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November 9, 2020 | Time and Attendance | Posted by Ascentis Thought Leadership

Reevaluating Workforce Management Best Practices for the COVID Era

Workforce management professionals have seen a major shift in the way they conduct their roles over the past year. As with nearly every other facet of business operations, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a reevaluation of how organizations go about their daily functions. From reducing overall operational costs to improving management-employee communications to collecting employee data, very few aspects of operations management look quite like they did at this time last year. Here are a few key best practices managers need to keep in mind as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic-era business landscape.

Prioritize Worker Safety

Protecting the health and well-being of employees has always been an important element of operations management. While much of the media focus has been on work-from-home solutions, health and safety are just as important concerns to organizations in industries where remote work is not possible, such as healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and various other services. Your operations staff plays a crucial role in creating a safer work environment. That includes functions like physically reorganizing workspaces for maximum social distancing, installing touch-free timekeeping hardware, and implementing flexible schedules that reduce the volume of workers in a space at any given time.

With 88% of senior managers saying they worry about losing high-quality employees during the pandemic, that’s a huge consideration.

Centralize Your Tech Platforms

There are a lot of reasons why an organization’s operations might be spread across platforms. Maybe one department had a specific tech need that didn’t apply to other areas. Perhaps the business has made acquisitions over time that brought their own technology along with them. Or maybe the organization has simply lacked a coherent, overarching operations strategy.

Whatever the reason, aligning all aspects of your operations with a single software-based platform is an important step in streamlining your functionality and making sure that all areas of your business are working from the same playbook. A one-stop, customizable dashboard gives operations managers a high degree of control, promotes transparency across multiple departments, and allows you to respond more quickly to potential problems.

Communication Is Key

Open lines of communication are crucial to any modern operation. Even in industries that still rely largely on an in-person workforce, embracing up-to-date communication technology eases the burden on administrators, employees, and clients alike. The healthcare industry, for example, has seen a marked increase in telehealth services for patients not in need of in-person care, as prescribed by CDC guidelines. This is one of many communications practices that has been pushed to the forefront by the pandemic and will continue to be best practice well beyond the current crisis.

While normalizing the use of remote communication tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams is an important consideration for many employers, improving more direct communication. For example, adopting software that allows instant push notifications to individual workers, select groups, or the entire organization helps ensure that important messages are seen quickly by the right people — all the more essential in a time when management may need to quickly spread the word about possible health and safety issues.

Move to Mobile

It may seem counterintuitive, but even if your workforce isn’t going mobile, your technology should be. While mobile apps play a more obvious role for organizations with a sizable number of remote workers, they are also an increasingly essential tool for operations management dealing with frontline workers. Even before the pandemic, more than 80% of CEOs said they planned to incorporate more mobile tech into their operations. The unique circumstances of 2020 only make that goal look more essential.

So many daily functions can be enhanced with or managed entirely via a mobile app that there is very little excuse for businesses not to incorporate this tech into their operations management plans. For example, a huge portion of time and attendance functions can easily be migrated to mobile, allowing workers to clock in and out, submit time-off requests, check and update their schedules, and much more. By putting these important functions directly in employees’ hands, operations managers can free themselves up to focus on more complex issues while also empowering employees and improving the timeliness and accuracy of key data.

Of course, there are not many one-size-fits-all solutions in the working world. Every industry and employer has their own individual needs and requirements. Employing operations management technology that allows for maximum customization and flexibility ensures that your organization can stay up-to-date on your industry’s best practices without losing sight of the goals that make your business what it is.

Check out our infographic that highlights some key facts around workplace safety and tech automation.

Find out more about how Ascentis software solutions can streamline your daily processes and help keep you up to speed with operations management best practices.

With more than 35 years of experience in providing Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, Ascentis thought leaders have become a respected source for insights, tips, and innovations in the Human Capital Management (HCM) space.