How to get the most out of a Workforce Management System: Get Flexible! (part 2)-Reading time: 2 Minutes
In part 1 of my blog I described how keeping the labour model as simple and transparent as possible increases the chances of user buy-in whilst still generating an accurate labour forecast. Today I want to talk about how critical the flexibility of your workforce is to the successful implementation of a WFM system…
It’s all very well having a sophisticated tool to tell you exactly what skills are needed throughout the day at each location, but if your business is constrained by inflexible work contracts it can be very difficult to make any real use of this information.
More and more organisations are moving away from traditional working patterns and shift rotations to more flexible contracts:
- The colleague is guaranteed a minimum number of hours over a specified period e.g. weekly or monthly
- They are contracted to make themselves available for work for specified days of the week and times of the day
- The shifts they work are planned and communicated 1-2 weeks in advance based on their guaranteed hours and contracted availability
Not only does this work to the advantage of the business by improving customer service and reducing overtime costs, but modern WFM systems also make this advantageous to the colleague.
By using functionality such as online holiday booking, availability management and shift trading they can take greater control of their work-life balance.
In turn this further increases the benefit to the business since colleagues are likely to be more productive if their working hours suit their needs as much as the company’s.
Improving the flexibility of a workforce is typically achieved through a combination of colleague turnover and contractual negotiations and so inevitably takes time.
Any business looking to take advantage of a WFM software solution should therefore start taking steps to improve the flexibility of their workforce well in advance of the procurement of such a system.
Why Workforce Management and Why Now?
Rapid and unprecedented changes to the workplace are driving the adoption of digital HR solutions as organisations look for ways to thrive beyond the impact of Covid-19. Workforce Management has a significant part to play in the tools and insights needed to respond to these challenges.
According to our latest Future of Work and People research, operational efficiency is the top priority for HR leaders in 2021, with work-life balance close behind. The biggest challenges facing HR are staff well-being, employee experience, and the war for talent. So, it’s no surprise to see the need for greater digitalisation and automation rising on the priority list, as HR leaders look to get the basics right so they can focus on the strategic.
4 reasons why a workforce management solution should be a top priority
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe in the spring of 2020, HR process automation and digital transformation were clearly not a top priority, attested to in our survey: The Future of Work and People in Europe 2020. It’s not surprising, given the unknown extent of the impact on employees’ health and wellbeing, in addition to the economic consequences. Organisations had far more pressing concerns; keeping employees healthy and economic survival naturally became the immediate and main priorities.
How to adapt your onboarding strategy for a remote working environment
The pandemic has forced businesses to adapt their onboarding strategies to overcome new workplace challenges. With social distancing minimising face-to-face contact, and more people changing occupation than in pre-pandemic years, this has presented a number of obstacles for HR professionals.