workforce-management | 11 mins read

5 Ways Workforce Management Tools Can Help You Stay on Top of Your Game

5 ways workforce management tools can keep you on top of your game 1648980818 8216
Debdutta Bhattacharjee

By Debdutta Bhattacharjee

What is Workforce Management?

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Workforce management (WFM) is a collection of techniques and processes used by an organization to maximize employee productivity. WFM entails the use of workforce management tools to successfully estimate labor requirements and design and manage employee schedules to complete specific activities on an hourly and daily basis.

A workforce management system subsumes several functions within the larger structure of human resource management. These include employee scheduling, employee performance management, employee time and attendance tracking, talent management, applicant tracking, employee leave management, payroll, budgeting, forecasting, and so on.

WFM can be seen as a branch of human capital management. Human capital management differs from human resource management to the extent that the former looks to enhance the economic value of the employees, while the latter focuses on the creation and management of systems that let the employees do their jobs better. However, all said and done, workforce management, human resource management, and human capital management are intrinsically related concepts and feed off each other.

For instance, a HR manager putting together a report on ways to lower the employee turnover rate will need to look at workforce management data, such as time and attendance trends, payroll records, and schedule discrepancies. A good grasp of higher-level Human Capital Management (HCM) concepts such as employee productivity and employee engagement, on the other hand, can be useful in developing workforce management plans and strategies, starting with scheduling to the administration of benefits.

How Does Workforce Management Software Work?

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Workforce management systems make use of smart technologies that allow entrepreneurs to streamline their business processes. Without the use of such workforce software, managing every little business process and the sea of business data generated by the point of sale, human resource management, and enterprise resource planning systems will be an uphill task.

Manual methods and spreadsheets are unable to adequately do the job, especially when the company size is large. With such methods, manager fatigue will be high, resulting in errors or oversight in decision making. This will in turn prevent the organization from controling costs and wastage of resources; its revenues will be hurt and the quality of customer service will go down. Ultimately, the brand image of the enterprise will be affected.

A cloud basedworkforce management system like Zip Schedulesavailable on Hubworks, the app store for restaurantsallows employee schedules to be created and viewed on a smartphone or a tablet, at any time, and on the go.

Business managers can view employee availability and employee requests in real time, which helps prevent employee scheduling conflicts. Employees are able to make scheduling requests right from their smartphones, resulting in an enhanced sense of empowerment and loyalty. This way, a manager need not spend sleepless nights and a great deal of time and effort trying to accommodate last-minute employee requests, while ensuring that the store is optimally staffed at the same time.

A workforce management solution helps a business owner forecast future labor requirements. Restaurant owners can use WFM software to track their busiest/slowest traffic in a day. With this vital business intelligence data provided by WFM systems, employee numbers can be adjusted and cross-training of employees can be undertaken to prevent overstaffing.

On the other hand, seasons can affect restaurant sales too. For instance, not too many people may be willing to venture out for a meal in peak winter. During those months a restaurant may shift its operations almost entirely online and reduce the number of servers and bussers on its premises. A WFM system is also able to take into account the skills of each employee in order to optimize schedules.

The aim of a manager is to ensure that customers still receive the best service even when employees don't turn up for work, or customer demand suddenly surges. A competent manager will know to readjust labor targets to make sure the organization's long-term prospects are not impacted.

A restaurant can be successful only if its employees are properly trained and constantly upskilled.
Workforce software allows a business owner to determine the best time to impart training without interrupting the day's workflow.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5 Features of a Top-ranking WFM Software

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1. Simple to use- First and foremost, a workforce management software has to be user-friendly. It should possess features such as push notifications, integrated workflow, and easy management of tasks from the mobile phone to the desktop. Other features that make a software solution easy to use include drag-and-drop tools, stored shifts, and copying frameworks.

2. Business reporting and analytics- All good WFM systems possess this feature. The BI tools of a workforce management software will generate actionable insights on topics ranging from payroll management and talent management, to location-specific staffing and performance management.

3. Enterprise-level security- Every company is anxious about entrusting confidential employee data to a new system. A robust WFM system should contain adequate security features.

4. Controlling absenteeism- Online employee scheduling makes the management of employee absenteeism a lot easier. Instead of handling physical time-off request forms and dealing with laborious manual processes, a restaurant can benefit from a simple system that can be accessed by all team members, from human resource executives to restaurant staff.

5. Demand forecasting- A workforce management software that prepares an Employee Schedule can match workers to customer needs. Technology can anticipate client demand and produce meticulous rotas. In addition, WFM software will allow managers to forecast labor demand for specific locations and tasks.

5 Ways WFM Software Can Improve Operations

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1. Makes processes efficient- Using automated workforce management tools can make a significant difference to how you manage your staff. They cut short the time spent manually entering employee data into a system, eliminate duplication of effort, and allow you to share information with other departments like payroll and human resources more efficiently. This improved data flow between several departments allows you to save money on labor, administration, and business operations.

2. Boosts employee morale and compliance- When you manage employees well and pay them handsomely and on time, their morale improves, which leads to higher employee productivity, loyalty, and commitment. Employee morale and reputation suffer and the attrition rate is high when the workforce is poorly managed and employees witnesses frequent paycheck problems and high workloads.

With the help of workforce management solutions, compliance can be checked too. It is easier to keep track of work contracts, and other documents when they are all in one location. With a well-functioning WFM software, you will have a better understanding of the liabilities and the risks to compliance that could hurt your company.

3. Trim costs- You can drastically reduce the chance of error by automating your processes. Inaccurate classification, payment for unauthorized overtime, oversight with regard to leave/pay policy, or faulty time management can all pile up and have a negative impact on your company's bottom line.

4. Strengthen overall performance- With quality workforce management and HR software in place, you can improve your overall business performance considerably. You can boost employee compliance, make processes more accurate, prepare employee schedules in a more efficient manner, and cut costs. By streamlining the functioning of your business, you will be able to reduce inefficiencies and this will benefit the entire company.

WFM software will also help business owners check employee punch-in and punch-out times and monitor hours worked, with the aim of optimizing employee productivity.

Smart workforce management improves Company Culture over time, and a company that prioritizes it will see worker satisfaction increasing and worker absenteeism and attrition rates reducing. This will subsequently drive down the cost of recruitment and training, and boost sales per labor hour.

5. Organize employee scheduling better- Managers can increase scheduling efficiencies when their WFM software provides accurate data. They will have immediate access to budget and productivity benchmarks, which they can match against labor-related expenses. They will have a clear understanding of worker availability, their training and certification needs, skills, as well as contract demands.

This allows them to ensure that the right human resources with the relevant capabilities are assigned to projects. Demand forecasting also prevents understaffing and overstaffing, and maintains an optimal number of employees at all times to take care of customer demand.

Best Workforce Management Software for Restaurants

Zip Schedules is the best WFM software for restaurants. It allows managers to build employee schedules in minutes, allowing favorite schedules to be saved as frameworks. These can then be updated according to company needs and employee demands.

Time can be saved by simply placing shifts into available staff positions, rather than having to create new shifts every time. Every team member receives instant notifications on their smartphones and tablets via push notifications and instant messaging on the free mobile app. The schedules can be accessed whenever the employees want and from wherever they may be.

Zip Schedules' capabilities include real time management of employee schedules, and quick assessment and response to shift change requests. Employees are notified immediately when scheduling changes are announced, allowing them to easily find coworkers to cover their shifts. This software solution is available on the specialty restaurant app store, Hubworks, along with a host of other WFM software like Zip Clock and Zip ShiftBook. Hubworks also provides a software called Any Connector that helps its own software seamlessly integrate with third-party apps.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

WFM Software Pricing

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Pricing for workforce management software can range from $2.50 per user per month for small businesses, to $72 per user per month, if you need enterprise-grade capabilities and scale. This does not apply to suppliers who offer only quote-based or custom pricing for an HR package that is more comprehensive.

Some of the more affordable plans merely offer a time tracking app, a scheduling tool, or a blend of time and attendance tools, whereas the more expensive plans usually include a full suite of workforce management and HR software solutions, including point of sale and payroll integrations.

Comprehensive workforce management and human resource platforms are frequently built to handle shift-based business operations with a considerably large number of workers. A minimum number of users is usually required in order to subscribe to plans in this category.

Small business owners and startups with fewer than 10 or 20 employees, on the other hand, are more likely to use basic employee time tracking and/or employee scheduling solutions that are fairly straightforward.

Zip Schedules, which is widely regarded as the best workforce management software in the market, is available for $19 per location per month for small businesses employing 1-20 employees. The next higher tier serves businesses with 21-50 employees and comes at a price of $39 per location per month. There is also a custom edition for larger organizations employing more than 51 employees. Zip Schedules, which can be purchased from the Hubworks app store, offers a 30-day free trial.

WFM Software FAQs

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1. Why must organizations invest in workforce management solutions?

Payroll mistakes, unapproved leave, inflated wages on account of overtime, and similar issues can be sorted out with a WFM system. A workforce software solution enhances labor reporting, while getting rid of problems that crop up with paper time cards, such as buddy punching and time fraud. The amount of time and money saved is a significant advantage of a WFM solution.

2. What does workforce management essentially comprise?

Employee scheduling, Time Management , employee performance management, applicant tracking, leave management, payroll administration, and task management are all covered by workforce management. WFM considers all the elements that go into putting together a team and looks for ways to automate and streamline existing operations.

3. Which companies may derive the biggest advantage from WFM?

A range of businesses may rely on WFM to reduce the number of manual and time-consuming procedures. WFM is extensively used in the restaurant and manufacturing businesses. It may also be used in the construction sector, the logistics and transportation sector, and in service industries like the financial sector.

4. What are the many types of workforce management systems?

  • Time and attendance software, which includes time monitoring, labor tracking, and data collection.
  • Absence planning software, which addresses both uncontrolled and managed leave, apart from the issue of Employee Productivity.
  • Labor planning software deals with long-term projections and deviation control.
  • Scheduling software includes capabilities such as shift tracking and short-term forecasting.

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"Our customer's trust is what keeps us in business. They expect fresh tasting food with no threat of ill-born diseases. Zip HACCP keeps us compliant with HACCP and FDA regulations through its integrated temperature solutions, food safety assurance, and end-to-end task reporting. We also use Zip Inventory to save time on inventory counts and have much-needed predictability to our ordering process. The Hubworks business management apps are perfect for our restaurants."


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