Editorial

06 Apr 2022

What Is Workforce Management?

Kelsey Kaczynski

Workforce Management (WFM) is a set of integrated processes that companies use to optimize employee productivity and competency. When it comes to HR, having exceptional workforce management is key to the fulfillment of your workforce and the success and longevity of your organization. Great workforce management and sustainable human resource management go hand in hand.

In this article, we’re going to dissect what workforce management actually looks like, outline its best processes and explain how you can integrate optimal workforce management in your own workplace. Let's get started.

What Is Workforce Management?

So, what exactly is workforce management? Well, it’s a lot of different things! WFM includes all activities that HR departments and general staff alike employ to maintain a productive workforce. Workforce management best practices have always existed, however, the term was only coined by HR management executives relatively recently.

As workforce management has developed from a traditional approach of staff scheduling to improve time management, it has become more integrated and demand orientated so that it, as a process, can keep up with organizations, their goals, and their ambitions.

WFM enables companies and groups of people to gain insights into historical and present data and use their learnings to optimize their human capital management and workforce planning. For example, it might enlighten you as to how many individuals and how much time was needed to do a particular task and in this way, demonstrate to you the number of workers, operational costs, and time will be needed to complete said task in the future.

It enables companies to foresee workloads, financial payments, accounts, processes, and time. It is this forecasting that makes effective WFM a necessity for any engaging company because it allows them to accelerate their productively and avoid wasteful time management and expenditure.

Today, modern companies generally use a combination of performance-based tools and software applications to support their WFM. When employed correctly, these applications have streamlined company practices even further, making the potential for organizations that practice it sustainably and regularly even greater.

Four people build a giant blue puzzle

What Are Workforce Management Processes?

A comprehensive workforce management system is made up of an entire range of activities within the broader framework of human resource management. To help you identify and understand these processes further, we’ve listed some of the most useful and popular processes below.

  • Financial Forecasting

Forecasting refers to the ability to foresee how much and what kind of staffing a particular task will require at a particular time. The ability to forecast workflows like this using date collection enables companies to budget their finances more accurately.

  • Staff Scheduling

Clever employee scheduling is key to the success of any business, no matter its size. Before WFM applications and processes, all staff scheduling was done manually. This was incredibly time-consuming and also presented the risk of human error which could prove costly.

However, the introduction of WFM meant that companies could automate their staff via an online system. This was a particular gamechanger for organizations with a large global workforce because it streamlined their entire system, allowing their workers to focus on achieving their goals instead of administration.

  • Payroll

Similarly, WFM reduces the time necessary to complete payroll and makes the entire responsibility easier, faster, and more accurate. Gone are the days of manually withholding taxes or scheduling payments!

  • Vacation Planning

In the same fashion, vacation planning is made much easier by the support of WFM. By using WFM processes, organizations can track, schedule, and manage all employee vacations in one space and in a matter of minutes.

  • Employee Performance Management

One of the most important WFM processes is employee performance management. If you hope to operate a functioning and successful company, then it is vital that you track the performance, workflows, and engagement of all your employees regularly.

Using WFM processes means that HR departments, managers, and even employees themselves can access their career progression, goals, and mishaps in one place. This makes it easier to understand how individual staff members are progressing and how to keep track of their goals and development within the company.

Four people sit at a table working at their laptops

What Are The Benefits Of Workforce Management?

There is an entire multitude of benefits associated with Workforce Management that range from the real-time happiness and health of your employees to the functionality of your staff, enhanced customer experience, and organizational success. Here are some of the most notable benefits of correct WFM.

  • Employee Engagement

There is no overstating how crucial workforce management is when it comes to employee engagement. Not only do accurate WFM processes prevent any potential mistakes that could have occurred had the tasks involved with WFM been managed manually or separately, which could have led to employee dissatisfaction or frustration, but they also give you the ability to manage an employee's development with ease. This will lead to high employee performance, team motivation, and employee productivity.

  • Lower Labor Costs

The ability to track, forecast, and manage the schedules and workload of your organization means that you will be able to foresee your expenditure. This will prevent the chance of overspending due to uncertainty because it will remove any ambiguity surrounding the number of workers, amount of time, or selection of other resources required for a particular day or to complete a particular task. The removal of this ambiguity makes for lower compliance risks and means that you can forecast your spending and avoid unnecessary costs.

  • Higher Customer Success Rates

When practiced consistently and correctly, WFM processes streamline an organization’s workload making even the most stressful of situations or complicated of tasks less daunting and more simple.

Maintaining a serene internal company environment makes it easier to operate a calm and functional front-facing exterior, thereby promoting a pleasant experience for all individuals who deal with your company, whether they be vendors, customers, or members of the public.

a group of employees stand together smiling

How Can A Workforce Management System Be Implemented?

All contact centers and HR departments can easily implement a WFM system so long as they take the proper steps to secure the most suitable workforce management tools. Here is a brief outline on how you can begin your implementation processes.

  1. Ensure your IT team has access to the WFM tool and has enabled access between the WFM took and the ACD.
  2. Analyze and prepare your contact center for the implementation.
  3. Take a look at the planning processes of the contact center including staffing requirement calculations, track time tools, plans for shrinking, etc., and decide how much you would like your WFM to take your employees' preferences into account.
  4. Decide and define your desired outcomes that you would like to achieve via the WFM. For example, how would you like to integrate your timesheets? What would you like to see on your dashboard?
  5. Implement the tool step by step. Remember adjusting to a new tool like this takes time and energy. Don’t be afraid to enroll in further workshops to enhance your knowledge of WFM processes and your chosen tools. You can never be too informed!

Top 10 Workforce Management Softwares

Choosing the right workforce management software solution can be difficult, especially if you are somewhat new to the world of WFM. For this reason, we’ve outlined some of our favorite workforce management solutions for you.

All of the below have been designed to improve employee experience, workforce satisfaction, and all of the other important metrics discussed in this article.

Paylocity

ADP Workforce Now

BambooHR

Rippling

Paycom

Ceridian Dayforce

Paycor

TCP Humanity Scheduling 

UKG Workforce Central 

UKG Pro

Conclusion

So, that concludes our article on all things Workforce Management! We hope that you will use it to reference as you implement or improve your own management applications within your department and organizations.

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