workforce utilization and reduced labor costs.


Effective scheduling and time-off management

You need not spend a lot of time scheduling employee rosters and approving time-offs. The system automatically takes the approved time-offs, vacations, and employee availability into account while scheduling, thus saving a lot of time. In other words, you can eliminate mundane tasks from your to-do lists and concentrate on actual strategic tasks at hand.


Consolidated reporting

Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion. With a unified workforce management solution, you have a single source of information for all your employee data in one centralized location. You can pull up any information concerning recruitment, employee information, employee absence, etc, and create customized reports to draw meaningful insights.


Better customer experience

Happy employees result in happy customers. Using a workforce management software leads to better workforce utilization and employee engagement and it, in turn, results in better customer service.


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