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We love answering this question, but before we do, let's take one step backwards and firstly explore exactly what we mean by workforce management.
Simply put, the term Workforce Management is used to refer to the numerous processes that go into making sure that a company is running as efficiently as possible. These include, but are not in any way limited to: staffing, forecasting, budgeting, scheduling, holiday planning and payroll.
The way in which we work has undergone monumental shifts over the past few years, never more so than in this post-pandemic world we find ourselves in. Defining what we could call a 'normal' workforce is now almost impossible, with flexible working practices becoming ever more common, hybrid working increasingly standard and so many employees choosing to work on a fully remote basis. Workers are finding themselves with unparalleled autonomy regarding how, when and even where they carry out their professional responsibilities.
All of this is great, and has been proven to be extremely beneficial for companies, leading to both increased productivity and a happier workforce. But let's spare a thought for the managers, HR team and payroll staff: for them, the logistics of these new work rhythms can be an absolute nightmare to navigate, not to mention the stratospheric increase in admin and paperwork this all equates to. Humans are, well, human. And errors are almost inevitable when there are so many variables to factor in.
How would you even begin to go about keeping tabs on the clocking in, overtime hours, holiday requests, sick leave, department budgeting, physical whereabouts and payroll data for employees who may be in 50 different places at once, working across multiple shifts?
Employees in industries such as construction, cleaning, agriculture, manufacturing and transport have been remote workers since long before anyone really used the term. Visiting different sites or clients and travelling around different locations has been part and parcel of their job spec forever. Other workers find they need to be based at one specific location to get a job done, but, when once that is finished, they move onto the next.
There are still many offices and places of work that require 100% on-site attendance, and either cannot or simply do not wish to change that.
However, for a large number of companies, especially when faced with rising costs and when looking for ways to cut overheads, maintaining an office, and the resulting bills to run it, can seem like a waste of financial resources, especially when so many workers no longer want to return full time to the workplace. Aside from saving money, keeping a workforce happy is also a very good idea, to maximise your company's productivity.
So, what is the solution?
We're glad you asked. It's Workforce Management Software.
This is where workforce management software comes into play, to save you considerable time, money and stress. As well as carrying out many of the functions you may already be struggling with, it can offer an awful lot more, including:
- Time and attendance
- Biometric clocking systems (facial and fingerprint)
- Absence management
- Bradford Factor calculations
- Employee self-service
- Smartphone clocking app
- Geofencing for proximity to set locations
- Holiday management
- Time off in lieu (TOIL) management
- Payroll calculation and reporting
- Departmental budget forecasts and reporting
- Overtime and shift calculations
- Fire roll call generation
- Compliance and certification check to meet relevant laws, standards & union agreements
What are the benefits of workforce management software?
Depending on the nature of your business, you will find a wide range of benefits from using software specifically designed to help your company run smoother and more efficiently.
For us, there are four advantages that are especially worth highlighting, no matter what industry you are in.
1. Peace of Mind
Hoping you have everything covered and knowing you do, are two very different things indeed. You can rest assured that you have the correct number of workers in the right place at the right time, doing exactly what you need them to do.
2. Happier workers
WFM by Chronologic is tailor made to suit your company's unique needs, making it easier than ever to successfully manage your workforce whilst dramatically reducing the amount of time you need to dedicate to admin issues. Giving employees more autonomy leads to far greater levels of satisfaction. It also creates more trust, knowing that just as they are working hard, no-one else is able to cheat the system by buddy punching, clocking in from somewhere else, working less hours than they are contracted to, etc.
3. No more under- or overstaffing
This is always a delicate balance to perfect. You don't want too many staff sitting or standing around getting paid with nothing or very little to do. Neither, of course, do you want to risk the reputational damage caused by unhappy customers waiting longer than they should because you're short-staffed. Amongst other things, this will allow you to swiftly contract agency staff to cover any forecasted shortages, when contrasted with holiday bookings.
4. Accurate reports at your fingertips
Reports can be generated as needed, in real time, offering invaluable information that can equip you with vital data to contemplate ahead of making important decisions. Reports can, for example, alert you to when Employees haven't clocked in for their shift – ensuring you are aware and can make arrangements to cover vital work or services. Employees can organise their holidays with simple and effective tools rather than paper trails and spreadsheets – managers can view their reports and availability of staff, avoiding any inconvenient clashing with colleagues, guaranteeing no department is left without sufficient staff of the right skillsets. Accurate budgets can be drawn up, with clear data as to which departments or sites are running most cost-effectively and which, conversely, are straining the company's financial resources.
When should you invest in a Workforce Management System?
As soon as possible. While it may be the case that you don't feel an urgent need right now, leaving it until you find yourself in a position where you urgently need it, is as risky as driving without insurance and only taking out a policy when you're about to crash. Even if you feel you're managing fine right now, who, hand on heart, wouldn't like to save time, money and stress at work?
We know that a workforce management system cannot fix all of your issues, of course; it's technology, not witchcraft.
That said, it has been proven time and again to assist business owners in addressing areas where the labour force is not operating as efficiently as it could, hindering the growth of your company and also wasting valuable resources: time, money, and the most important resource of them all, your staff. What it will do, without question, is equip you with all the information you need to make smarter short-, mid- and long-term decisions that best protect your business.
Like what you’ve read so far? There’s plenty more where that came from...
Want to find out more?
We could talk about the benefits of Workforce Management Software all day. In fact, that's our job. Give us a call or drop us an email.
Tell us more about you and your company and we will happily take you through a free no-strings-attached demo to show you how WFM by Chronologic can transform the way in which your business operates.