16 September 2021
Anticipating changes is part of running a business, and the past year has magnified how important that is. But what does it actually take for businesses to stay agile and prepare for the most unexpected things? Quick answer: Access to real-time data and being able to act on it. However, it’s not as simple for most organizations.
97% of respondents to a Deloitte survey said that they need additional information on some aspect of their workforce. However, only 11% of organizations were able to produce information on their workforce in real-time—and this challenge has been around even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given today’s landscape, organizations need to have the mechanisms in place that enable them to use data to stay ahead even amid unexpected circumstances. The question is, how and where do they start?
The key to having access to every vital data point is keeping them in one place or having the means to see all of them at a glance. It starts with having an integrated workforce management system.
“There are cases when organizations use separate platforms for clocking in, building employee schedules, and tracking time and attendance. Such practice can create silos, resulting in inaccuracies, and affect the integrity of workforce data,” Travis Kohlmeyer, vice president of sales at Workforce.com.
Organizations can run into different risks when implementing various platforms for processes that could otherwise be done on a single system. Cross-checking data from separate software can be time-consuming and prone to errors that can even become costly compliance violations. Complexities can also happen later on, especially when these systems update and become difficult to integrate with each other. Scalability is also a potential roadblock because it can be challenging to work with different vendors as you grow your business and your requirements change. “It’s just not sustainable and can be costly in the long run,” Kohlmeyer said.
Having a myriad of different tools and systems can also be difficult for frontline teams to use and counterproductive. “Employees should love to use the tools provided, or they generally won’t use them at all,” Tasmin Trezise, president of Workforce.com said. One of the biggest trends in workforce management is emphasizing ease of use, especially for frontline teams. “We will continue to see the rise of native SaaS cloud applications over clunky enterprise workforce management software with organizations preferring improved frontline manager/employee mobility options and ease of use. Simple and modern UI has long been missing from workforce management solutions. Organizations need to solve their problems and complete tasks in the easiest and quickest way possible,” Trezise explained.
Workforce data is vital to staying agile, but at the core of it is an integrated workforce management system. When systems are well integrated, it’s easier to gather data and build algorithms that can automate processes or provide insights into how your team or organization is doing.
In Workforce.com, for instance, managers can do auto-scheduling based on demand and other relevant information. The platform does this by integrating with the different systems an organization uses for appointments, reservations, events, sales volumes, to name a few. Algorithms are then created from information from these systems to anticipate staffing levels needed to meet demand and stay cost-efficient.
Workforce.com also equips managers and frontline teams to make data-driven decisions on the fly. Because the platform is well integrated, it shows data about the operations in real-time, allowing managers to make adjustments in operations as the day goes.
It’s also essential to check in on your team and get their feedback and sentiment on how things are going in the frontline. Workforce.com makes this easy for managers and leaders through functionalities like shift rating and feedback and shift questions. These features allow for timely feedback and help managers spot and address issues more quickly. In addition, data gathered from these functionalities can be easily compiled, which decision-makers can use to improve performance and employee engagement.
The most advisable thing for organizations is to use a single platform for workforce management—which is time and attendance tracking and employee scheduling at its core. “These are the fundamental functions involved in workforce management, and workflow would be more seamless if they are all done on a single platform. This system can then be integrated to other systems that the organizations use such as payroll, appointment systems, POS, and internally built platforms,” Kohlmeyer advised.
Simplified workforce management and robust integrations are two of the most crucial factors that companies should be on the lookout for when thinking about implementing a WFM platform or any system for managing their teams. “The first part is having a powerful platform that simplifies workforce management, and the second part is making sure that it’s robust enough to be customized according to unique operational needs and variables. Of course, the second part will only be possible if the WFM platform can integrate to other systems a company uses,” Kohlmeyer said.
Workforce.com has an open API, which means that it can sync into most systems and software. “Its increased adoption is expected to bring huge advancements in workforce analytics and promote internal innovation, integration, and personalization. By leveraging the power of connectivity, enterprises can quickly eliminate the chaos of using multiple applications leading to rapid innovation and deeper insights into their workforces,” Trezise remarked.
Leveraging technology and interconnectivity can bring a lot of wins to any organization. It can bring about increased revenue, more significant labor cost savings, resilience in times of market volatility, and an engaged workforce.
Written by Jana Reserva
We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.
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