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Workforce Management

Workforce management (WFM) is the process of boosting employee performance and productivity to help businesses reach their goals. To help, many companies choose to use workforce management software that streamlines processes and optimize workflow. Find out more about workforce management, workforce management software, and more below.

What is workforce management?

Workforce management (WFM) is a blanket term referring to an integrated array of high-level HR processes, functions, and management tools. The ultimate goals of a workforce management system are to increase productivity, improve employee performance, cut down on labor costs, and reduce time-consuming busy work. All of those factors should, in turn, lead to increased customer satisfaction. Defining workforce management can be somewhat tricky, as the specifics vary from employer to employer. Generally speaking, though, a good WFM software system will include some combination of the following:
  • Payroll automation
  • Employee benefits
  • Staff schedules
  • Performance management
  • Vacation and leave management
  • Compliance
  • Budgeting
The benefits of automated workforce management solutions can be seen at nearly every level of an organization, from improved customer service and contact center functionality to data analysis that helps measure and meet both customer and labor demands to insights that help enhance employee engagement and productivity.

What is workforce management software?

Workforce management software is software that allows employers to plan, manage, and track the work that employees do. This includes things like paid time off (PTO), labor requirements, and employee scheduling. All of these processes can be handled in the cloud using a digital system, which saves your business time and money. Before workforce management software, things like paid time off and employee scheduling were done by hand using a sheet of paper. If that sheet of paper was lost, the information on the sheet of paper was lost as well. Not only that, but it also requires more time to handle these tasks manually. One of the biggest benefits of workforce management software is the way it tracks everything for you. If you’re creating a schedule, for example, you don’t have to worry about accidentally scheduling two people for the same shift. Workforce management software gives you a clear picture of things like schedules, paid time off, and more, so you can keep track of what’s important for your business while saving time and money. Ascentis’ HRIS software makes it easy to automate all the repetitive processes you need to take care of as a business owner or HR professional. This software integrates with your existing software, so it’s easy to use no matter what system you’re currently using. Ascentis HRIS software can also handle everything from time and payroll to recruiting and talent. You can even manage HR & benefits using this software, so it’s essentially a one-stop shop for everything you need to save time and money.

Why is workforce management important?

When you run a business, it can feel like you’re wasting money every time you turn around. There are numerous expenses business owners have to deal with, and those expenses vary based on how well you manage your workforce. By optimizing things like scheduling and employee productivity, you can reduce the amount of labor time you have to pay for to get a project done. Workforce management is the process of optimizing your workforce to maximize productivity and ensure everything is running smoothly. Workforce management software can save you time, which you can spend focusing on finding ways to grow your business. As a business owner, focusing on the bigger picture is important, and you simply don’t have the time to do that if you’re constantly writing schedules and approving PTO requests. This can slow business growth and make it difficult to deal with big-picture ideas, such as how you can scale your business software solutions with your company as it expands. The more time you’re spending on administrative tasks, the more money you might be wasting. Your labor time is just as important as your employees’, so make sure you’re using it wisely. If you’re not using workforce management software to reduce the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks, now is the best time to start.

What are the challenges with workforce management?

Like anything that determines the success of your business, workforce management sounds a lot simpler than it actually is. Here are some of the challenges facing workforce management that you can simplify by using workforce management software:
  • Compliance: Following local, state, and federal laws is important, and that means providing the proper training and resources for employees. Workforce management can help you stay in compliance whether you’re dealing with employee training, PTO, payroll, or scheduling.
  • Remote staff: Managing remote staff is important if you want to maximize efficiency and productivity. With workforce management software, you can easily manage remote staff without investing too much time or money.
  • Employee engagement: Getting employees to feel passionate about their job can be tough. When your employees aren’t engaged, they’re not going to be as productive and may lose interest in the company altogether.
  • Onboarding: When you spend so much time hiring new employees, you want to automate the recruiting process and get them up to speed as quickly as possible. However, onboarding can be time-consuming, and remaining compliant can be tough.
  • Retention: Employee turnover costs your company a lot of money, so focusing on retaining employees is one of the most important parts of running a successful business.
Fortunately, many of these challenges can be overcome with the help of good workforce management software.

What are workforce management tools?

Workforce management software includes a suite of tools designed to make it easier to manage employees. Labor forecasting allows you to plan for rises and drops in customer demand and labor requirements, while scheduling and time tracking tools simplify managing employees’ hours. These tools also allow you to account for time off requests and any overtime your employees may work. Analytics are also an important part of workforce management. Analytics allow you to take a closer look at scheduling and attendance data to solve problems before they become bigger. Of course, regulatory compliance is one of the most important features of all these tools. WFM software can be configured to comply with contracts, local, state, and federal laws, and more, so you don’t have to worry about disputes surrounding scheduling or payroll.
To learn how to better manage your workforce, check out our blog post "4 Key Questions for Making Smart and Strategic Workforce Management Decisions".

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