Recently, it has become more and more clear that personnel and process structures are significantly responsible for the success of a company. The pandemic showed us how vulnerable those organizations are whose workforce planning is not geared to sudden changes. This is why it is becoming increasingly important to focus on workforce management. Good workforce management enables the organization to improve its processes, save costs and deliver projects to everyone's satisfaction.
In the following article, you will learn what workforce management is, how you can improve your own and what the advantages of good workforce management are.
But what is workforce management?
Many people associate the term workforce management with simply scheduling the workforce, forgetting that workforce management should be viewed as more of an optimization cycle. The cycle revolves around the continuous analysis, planning and management of the workforce with the aim of increasing productivity and efficiency of project operations.
The areas of workforce management include the mentioned workforce scheduling, but in addition also personnel demand forecasting, capacity planning, work time management, time tracking and controlling. Basically, it is about scheduling and coordinating the right number of staff at the right time and place.
Tasks and typical mistakes of workforce management
As already mentioned above, workforce management consists of various activities. The most important areas and the corresponding error potentials of workforce management are listed below.
Forecasting workforce requirements
Every project requires precise planning. Therefore, during the planning phase, it is also necessary to plan the required personnel and to forecast how much will be needed, when, and where. The result of the workforce demand forecast is often the net man-hours needed to complete the project.
Based on this forecast, the capacities of the personnel must now be planned, because these vary from employee to employee. Possible public holidays, vacations,s and sick days must be taken into account, as well as the work model of the employee in question. The mere net forecast of hours thus becomes gross planning of the personnel actually required.
Once we know the requirements and capacities, we can start with the concrete and competence-based distribution of tasks and areas. Often, a simple shift schedule is used for this purpose, which, is usually inflexible and not efficient, which is the central mistake many companies make with regard to workforce management.
Work time management and time recording
All workers are now scheduled and deployed. Now the working time of the individual employees has to be tracked. Beyond time recording, workforce management takes care of possible sick days or vacation days. Often, lists are still used in which employees have to enter their times manually, or vacation requests have to be made in a complicated way. Thus, the workforce management of many companies fails due to inefficient time recording and complicated requests.
Controlling and analysis
At this point, the cycle closes. Are there deviations from the original? How can we react to these discrepancies? How can we avoid these deviations in the future? During the project, the workforce must also be constantly monitored and controlled. By continuously analyzing potential errors, these can be avoided in future personnel deployment and the efficiency, as well as productivity of the workforce, can be increased. However, workforce controlling in many organizations also suffers from inefficient displays of current workforce capacity utilization, such as confusing Excel lists.
How can I improve my workforce management?
We now know both the tasks of workforce management and the typical mistakes organizations make in workforce management. The main sources of error are inefficient forms of planning, recording, and controlling. Unclear and unconnected lists in the various areas play a major role here. Genuinely effective workforce management manages to link all these areas together and automate the tasks.
There is good software that can help you manage the productivity of your employees as efficiently and easily as possible. The software offers exactly what workforce management needs: All-in-one. The software can bring all these areas together, saving a lot of time. Each area can rely on up-to-date data, which greatly simplifies decision-making. Software often offers a wide variety of time models as well as the simple recording of working hours, which means that manual entries can be bypassed. Especially in the area of control, the software also provides immense support by quickly recording and clearly displaying current progress and deviations.
What are the advantages of good workforce management?
If a company's workforce management is well set up with the help of software, this leads to far-reaching and multi-layered benefits.
For employers, good workforce management has the effect of optimizing personnel capacities and minimizing unproductive working hours. This means that over- and under-capacity can be avoided, which naturally leads to cost savings for the employer. These cost savings do not only come from the optimization of personnel capacities. Good workforce management enables a degree of agility that allows for quick and thoughtful solutions, even in crisis situations, which can prevent major cost losses. The consistent data that good workforce management delivers provides the basis for informed decisions that keep process productivity high despite sudden changes.
At the same time, the employees themselves also benefit. Efficient workforce management offers its employees flexible working hours and also makes time and work tracking easy for them. Through competence-based task allocation and the targeted consideration of capacities, no workforce is overloaded when managed well, which generally leads to greater satisfaction and motivation among employees.
Of course, customers also benefit from faster workflows and more efficient processes. This leads to greater satisfaction and possibly long-term customer loyalty.
With the help of the areas of responsibility and the problem areas of workforce management, it can be seen how important this is for the seamless execution of a company’s processes. Good workforce management not only saves time and money but also increases employee motivation and customer satisfaction.
To achieve this, the software is needed that links all relevant areas of workforce management and provides an optimal basis for planning, managing, and controlling the workforce. If you recognize some of the deficits mentioned above in your own company and would like to improve your workforce management, you should consider using a software solution.