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August 10, 2020 | Time and Attendance | Posted by Ascentis

3 Things to Understand for Efficient COVID-Era Workforce Management

You don’t need to be told yet again that we’re living in uncertain times. We’ve all heard that repeatedly in the past months from everyone from politicians to advertisers to, yes, HCM solutions companies. And yet, as many times as it’s already been repeated, the fact of the matter remains: these are strange times, and no one truly knows how best to deal with them. Now that we’ve all had some time to adjust to this challenging new reality, though, patterns and rhythms have begun to emerge in our workflows. We’re starting to see new opportunities for efficiency that can keep our workplaces functioning as close to normally as possible, while also maximizing profitability in a highly tentative market 

Understanding your data 

Just as data is driving healthcare efforts and economic decisions for state and local governments across the country, so should it be driving your workforce decisions throughout the COVID crisis. Operating at maximum efficiency is crucial right now, with workforces being reduced and day-to-day functions being reimagined. Accurate, timely data analysis is the key to identifying and correcting inefficiencies that may be holding you back. 

Key questions  

  • What processes and activities are taking up the most time in your employees’ workdays?  
  • Are there parts of your normal workflow that have generated more issues or slowdowns since the pandemic?  
  • Do you have a clear understanding of the regular processes each of your teams follows to accomplish their tasks?  
  • Are there automated solutions available that can help you streamline any of these areas, such as data analytics tools or a workforce management system? 

Understanding your labor needs 

Many businesses have already made tough decisions about reducing or furloughing staff, and many more will have to make those choices in the near future. While there is obviously no “good” way to deal with these kinds of unplanned reductions, finding ways to keep your workforce operating at maximum efficiency throughout the pandemic will serve all parties best in the long run. If the ultimate goal is to keep your business producing at levels as close as possible to your pre-COVID output, it’s important to understand how many employees and what skill sets are needed to remain on that trajectory. 

Key questions 

  • Do you have a process in place for tracking and analyzing labor costs? 
  • Do you know which workers are performing which tasks, and whether they are qualified and capable in their roles? 
  • Do you have training systems in place to make up for any skills gaps that may be caused by furloughs or illnesses? 
  • Do you have access to automated tools that can aid in these areas, such as a learning management system or workforce management software? 

Understanding your employees 

When the economy was booming not long ago, employee satisfaction and engagement were the driving forces for many HR decisions. While that dynamic has shifted in the face of the pandemic, the employee experience is still an essential consideration for any business hoping to thrive. It’s just as difficult a time for employees as it is for employers. Workers are likely worried about their health and safety, their job security, their ability to adjust to a drastically different work environment. There is also a prevailing belief that employers may not be taking those concerns seriously – a Gallup poll found that less than half of workers feel strongly that their employers care about their well-being. Taking care to make your employees feel supported and empowered will pay dividends now as much as ever. 

Key questions 

  • Do you offer functional employee self-service options, including mobile timekeeping apps and benefits enrollment systems? 
  • Have you clearly communicated new processes and policies for working remotely or, for industries where remote work is not possible, maintaining social distancing and safety standards? 
  • Have you deployed safety-oriented hardware solutions such as contact tracing systems and touchless temperature scans to keep employees safe 
  • Do you have a simple feedback process where employees can get prompt responses to concerns and questions? 
Your work situation almost certainly looks different than it did at this time last year, and it likely will for at least the near future. Still, maintaining an efficient, effective workforce is doable so long as you take a proactive and detail-oriented approach to understanding these key areas. As you’ve heard so often, these are unprecedented times, but many of the most reliable workforce management solutions remain tried and true 

See how Ascentis’s selection of workforce management solutions can help improve your efficiency – and your bottom line. 

Have you seen our Touch-Free Time Clocks with Temperature Reading Capabilities to Improve Workplace Safety in the New Normal?