Workforce Management

Table of Contents

Workforce Management Software

What is Workforce Management Software

Workforce management software is designed to efficiently monitor and manage employee processes with a view to optimizing their productivity and performance, as well as ensuring the smooth running of an organization.

Workforce management systems use advanced analytics to automate employee planning activities like scheduling and monitoring, attendance tracking, regulatory compliance, payroll process, labor management, and other processes that would incur operating costs and affect overall productivity if done manually.

Most business sectors can benefit from a suite of workforce management tools in terms of labor forecasts, employee performance management, etc.

Types of Workforce Management Software

The suite of tools that make up workforce management software is extensive, but the notable ones are discussed.

Payroll Software

Payroll providers use payroll systems to efficiently administer the payroll process by managing employee payment data, calculating and deducting taxes and contributions, generating payroll reports, and paying employees, among other things.

By automating its payroll process, an organization gets to simplify complex payrolls, avoid expensive payroll mistakes, and ensure compliance with state and federal tax requirements.

Employee Performance Management Software

Companies can assess an employee’s performance using employee performance management software, which also makes sure that the employee’s goals are in line with organizational objectives.  The suite of tools used by this software can be applied to performance reviews, development plans, career advancements, and wage discussions.

Workplace Safety Incident Management Software

Usually used by construction companies, work safety incident management software helps monitor, record, and report injuries, damage, hazardous spills, or exposure at the workplace.

This tool analyzes safety risks in order to avoid public health hazards. It also ensures compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Employee Engagement Software

This workforce management solution acts as a feedback channel between organizations and their employees. It helps to redefine the employee experience by providing a digital cloud platform to solicit and respond to feedback, applaud employee achievements, promote employee recognition, and ultimately improve their wellbeing. 

Scheduling Software

This is a labor scheduling program that automates certain employee processes like creating and managing work schedules, tracking employee work time, and processing and managing leaves and absences, among other functions.

With employee scheduling software, organizations can interpret labor forecast data, efficiently manage employee schedules, and monitor their calendars.

Customer Relationship Management Software

CRM tools are call center workforce management software used to enhance the customer experience and foster healthy relationships by giving employees a holistic overview of all customers’ interactions with the organization. With it, call center agents can also directly place calls through to customers, which helps them offer efficient customer service and technical support.

Project Management Software

This workforce software is designed to organize the entire lifecycle of tasks and projects. Individuals and businesses use these solutions to plan and schedule projects, allocate resources, and manage the documentation of tasks.

Project management tools help project managers map tasks and monitor individual employees’ and teams’ interactions with them like shift swaps. And for organizations with interconnected departments, these tools help keep the entire workforce abreast of the latest updates on particular projects.

Benefits of Workforce Management Software

There is no doubt that technology eases the operational management of organizations. Of all the benefits of the suite of workforce management tools, the most notable ones are highlighted below.

Improves Productivity

Since a lot of the tasks are automated and controlled digitally, it reduces the length of time that managers would otherwise spend on paperwork and daily tasks. This means that employees get to spend time on meaningful tasks, which ensures employee productivity.

Reduces Costs

Workforce management tools help with workforce forecasting and the best way to meet those needs while keeping labor costs to a minimum. It designs agent schedules with a view to efficiently managing employee time.

Workforce forecasting software  prevents operational costs like overtime, understaffing, and other unnecessary expenses.

Ensures Accuracy of Workplace Processes

Workforce management solutions significantly eliminate human errors through work automation. It allows accurate forecasts of labor needs. 

The payroll process can also be administered with much accuracy and reliability because workforce management tools automatically analyze employee work time and deductions to calculate remuneration. 

Minimize Compliance Risk

With the digitization of data, workforce software ensures public safety and adherence to state and federal regulations like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

It allows organizations to track employee eligibility, leaves and absences, work hours, etc. in order to ensure adherence to labor and health regulations. Through the records kept by this workforce software, organizations also get to show regulatory compliance in the case of an audit. 

Workforce Management Software Features

The core features that effective workforce management tools must boast are discussed.

Features Description 
Time tracking This is an employee performance management feature that helps managers monitor time spent on particular projects. It monitors employee work time by tracking their clock in and clock out time, hours worked, overtime etc.

Data gotten here informs payroll process, absence management etc.

Absence and Leave Management With this, organizations get to plan, manage, and track each employee’s absenteeism at the workplace. This feature helps to process time-off requests and approvals, including sick leaves, paid time off, maternity/ paternity leave requests, and annual leaves, among others.
Data management This is used to import, edit, and inspect data on WFM tools like workforce forecasting, payroll processes, and employee communication cloud solutions. It gives managers an full visibility into every detail about an employee, from working to leaves and it aids decision making in the organization 
Task Management With this feature, HR managers can easily assign and manage tasks to individuals and teams, manage deadlines, monitor shift swaps, send reminders, and do everything else necessary to ensure an effective operational management system.
Succession Planning This advanced analytics feature is an offshoot of talent management and provides accurate forecasting of roles with high flight risk. It then evaluates employees on the basis of their skills, certifications, experience, and strengths, and determines which key employees the organization can train for upward mobility.
Payroll Management It streamlines the payroll process by analyzing employee data like  gross pay, tax information, hours worked, etc. to determine remuneration and tax payments in adherence to regulatory provisions.

This feature also supports the direct payment of remuneration and taxes into relevant accounts. 

Talent Management This is an employee planning system that involves workforce forecasting, attracting, and developing needed talents.

The Cost of Workforce Management Software

There is no fixed pricing model for workforce management software, as the pricing details vary from vendor to vendor. There are also several key features that determine this pricing.

  • Features and integrations of the product, like employee self-service portals.
  • Number of users; whether individual or team-based.
  • Duration of use; monthly, annually, perpetual license.
  • Size of the business; whether small, medium, large enterprise.

Popular Workforce Management Software Products

When it comes to workforce management software solutions, there are lots of fish in the ocean. There are, meanwhile, some notable ones.

Oracle Workforce Management

Oracle Workforce Management software is a cloud solution that helps organizations manage employee absences, payroll process, time, labor, etc. Because of its simple setup, it’s easy to implement rules, policies, and concept definitions, without modifying the application code.

By alerting stakeholders to health incidents and encouraging them to act quickly and reduce exposure, this set of tools also promotes the health and safety of the workforce.

Connecteam

Connecteam is an all-in-one solution that allows organizations to manage workforce processes by providing interfaces that aid employee communication, payroll process, schedule monitoring, and task management. With a variety of features like Workflows, Timeclock, Digital forms, and Checklist it is easy to ensure that employees manage their time efficiently.

Its customizable feature also allows users to select their favorite add-ons, allowing it to be tailored to your specific requirements

BlueYonder

This workforce management cloud solution balances organizational and employee needs by fixing labor challenges with flexible scheduling, shift swaps, time and attendance tracking, and simplified labor compliance. 

Ultimately, this helps to enhance employee engagement and productivity, as well as reduce labor violations and expenses

UKG Pro Succession

UKG Pro Succession is a workforce optimization tool that encourages employee planning by utilizing talent reports to identify roles with flight risk as well as potential successors and nurturing them for upward mobility within the organization. By using this product, organizations develop proactivity as regards their workforce, thereby reducing labor costs. 

For your organization’s benefit, UKG Pro enables the creation of adaptable, thorough, and implementable succession plans at all levels.

Paylocity

Paylocity eliminates the need for manual data entry and preserves time and effort spent on redundant tasks by creating an automated payroll process. It automatically tracks attendance, leaves and absences in order to process each employee’s payroll

With this modern workforce management platform, it is also easier for managers and employees to keep abreast of their schedules, especially for shift-based labor where shift swaps are common.

Workday

Workday is a human capital management solution that keeps tabs on the workforce of organizations and their mode of operation to help them adapt to future labor needs. It makes use of machine learning to automatically match opportunities with talent, enhancing workforce agility on a large scale.

This suite of tools also has an employee engagement interface that allows organizations to listen to feedback and keep their workforce satisfied.

Important Workforce Management Software Integrations

Integrations in a workforce optimization tool aid efficiency and convenience in handling more than just a handful of tasks at a time. Integrations feed data from one software package to another without having to manually input it into another solution.

Integration details like scheduling software, for instance, would inform payroll software of the number of hours that an employee works in order to help payroll software determine the amount of remuneration that the employee gets.

There are a handful of integration details that WFM software should have, but the notable ones are discussed below.

Data Analytics and Reporting Tools

The integration details of workforce management software must include an advanced analytics tool. Using advanced analytics in WFM software, this tool eases the operational management of an organization for HR professionals by providing a real-time overview of the operations of the organization and an insight into every relevant employee’s data via customizable dashboards.

This not only helps managers spot potential issues before they escalate, but it also aids workforce planning through data analysis.

Workforce Forecasting

A good WFM solution should be able to provide accurate forecasting by identifying patterns and predicting variables that affect staffing needs and availability, including shifting project timelines, seasonal shifts in worker availability, shifts in consumer/customer demand, and more. 

Organizations can better plan their labor budgets and staffing levels by anticipating labor needs. 

Smart Scheduling

Scheduling is an integral part of workforce management, and an effective workforce optimization tool must be able to use data to automatically create schedules for individual employees. WFM software must employ advanced analytics and take into consideration important factors like the availability, skills, and experience of employees before assigning them tasks.

Smart scheduling can help minimize labor costs and improve productivity with workforce forecasting.

Attendance and Absence Management Tools

There can be no efficient workforce management if there is no way to measure the days on which employees are present. This integration thus keeps track of employee attendance, sick days, and leaves. The data gathered here can aid the payroll process.

It also helps to manage leave requests and save organizations from the operational costs they’d incur if too many employees were absent from work simultaneously.

The integration of attendance and absence management also balances employee absences with company leave of absence policies (such as paid time off (PTO)) and legal requirements. 

Employee Self-service

A modern workforce management platform is designed to function as a two-way street. As such, it is not only important that HR managers can perform professional services on WFM tools but also that employees can access them. 

Employees need a self-service portal to be able to access and update their schedules on the cloud, clock in and clock out, modify their information, and request time off, among other things.

All these can only be done when employee self-service is integrated into workforce management software. It allows for flexibility, improves the employee experience, and ultimately enhances productivity.

Potential Issues with Workforce Management Software

Despite the benefits that the modern workforce management platform affords teams and organizations, there are some drawbacks that come with using it.

Data Breach

Due to the intricacy of its function, workforce management software must store sensitive information that can be viewed, copied, or transmitted to unauthorized individuals. Besides, software is susceptible to security flaws and attacks like hacks, malware, spyware etc.

Cost of Software and Training

The operational costs of workforce management software could be on the high side, depending on the size of your organization and the subscription model. Getting HR managers and employees to use it effectively also attracts training costs and requires money, time, and resources.

May Perpetuate Errors and Biases

Despite being artificially intelligent, workforce management software can make errors and commit biases in employee processes since it has to function within a predefined box of rules. Amazon uncovered one of these biases in 2015 when it discovered that its recruitment tool discriminated against female applicants, making it hard for them to make the cut. With this, great candidates can be sidelined.

Relevant Workforce Management Software Trends

Over the years, certain trends and developments have reared their heads in WFM software.

Workforce Analytics

The global workforce has become more dynamic in recent years, and with this comes the proliferation of data and data collection.

Workforce analytics thus analyzes employee data and wields it as actionable information in making data-driven decisions that would improve employees’ performance and business operations.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things affords connectivity to WFM software such that every employee process can be digitized and remotely controlled, from payroll to talent management, employee monitoring, and communication. This makes it easy for organizations to monitor the productivity of their employees working from multiple locations from a centralized location. 

IoT sensors also help detect potential safety hazards in the work environment and notify managers and employees. 

The IoT-based workforce management software you select should include robust security features that include role-based access control, password encryption, and two-way authentication to keep critical data safe from malicious activities.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

An AI-integrated workforce optimization tool automates a wide range of procedures; the payroll process, talent management, employee planning, compensation management, workforce forecasting, etc.

To make accurate workforce forecasts, for instance, WFM software leverages AI to study historical workforce data, identify trends, and make predictions. Accurate workforce forecasting is used to create  a labor demand model that is integrated into your modern workforce management platform and ensures that employees work at the desired capacity.

Software and Services Related to Workforce Management Software

Employee Monitoring Software

Employee monitoring tools give organizations real-time information about employees’ activities and keep them abreast of their productivity level. By automatically recording login and logout sessions on computers and software, this tool helps company administrators become aware of how their workforce spends their hours, adheres to best work practices, and identifies underperformers and overloaded employees.

Org Chart Software

Organizational chart software is used to generate and update a visual representation of the hierarchical structure of a company, indicating the roles, responsibilities, departments, and profiles  of each employee. These tools are organization-specific and help employees understand hierarchical relationships and make decisions in employee processes.

Onboarding Software

Employee onboarding software helps with assigning office space, document management, scheduling orientation about the organization, user identification, and every other administrative task involved in diffusing new hires into the workplace. Helps ensure a smooth transition for new employees, integrating them into the organization in the most efficient way possible.

Employee Communication Tools

Employee communication tools are designed to facilitate data exchange, conversations, and collaborations between team members in an organization. Acting as virtual meeting rooms, communication tools help employees and managers remain acquainted with one another.

It helps to build cultures of trust and create opportunities for employees to learn more about the organization’s culture and mission, thereby helping them to be more productive.

Workforce Planning Software

Workforce Planning tools give structure to employee planning by using their data to make decisions. Employee data helps to determine how to allocate them to projects and manage their schedules and calendars.

This software also helps to analyze your workforce situation and forecast future needs: available skills, skills gaps and how to fill them, technology and manpower needs, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions on Workforce Management Software

  • What Is the Difference Between HR and Workforce Management?
    Workforce management is a branch of Human Resource that focuses on the productivity of employees. Human Resource on the other hand, concerns itself with the overall development of employees.

    What are the Essential Features of Software?

    Notable features that every software should have are:
    • Efficiency 
    • Functionality
    • User-friendliness 
    • Flexibility. 

    What Is Workforce Also Known As?

    The workforce of an organization is also known as its employees.

    Why Do I Need a WFM Solution?

    Organizations need workforce management (WFM) solutions in order to ensure optimal productivity from employees in the performance of their daily tasks and automate redundant processes.

    What Is the Difference Between Productivity and Performance?

    Employee productivity is defined by how much work an employee puts out or delivers within a timeframe, while performance measures the quality of work done and is measured with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • What are the Essential Features of Software?
    Notable features that every software should have are:
    • Efficiency 
    • Functionality
    • User-friendliness 
    • Flexibility. 
  • What Is Workforce Also Known As?
    The workforce of an organization is also known as its employees.
  • Why Do I Need a WFM Solution?
    Organizations need workforce management (WFM) solutions in order to ensure optimal productivity from employees in the performance of their daily tasks and automate redundant processes.
  • What Is the Difference Between Productivity and Performance?
    Employee productivity is defined by how much work an employee puts out or delivers within a timeframe, while performance measures the quality of work done and is measured with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).