Choose your Workforce Management Software wisely – Here’s how

Workforce Management has come a long way from employee time clocks and spreadsheets. The Workforce Management software of today has completely revolutionized the way businesses manage their workforce. A survey of experienced professionals globally showed that 86% of them use at least one workforce management software!
This isn’t just a trend either. Another study entitled Top Trends in Workforce Management: How Technology Provides Significant Value Managing Your People, was conducted by to analyze the value of Workforce Management Software. According to the study, 75% of organizations said that Workforce Management systems generated a significant payback (at least 6-10% of payroll) in under a year! Although these numbers are impressive, it is also true that you need the right workforce management software to bring in these kinds of results.
This blog will help you understand the essential features of a workforce management software and make the right choice for your business.

Challenges in workforce management

Workforce Management comes with its share of challenges. Understanding these challenges is critical to handling your workforce – the most important asset of your business. Here are a few challenges that businesses encounter with their workforce management:

  • Employee scheduling

The Economic Policy Institute says that 17% of employees have unstable work schedules. This has a profound effect on employees and can have serious consequences for organizations. More often than not, this instability is the result of inaccurately anticipating scheduling needs. 32% of managers recognize this is a top scheduling challenge. Another challenge with scheduling is the possible error in calculating employees’ overtime wages. A miscalculation implies the violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

  • Inaccurate forecasting

Multiple data points are involved in making forecasts when it comes to workforce management. Manual calculations do not match up to the sheer volume of the data to be analyzed. A major challenge that managers face in workforce management is information overload. With the automation of employee data, there is a vast amount of information available for data insights and decision making. However, this could prove more of a bane than a boon if this information is not organized. The need of the hour is data that is relevant.

  • The need for integration

Many organizations have existing HR and Payroll environments that they are satisfied with. A complete upheaval of these legacy systems is both costly and time-intensive. It would entail an organization-wide change that could affect employees, processes and operations. 

  • Data security

A workforce management software holds sensitive information about employees like their Social Security numbers and financial data. A breach in the system could have serious ramifications as was seen in the SnapChat fiasco of 2016.

  • Localization requirements

Global businesses need to maintain a unified system of records but must also allow for a measure of localization. The localization required runs deeper than language requirements. It must take into account compliance with local laws and regulation. Tax calculations, benefit enrollments, gender reporting, overtime laws, time-off pay, minimum wage and other factors are different in different countries. All this needs to be considered in workforce management. It is also important that data capture is carried out judiciously, without intruding on privacy protection laws of different countries.

Features to look for in a good workforce management software

Now that we have looked into the major challenges in workforce management, here are some important features of a good workforce management system that can help overcome these challenges.

Employee scheduling

  • A real-time dashboard to monitor attendance and hours spent
  • Easy navigation and shortcuts for everyday use
  • Advanced features to analyze shift patterns
  • A good payroll automation module to streamline the payroll process
  • Easy generation of receipts and reports
  • Quick importing of data from different file formats

Inaccurate forecasting

  • Customizable reports and dashboards to ensure access to relevant information
  • Real-time adherence (RTA) capabilities to compare the scheduled activity with employee’s current activity
  • Intraday forecasting to enable real-time exceptions handling
  • A comprehensive forecasting and planning functionality that can handle multi-channel environments
  • Web and mobile access to reports

The need for integration

  • Easy Integration with existing legacy systems and applications
  • Easy data processing through connected systems
  • Integration of self-service portals that lets the employee update information
  • A unified, single record system with all your workforce information

Data security

  • User activity monitoring to ensure compliance with security protocols
  • User behavior analytics and alerts to detect suspicious behavior
  • Monitoring of employee’s system to detect threats and breaches
  • Real-time alerts to notify employees and managers of non-compliance to security measures

Localization requirements

  • Localization of data field formats for dates, names, addresses, time, bank accounts etc.
  • Ensure that the privacy laws of different countries aren’t breached in data collection
  • Language support for different languages and their variations
  • Language support for all processes, help text, and content
  • Algorithms to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations
  • Ability to synchronize changes in compliance

Tips to help you choose the right workforce management software

  • User-friendly and responsive design

This is probably the most important of features that you must look for in a good workforce management software. Ease of access to all the data you need and the ability to use it on any device is extremely vital.

  • Feature-rich

Go through the list of challenges and the corresponding list of features, which we have compiled for you. Assess which of these features will benefit you the most. Now look for a workforce management software that has all these features.

  • Go custom

While there are many workforce management software out there, it is always best to customize the software for your company’s needs. You may not need all the features on the list, or perhaps you need some more. Talk to a reliable vendor who can help you get exactly what you need. You can contact us at ReachOut for help.
All the very best in your quest for the right workforce management software! Let us know if you have any questions, we can help you with.

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Ashmitha Chatterjee

Ashmitha works with ReachOut Suite as a creative writer. She collaborates with the Digital Marketing team to deliver engaging, informative, and SEO friendly business collaterals. Being passionate about writing, Ashmitha frequently engages in blogging and creating fiction. Besides writing, Ashmitha indulges in exploring effective content marketing strategies.

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