The success of your business is tied directly to its level of productivity. In order to keep your company growing, you have to ensure that you exceed the level of productivity required to sustain that growth. No matter what stage of growth your business is in, finding new ways to increase your productivity is going to push your company towards continued success. To stay competitive in today’s digital business landscape, your company has to adapt to rapid digitalization and adopt changes that will increase productivity.
Making changes can be intimidating. This is especially true in business because the way your company has handled various processes has brought it to the level of success you’re currently seeing. But change is inevitable, and as your company grows, adapting to changes can mean the difference between success and failure.
One of the easiest ways your company can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape is by adopting a workforce management system (WFM). Workforce management systems allow you to increase your company’s productivity through the strategic planning of your workforce. Traditionally, Workforce Management Systems provide ways for your company to increase the efficiency of tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually—such as scheduling. However, modern WFM frameworks have introduced ways that you can both track and improve the productivity of your company’s most valuable assets.
Increasing the efficiency of otherwise time consuming tasks isn’t the only benefit that WFM systems provide. By implementing a WFM system, your company gains in-depth insight into various aspects of your business. These insights allow you to make the appropriate changes to increase your company’s productivity through workload forecasting, employee performance tracking, skill optimization, payroll integrity, and more. Increasing your productivity is a necessary task for your business to undertake in order for it to remain successful and continue growing. This is how workforce management systems can help you increase productivity across the aforementioned areas.
Employee Scheduling (and labor law compliance)
For many businesses and franchises, scheduling employees manually in a computer and on paper is still standard practice. Planning employee hours manually consumes a considerable amount of time and can present problems that occur due to human error. While this may seem like an issue that primarily affects larger businesses, scheduling problems can arise even if your business has fewer than one hundred employees.
While it may not initially seem like it, having a well-planned and executed schedule can have a major impact on the productivity of your employees and your business. One of the first ways your business can become more productive is by taking the cumbersome task of manual scheduling off your HR team’s back. Besides freeing up your HR team, having a more automated scheduling system allows you to ensure you don’t overwork your employees and your company is successful in complying with labor laws.
Overworking your employees is one of the easiest ways your company can lose productivity. Studies conducted over the last decade have shown that when your employees work more than 40 hours a week, their overall productivity level falls below that of employees who only work 40 hours or less. Even if your company only schedules 40 hour work weeks, unplanned overtime can show up if you are not diligently tracking the times each of your employees work. If you still schedule manually, it is nearly impossible to track employee hours and ensure they don’t overwork themselves. However, using a WFM system allows you to track when employees work, so you can help ensure their work stays productive and doesn’t become lethargic.
Nothing Falls Through The Cracks
Workforce Management Systems also help your company keep track of employee PTO and sick days. While you can surely keep track of this manually, doing so increases the likelihood of human errors. This can result in PTO schedules falling through the cracks. If you lose track of which employees use their PTO on certain days, you may wind up allowing too many employees to take time off at the same time—this will create a labor shortage on your side, and frustration on the side of employees who have to carry the extra workload. When scheduling is automated, employees can see their schedules, request the shifts they would prefer to work, and even request time off all on one streamlined system.
Managing the schedules of your employees is certainly one of the most important internal tasks your business completes, but their time would be better spent strategically planning the use of company labor than manually creating schedules. This is why automating the process with workforce management systems is a logical step forward for your company. Implementing a WFM system removes the possibility of human error from the equation and allows your HR team to spend more time completing tasks such as recruiting top talent and establishing strong relationships between company management and employees.
Technically speaking, workload planning is connected to your company’s scheduling. And just like scheduling, you cannot do it effectively unless you have a workforce management system. For all intents and purposes, workload planning is a prerequisite for scheduling because before you schedule your employees you need to know how much work will need to be completed at any given time. After you’ve implemented a workforce management system, it will allow your company to look at the average workload required to meet customer needs on given days. While there are certain days that are bound to be busier than others—like holidays—understanding when periods of high and low work volumes will occur allows you to see the whole picture.
Why is being able to predict upticks and drops in work volume important? Because adjusting the number of staff members working based on a detailed analysis of work volume allows you to plan ahead and optimize your resources. Having the right number of staff available to handle any given workload will greatly increase your company’s overall productivity. This level of detailed planning doesn’t have to stop at a day-to-day level either, you can adjust your staffing solutions to meet your company’s hour-by-hour needs.
Productivity isn’t the only area that is risked by not implementing a workforce management system. Your bottom line and your brand’s reputation are also on the line. If you have more employees scheduled than your workload demands, you’re losing money that could be utilized in other areas of your business. If you have fewer employees than your workload demands, you’ll end up frustrating your customers with long wait times. If they perceive this to be the status-quo for your company, you run the risk of losing them as a customer and receiving negative word-of-mouth.
What is the most efficient way to uncover your weaknesses and improve upon them? Tracking your performance. This is true in just about every aspect of life, but it’s especially true in business. When choosing a workforce management system to implement, you need to find a program that includes a performance tracking interface. There are multiple benefits your company can receive by utilizing a WFM with performance tracking.
By implementing a WFM that enables performance tracking, your company’s management is going to get a much better picture of who is a good fit for the company. Knowing who your highest performing employees are will allow you to make well-informed staffing decisions. Without a standardized method of tracking and evaluating performance, it’s hard to determine which employees deserve to be promoted, receive a raise, or even be let go based on their performance. Rewarding the best employees in your ranks will only encourage them to continue performing at a high level, and incentivizing lower-performance employees will hopefully encourage them to hold themselves to a higher standard. In either scenario, your company increases the productivity level of its employees.
Having a WFM system with performance tracking capabilities also allows your employees to monitor their own performance and receive real-time feedback. This puts performance metrics directly into the hands of employees. They get feedback on how they are performing against the standards of the company and can adjust their performance accordingly. This enables your workers to enact real change before they ever have to step into a manager’s office for their next quarterly or yearly review. Besides allowing them to see their performance, WFM systems also allow employees to see how your company is measuring performance. If they understand the standards they are being held by, it will reassure them that they are being treated fairly when they come in for review.
Employees are your company’s greatest asset, and understanding the differences between all of your employees will allow your company to correctly optimize them. Workforce management systems allow you to keep track of the various skills that your employees possess. By keeping track of the skills an employee possesses, you can assign them to tasks best suited to their skill set. This ensures that you have the right employee for the job every time.
In order to create the most productive employees possible, it’s important that your company try to hire and create well-rounded employees. Not everyone is going to be phenomenal at every aspect of a job, but keeping track of employee’s skills also allows you to determine which employees need more training in specific areas. This allows you to reduce the skill gap between your employees, so you don’t have to rely on a select few higher performers all the time. Creating well-rounded employees ensures that jobs are done in a satisfactory manner regardless of who is on shift.
Workforce management systems give you very detailed reports about the hours and minutes an employee actually spends working. This way you can see who within your company is being productive and who isn’t. If someone is being dishonest in the amount of time they are putting into their work, whether that looks like clocking out for breaks, starting work on time, etc., they are likely to be dishonest in other areas of their work as well. Honesty and reliability go hand in hand. Reliability and productivity also go hand in hand. So your most productive employees are going to be honest with you. Identifying who you can trust and who you can’t allows you to make well-informed staffing decisions that will boost your company’s productivity.
An All-In-One Solution
Traditionally, workforce management systems focused solely on scheduling and internal processes, but over the course of the last two decades WFM programs have begun to evolve and serve a growing number of needs across many departments. WFM systems have increasingly become a one stop shop for streamlining business processes and creating standards of practice across departments. In addition to the processes discussed earlier in the article, WFM systems have grown to include processes such as hiring & onboarding, employee benefits, budgeting, supply chain management, and even production planning services. Streamlining such a wide variety of processes under one program allows you to analyze and control how the various branches of your business interact with one another without having to use third-party programs to bridge one program to another. Unifying your process with one system can help eliminate redundancies and errors that can occur when analyzing data over multiple programs, and increases your data’s security by eliminating the need for third-party softwares.
WFM systems are a surefire way to increase your company’s productivity by streamlining processes and enabling you to make strategic decisions in critical areas. No WFM program is the same, and choosing the right one can make a huge difference for your company’s bottom line. Determining what processes your company needs to streamline or digitalize is only the first step. You need to partner with a WFM provider that can meet your company’s needs at an affordable price. ProximoCX offers workforce management systems that will help you streamline your business processes and increase your productivity. Whether you need to improve your scheduling efficiencies or ensure employee performance remains high, ProximoCX has the WFM solution for you. Contact us today to see how we can help you increase your company’s productivity.