Workforce management (WFM) includes the effective staffing, forecasting, scheduling, and real-time adjustments required for your organization to be as efficient as possible. The objective of workforce management is to get the right number of people and the right workers, in the right place at the right time, doing the right tasks.
With the correct technology, processes, and procedures, you can effectively manage your workforce for optimal performance and lowered labor costs. Workforce management is both an art and a science. It’s not just about making schedules. It’s a highly automated process that enables you to have the required data to make informed decisions. WFM can be learned and continuously improved upon to get continuously great results, but it requires the full support of your entire organization. And it’s more important than you think.
The Workforce Is Changing
There’s no doubt that the typical workforce is changing drastically. For the past few years, the nine-to-five, permanent workforce has slowly been replaced with contingent workers and more flexible employee schedules. Many of your employees probably work from home, come in early or leave later, largely setting their own work hours to better suit their lifestyles. You’ve probably increased your number of contingent workers, too—those being hired on a non-permanent basis.
As the workforce continues to change, it’s going to become increasingly difficult for you to manage both your employees and your contingent workers. Staffing and scheduling is going to become more complex than ever before. To keep track of your workers, you’re going to need help. You’re going to need workforce management.
Your Workers Are Your Biggest Asset
You’ve likely heard it before: your workers are your biggest asset. But not only are they critical to your day-to-day operations, they’re also your biggest competitive advantage. In this highly competitive market, it’s vital that you have the best workers on staff being as productive as possible in order to stay profitable now and in the future.
And because your employees and contingent workers are so important to your business, in so many ways, you need to ensure that they’re being managed properly—not only for increased productivity and reduced costs, but also to ensure high morale and trust among your workforce. With workforce management, you can manage performance and make substantial improvements through training, rewards, and feedback to ensure that your greatest assets are happy and productive in their employment.
You Need to be Lean and Mean
Companies need to get lean and mean if they’re going to stay successful in the competitive business environment. That means getting the best value at the lowest cost. If your workforce isn’t strategically managed, you could be wasting valuable time and money on low productivity and high payroll costs. And this can significantly hurt your profitability.
Scheduling too few workers on busy shifts can give you a bad reputation and lower customer satisfaction. Poor hiring decisions can also hurt productivity and morale and put your brand’s reputation at risk. But overstaffing can hurt you through increased costs and wasted manpower.
Managing your workforce correctly is more critical now than ever. Workforce management can help you get more out of less. With the right data, you’ll be able to gain visibility into any potential skills shortage or staff shortage in order to make better recruiting decisions. Greater visibility will enable you to see hidden opportunities and challenges. And predictive forecasting will allow you to better understand future demand to allow for more efficient scheduling. The importance of real-time workforce data cannot be understated—it’s critical to ensuring that your business activities are less time consuming and more coherent and efficient. With effective workforce management, you’ll be able to provide exceptional service at the lowest cost possible.