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What Is Workforce Management?
Workforce management is a process that employers implement with the goal of optimizing the productivity of their employees and the workplace. According to CIO Magazine, “WFM began as a means for improving the consistency, efficiency, and productivity of call centers but has since expanded to other industries and job functions.”
What initially started out as a scheduling process has since expanded into a more intricate framework, which involves a number of procedures designed to enhance overall business performance.
Components of workforce management
- Forecasting: Enables you to determine the number of employees and types of employees needed throughout the year, including during busy seasons
- Budgeting: Helps you ascertain how many employees you can afford to hire and retain
- Scheduling: Allocates staff based on business needs, which is impacted by employee availability, workloads, and time-off requests
- Time and attendance: Allows you to track the arrival and departure times of employees as well as meals, breaks, and absences
- Health and safety: Lets you implement safety measures with the intent of reducing the risk of accidents or dangerous work environments
- Payroll administration: Ensures employees are paid accurately and on time for the work they performed
- Benefits administration: Involves the management of mandatory and voluntary benefits that are offered to all employees
- Leave administration: Allows you to handle time-off requests, track leave balances, manage paid time off, and resolve scheduling conflicts
- Compliance: Enables you to comply with federal, state, and local employment laws across various areas of workforce management
- Analytics: Lets you analyze WFM data to identify trends, develop plans, and create operational goals for your organization
Workforce management software
It’s untenable for the average employer to perform workforce management manually, as the process has become far too complex for paper-driven systems. These days, employers leverage WFM software, which automates workforce management tasks and processes. In most cases, the software integrates core HR applications — including time, labor, payroll, and benefits — ultimately serving as a centralized database for the company’s workforce strategy.
Benefits of workforce management software
- Automates and streamlines WFM processes
- Decreases paper clutter
- Reduces human data entry errors
- Decreases costs of labor
- Optimizes expenditures
- Lowers absences
- Increases employee productivity
- Reduces the risk of non-compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws
- Delivers instant access to workforce data
- Improves HR efficiency
- Lowers administrative costs
- Provides insight into employee behaviors
- Allows managers to boost engagement and morale
- Offers employees access to self-service tools
- Grants employees the ability to retrieve and update their payroll or benefits information
WFM analyst: A growing role
CIO Magazine says, “Workforce management has grown to the point where some companies employ workforce management analysts to oversee the process.”
The WFM analyst holds the responsibility of collecting information, analyzing workforce-related data, formulating plans to strengthen overall business performance, and finding ways to reduce labor costs without sacrificing productivity.
Some WFM analysts work as independent consultants for organizations on a short-term basis, but WFM analysts are usually found in large establishments, especially call centers. In the world of small businesses, workforce management duties are typically tackled by the HR personnel on hand rather than as a separate role altogether.
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