C-Suite discussions about employees naturally find their way to focusing on current productivity and ways to improve performance. 

People are any organization’s greatest strength. However, with a tight labor market and shifting demands, any push to improve their output must also come with work to improve their experience and counter turnover risks. Workforce management tools have become the latest frontline effort in this balancing act. 

It reduces many low-hanging threats and frees organizations to make bigger cultural issues around trust, transparency, and values.

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What is workforce management?

Workforce management is a set of tools and practices designed to monitor, measure, and improve how companies work internally. The aim is to improve efficiency while simultaneously making your work environment enjoyable. The management aspect comes from controlling common workplace actions or elements such as time, schedules, budgets, payroll, engagement, and compliance work.

When workforce management techniques align with your team’s capabilities and values, you create a workplace culture that is, too. This connection helps people have their most productive and enjoyable day at work.

Why is it crucial today?

Many industries and economic sectors still face the talent crunch that began in 2021, experiencing waves of resignations, shifting home locations, and more. To combat this, companies invested heavily in the employee experience. They hoped improving the life-work balance would limit churn while mitigating threats to productivity — resulting in record profits for many

Workforce management plays a role in maintaining those culture-based gains. It helps employees realize work successes and builds a stronger connection with the company. A positive employee experience and high engagement typically translate into bottom-line wins for the company.

You can strengthen those potential gains by enacting a robust workforce management plan with processes designed to meet employee needs. Notably, a 2023 survey by Asana found that roughly 70% of employees say they could hit company targets with better workforce processes and planning. 

And, if you clarify work and role objectives, it also found that people were more likely to: 

  • Feel like they contribute to the success of others
  • Feel that their work helps their future career
  • Feel that their workplace cares about their wellbeing

The worker shortage and ongoing outside pressures — such as supply chain disruptions and lingering economic shifts due to the pandemic — should push you to consider new workforce management solutions. Focus on planning and scheduling tools that help you optimize placement and hours to support employee’s flexible needs and customers’ demands.

Scheduling for every employee

Staff scheduling and time tracking are essential to protecting operations. Companies need to understand their teams’ capabilities and forecast needs to utilize those skills. As operations grow, an organization will face multiple staffing levels and demands.

It’s a complex dance that can best be managed with robust tools like those offered by Hubstaff.

It can take a lot of work to keep operations running. Move to systems that naturally accommodate employee flexibility and geographic diversity. Ensure they mix PTO and vacation with absenteeism tracking to understand each team’s capabilities on a typical day.

Managerial support and flexible scheduling can help a company maintain lower labor costs by controlling team size and avoiding layoffs. With training, managers become partners. Showing them how to actively care for team members and build a culture of trust and support furthers your gains by reducing turnover risks.

Free up managers to support teams

Proper workforce management has downstream benefits that can quickly generate a positive ROI for an organization.

One of the most difficult challenges a manager faces in the current environment is matching employee flexibility requests with scheduling and business needs. In many instances, managers try to meet old established minimums and rely on gut instincts to properly staff a shift or meet business needs. 

Instead, adopting a workforce management platform can remove these more administrative burdens from managers. This allows them to focus on meeting company KPIs and provides more time to train and develop teams.

When managers can rely on platforms to support scheduling and accurately track employee times and tasks, they can adapt to the most pressing business needs.

Return to your values

Workforce expectations are changing dramatically, but companies must keep up.

Looking across surveys and data, we see attitudes among employees shifting. They’re placing greater emphasis on the purpose of work and corporate social responsibility. There are increased demands for a changing life-work balance and living wages at every level. The changing nature of work has also stripped away many past needs, such as geographic and time restrictions.

In short, people expect more from their employers, and much of this is value-based.

The positive news here is that most employees are clear about wanting to align personal and work values, and the majority of executives feel confident that they can make this connection. The gap causing an issue is a lack of communication. Managers often struggle with frontline problems, like scheduling, that can get in the way of offering a value-driven approach to work.

Tackling workforce management makes it easiest to offer what employees are requesting. Building that shared sense of trust and purpose is a quick way to improve internal brand and external reputation, bolstering the workforce and creating positive advocates and a better customer experience.

Category: Workforce Management