Workforce management is a broad term that covers multiple aspects of workforce management, from staff planning and scheduling to talent and skills acquisition. Implementing a total workforce management system, one that provides broad functionality and insight, can be an undertaking. It’s natural for a business to not want to take on the cost and challenge of implementing one unless it’s really needed.
Take a look at this list and see which of these signs applies to your business.
Let’s start with what isn’t a dispositive sign that your business needs a total workforce management system: number of employees.
There’s a myth that a WFM solution only makes sense for large companies with hundreds of employees. Wrong. If you’re a family business with three family employees, then maybe you don’t need a total workforce management solution. Yet even for many small and medium-sized businesses, a WFM solution will improve your productivity and efficiency that translates to real dollars to your bottom line.
Ok, on to the telling signs that your business needs a total workforce management system.
You have no idea what’s driving your labor costs.
You know it’s your largest cost; that’s common enough. You know the top-level numbers, but you don’t know how you got there or why it fluctuates. Are you over-staffing certain shifts? All of them? Is the business overrun with middle or senior managers? Perhaps manual payroll processing or time theft is inflating your labor costs.
If all you can say about your labor costs is that you average X amount per pay period, and that represents Y percent of your revenue, then you’re letting uncontrolled labor costs drive your business’ profitability. A WFM solution will give you the insight into staffing levels, manager-to-employee ratios, whether employees are getting paid only for time worked, and a host of other staffing and payroll insights that put you in control of your labor costs.
You sweat meeting payroll or have other cash flow issues.
Because labor is such a large cost, not managing it pro-actively puts pressure on cash flow. Your company can benefit from using WFM tools to track and limit over-time, avoid expensive temp workers, and generally allocate payroll budget most efficiently through planning and forecasting tools.
Your team spends a lot of time and money manually managing schedules, leave management, payroll and other workforce tasks.
How much does that cost you? There are the direct costs of paying employees to handle these tasks, especially payroll employees. Then there’s the lost productivity of your managers or others who have to spend time (literally) on scheduling and payroll-related manual tasks. How about the costs of the time needed to correct the inevitable errors that occur with manual processing and planning? What’s the cost of approving too much time-off on the same shift, but not realizing it until you’re short-staffed? How much are you overpaying for overstaffing? If you find your employees spending a lot of energy and frustration putting out the fires caused by manual scheduling or payroll management, then it’s time to automate.
Your business relies on multiple staffing variables to operate.
This touches on the number of employees that need scheduling, but that’s just one variable. Are there multiple locations where staff work? Do the same people move around from location to location? How many shifts run each day? Do you have seasonal or temp hires, at-home workers,a big mix of full and part-time workers? Basically, the more complex your scheduling, the greater likelihood that not using a total workforce management solution is costing you money and hurting employee morale.
On the other hand… Your business has key personnel it can’t afford to lose and/or sophisticated mission-critical processes that must stay functional.
An often-overlooked component of total WFM systems is their employee and skill acquisition and management modules. These modules help businesses know who in the business has the expertise and experience to take on different tasks or identify signs that your best-performing employees may be thinking about jumping ship. WFM can help identify which employees hold your best institutional knowledge, that critical information that makes the company run, but which never seems to make it into a manual. Talent acquisition modules help businesses retain their best employees and manage high employee turnover.
So, how’d you do? If you checked any of the boxes above, it’s worth your while to look into how a total workforce management solution can help you eliminate these costs or productivity sinkholes.
While ATS is passionate about time and attendance and excited to support organizations navigate workforce dynamics around timekeeping and employee time clocks, we recommend you reach out to your regional and/or local HR chapter for more information on common workplace advice and procedures.