August 9, 2021

Workforce Management: Getting the Ball Rolling

If you’ve been a part of management or HR for an organization, then you have likely experienced the pains associated with balancing employee management and wellbeing with budget allocations and maximizations of profits.

But the thing about experiencing pains is that you want a cure, and in this case, you can’t simply take an aspirin and call it a day. In this case, you will want to explore the possibility of getting a workforce management (WFM) solution, something that will handle the bulk of the management while letting you focus on the more pressing issues facing your organization.

So how do you get the WFM ball rolling?

Assigning a senior project champion

At the onset of the issue, the first thing you will want to do is find a higher-up in your organization who can champion the WFM project. Ideally, this would be a senior official who oversees the primary goal behind seeking a WFM solution.

For instance, if you want to ensure efficiency, then your ideal champion would be an operations or revenue leader. Or if your goal is to improve payroll, then the head of your payroll section would be an ideal fit. If more than one goal is needing to be met with this project—because, after all, you will likely want to knock out multiple goals at once—then you may seek an official who has a wider range of oversight responsibilities.

Whichever way you go, you MUST remember that this champion needs to be your advocate for this project. They must recognize how important WFM is for not just the organization, but for you and your employees’ best interests as well. They must be enthusiastic about leading the charge for developing the project into a full-fledged solution and fully willing to go to bat for it.

Taking stock of potential employee experiences

It’s important to note that a WFM solution is very likely going to receive a lot of employee traffic, it’s crucial for you to figure out how employees will experience the system, especially since modern WFM solutions take employee experiences into account.

One thing to do would be to check and see if there is a digital employee experience project in the works, either by your HR or IT departments. Work with them to figure out whether your WFM can fulfill the organization’s needs on its own, or if it needs to be integrated within a larger project.

How ready are you to adopt new features within a WFM solution?

Starting off, it makes sense that you will be looking at the surface features of a WFM solution, such as time and attendance, scheduling and employee information management.

That’s fine, but what about supplementary features?

Make sure you know about the fullest functionality you require. The best things to do would be to research white papers and documentation, keep an eye on conferences and trade shows, and look at how other organizations in your field use their own WFM systems. In doing so, be cognizant of the fact that not every organization is the same, and what may work for someone else may not necessarily be the solution your organization needs. Read TCP Software’s “Workforce Management Software Buyer’s Guide” for an in-depth guidance on choosing the system that’s right for you.

Plus, as you try out WFM solutions looking for an answer, you might see additional features that you feel would benefit your company in the long run. Investigating these features and figuring out how they could be used with other features, allows you to implement them much more expeditiously.

Logically, a lot of internal fact-finding will also help you tremendously. If you investigate and discover an issue with employees fudging their hours and performing clock operations from outside of the office, then you may want to include a geolocation or geofencing option.

Ultimately, it’s about making sure that you have your bases covered. Thinking about a long-term overhaul prevents problems before they can even happen.

Figuring out how a WFM will interact with other systems

Further fact-finding will also help you figure out a WFM’s place within your system. It is possible to have one acting as a lone utility, but in today’s professional environment, you likely want it to interact with your HR or payroll software, with operational systems, and even with access control mechanisms.

But the real trick is figuring out how this interaction will take place. You don’t want a disconnection that would require a lot of man-hours with constant supervision.

Keep in mind that this interaction could be as simple as a data export from the WFM solution, which your payroll software could then use. The only real requirement is for a payroll clerk to run a file export from the WFM, then import the file back into software. Quick and easy. Read “Top 5 Ways Payroll Automation Will Benefit Your Business” to learn how this may transform your business processes.

The flip side of this is a full-on integration with existing systems. You could have a constant data flow from an HR system that provides real-time data to your WFM solution—information like employee personal data, job and task data, leave accruals and so forth—that, in turn, takes the employee time data and relays it back via an automated process or an adapter.

One thing to also remember is that some WFM solutions offer comprehensive integrations with other HR and payroll systems, through strategic partnerships with each other. Read “How to Choose the Technology Stack That’s Right for You” to see if this is the way to go, as it could save you even more time and money.

In any case, as you can imagine, there isn’t much of a one-size-fits-all solution for this type of interaction. Rather, there is an extremely wide spectrum of needs. Researching your infrastructure, or making concessions for a future infrastructure, will help you to discover the best fit.

Worried about getting the boss on board? Read our blog, “Time-Tracking Software: Getting Your Boss on Board” to help build your business case for WFM software.