TechDogs-"All About Workforce Management Software"

Human Resource Technology

All About Workforce Management Software

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The Research Vice President, HR, Talent and Learning Strategies at IDC, Lisa Rowan, rightly points out, “The war for talent is re-emerging and firms are recognizing that they are once again competing not only for product superiority but for a high performing workforce, which is key to competitive advantage.”

One of the key weapons for this war is a Workforce Management Software – a one-stop shop to help you build a highly productive workforce. Encompassing everything from field service management and human resource management to performance management and payroll management, a Workforce Management Software gives you a holistic view of your team’s performance as a whole as well as individuals. Read on to find out more about the history, features, importance, benefits and the future of Workforce Management Software.
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Weren’t we all amazed by the story of the 2011 blockbuster, Moneyball? An unexpected winning streak from one of the nation’s most lean-budgeted Major League Baseball team. They put together a record-breaking 20-game winning streak. Quite frankly, the story was as much about people management as it was about sports.

In the movie, Billy Beane shrewdly used data to build a high-performing team at a fraction of the cost of his competitors. He relied on a computer to assemble and manage a team better than human instinct. Wouldn’t it be great to have such strategic Human Resource Management for your team as well? Well, we can’t really get you Billy Beane but what you could use is a Workforce Management (WFM) Software. It has more capabilities than Billy Beane and his data analysis did!

Let’s start with dealing with the what of WFM.

What Is Workforce Management (WFM) Software?

Haven’t you noticed the novel biometric attendance system that most companies are adopting lately? Let’s just say that’s a tiny part of what a Workforce Management Software does.

As Wiki explains, “Workforce Management (WFM) is an institutional process that maximizes performance levels and competency for an organization. The process includes all the activities needed to maintain a productive workforce, such as field service management, human resource management, performance and training management, data collection, recruiting, budgeting, forecasting, scheduling and analytics.” Phew!

So, a Workforce Management Software allows you to have all the above capabilities. In simpler terms, Workforce Management Software is an end-to-end solution to empower your team to deliver their best and for you to make informed data-driven decisions.

History And Evolution Of Workforce Management Software

Back in the early 20th century, if you happened to visit the IBM office, you’d probably have found a peculiar clock there. It was the time clock or the clock card machine or the punch clock or the time recorder. (Po-ta-to ~ Po-ta-toh!) and this is what it looked like.

TechDogs-"History And Evolution Of Workforce Management Software"-3D Image Of International Dial Time Recorder Clock

Doesn’t it look like a clock stolen from the Harry Potter universe? Well, they claim they created it at IBM! Jokes apart, this was not just a clock. It was actually a machine that would record the check-in/ check-out time of employees. It was a big hit at the time. While HRs back then had the time clock, the rest of their tasks were mostly done manually in a paper-pen fashion. 

Then came the era of spreadsheets with IBM’s Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel. It was then, that tasks, work progress and performance of the workforce started getting recorded on spreadsheets that provided analytical abilities to managers to review the team’s productivity and efficiency.  

However, there was only so much a spreadsheet could do. For instance, it couldn’t send you a reminder for an upcoming deadline. This brought the need for developing a Workforce Management Software that could help managers automate a lot of their role, including attendance tracking, task management, among others. Initially, the WFM Software was a web-entry solution that required people to punch in their hours and record their tasks. Today, most of these solutions have become pretty advanced with Biometric or Badge attendance tracking and automated assignment allotment managed on a Single Login Access Platform.
That brings us to the next big question, how does a Workforce Management Software do all of this?  

How Does Workforce Management Software Work?

A Workforce Management Software tracks employees’ tasks and projects against the time they invest in them. The WFM Software lets managers assign tasks and create projects for their team. Employees are then notified of their tasks and can track the time they spend on each of the tasks. That’s not all, the tool also tracks employee leaves, time-offs, vacations and forecasts workforce requirements in the future.

For instance, if several employees plan to take time-off on Halloween, the tool will make sure to notify the manager of a probable workforce shortage so that backup can be arranged. In addition to this, workforce management solutions also come with a real-time dashboard recording the progress and analyzing the team’s productivity and performance on daily, weekly or monthly basis. Lastly, WFM tools also allow a lot of integrations, including payroll.

TechDogs-"How Does Workforce Management Software Work?"-Image Showing The Work Of Workforce Management Solutions That Comes With A Real-Time Dashboard Recording The Progress And Analyzing The Team’s Productivity And Daily, Weekly, Monthly Performance
All-in-all, Workforce Management Software lets you have the right number of people, with the right skills and competencies, to do the right tasks at the right time. That’s what makes WFM solutions crucial for businesses.

Why Your Business Needs A Workforce Management Software? 

Would you like to pay an employee who sat idle all day long? Would you like one of your employees to feel overburdened with too much on their plate? When it comes to managing your workforce, both extremes are harmful. Workforce Management Software allows you to avoid such scenarios.
Not just that, this software protects your managers from unwanted surprises. Wouldn’t it be a nightmare if a senior employee from a vertical was retiring and the replacement from the same vertical was going on maternity leave at the same time? If you had a WFM, you could have anticipated this beforehand, instead of struggling to hire at the last moment, like Emily was while finding a second assistant for Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada.

TechDogs-"Why Your Business Needs A Workforce Management Software?"-Image Showing Use Of Workforce Management Software

In addition to these, there are many benefits that a Workforce Management Software brings with it.

Benefits Of Workforce Management Software

  • Allows Optimum Utilization Of Workforce 

    With a WFM system, you are able to deploy your resources based on their skills and strengths, thereby ensuring that they’re able to perform to their best potential. At the same time, WFM ensures no project has insufficient manpower involved. This way, your resources and their skills are utilized optimally.

  • Saves Time

    When so many levers of the employee management get automated with the WFM Software, your team will have less administrative work on their plate and can focus on more strategic and value-driven tasks. 

  • Increases Employee Productivity And Engagement

    With hassle-free leave management, automated payroll, easy scheduling, etc. employees are never left in the dark about their tasks and have clarity in terms of expectations and outcomes.

  • Boosts Security And Transparency

    With biometric attendance and unique employee IDs, there’s a lesser possibility of buddy punching or employees clocking in for one another leading to better transparency in Workforce Management. 


Key Features Of Workforce Management Software

If you’re looking for a Workforce Management Software, we’d recommend you go for one that has these 6 key features: 
  • Attendance And Time Tracking

    Whether biometric or through a badge, a WFM Software should be able to log your employees’ attendance. Not just that, it should also help you track how much time an employee spends on each task, like Clockify does.

  • Labor Scheduling

    It should schedule tasks as per employee availability as well as work inflow, volume and existing deadlines.

  • Absence Management

    Managing leaves is the most common WFM Software feature. Try one that also allows easy shift swaps for your employees.  

  • Dashboards And Real-Time Reports

    Real-time task tracking and workforce availability are another must-have in any WFM solution.

  • Forecasting

    A good WFM Software records work in the backlog to forecast workforce requirements. 

  • Easy And Accessible Technology

    Always opt-in for a tool that’s with the times. At present, you’d want your workforce management solution to provide options like mobile-access and messaging convenience. A manager should be able to ping an employee regarding their task, employee time etc. directly from the platform using a smartphone.

Paylocity, BambooHR, Kronos Workforce Central are some of the leading WFM Software that can provide you these features. All of them provide end-to-end talent and Workforce Management solutions that you can make use throughout the employee journey from “pre-hire to retire.” 

The Future Of Workforce Management Software

Workforce Management has been an ever-evolving field in the technology spectrum. With companies increasingly emphasizing on employee engagement and automation, the workforce Management market is sure to evolve further. Especially, with the rise of the gig economy and remote working, Workforce Management would be highly sought after.  
To keep pace with the increased demand and to stand out, we would soon witness WFM tools becoming more holistic. So much so that they have more integrations including employee health benefits, perks and bonus management, among others. Needless to say, this would come with a lot more automation and mobile-first technology. 
The ultimate aim of using Workforce Management Software is that you need fewer people to manage your staff and ensure that your company operates at its best potential. With easier management, your employees will save time on administrative work to take on higher-order work. In the words of R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., "Creating and managing a diverse workforce is a process, not a destination." Workforce management system just helps you make the process easier and far more efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Workforce Management (WFM) Software?

Workforce Management (WFM) Software is a comprehensive institutional process designed to optimize performance and competency within organizations. It encompasses a range of activities essential for maintaining a productive workforce, including field service management, human resource management, performance and training management, data collection, recruiting, budgeting, forecasting, scheduling, and analytics. In simpler terms, WFM Software provides end-to-end solutions to empower teams to perform at their best and enables informed, data-driven decision-making for managers.

How does Workforce Management Software work?

Workforce Management Software operates by tracking employees' tasks and projects in relation to the time they dedicate to them. Managers utilize the software to assign tasks and create projects, which employees can access and track their time spent on each task. Additionally, the software manages employee leaves, time-offs, vacations, and forecasts future workforce requirements. It also offers real-time dashboards for monitoring progress, analyzing productivity, and performance at different intervals. Workforce Management Software plays a crucial role in optimizing resource allocation and ensuring efficient task management for businesses.

Why does your business need Workforce Management Software?

Workforce Management Software offers numerous benefits essential for effective workforce management. It allows for the optimum utilization of resources by deploying them based on their skills and strengths, ensuring projects have adequate manpower. Moreover, it saves time by automating administrative tasks, enabling teams to focus on strategic objectives. The software enhances employee productivity and engagement through transparent leave management, automated payroll, and streamlined scheduling. Additionally, it boosts security and transparency with features like biometric attendance and unique employee IDs, reducing the likelihood of fraudulent practices. Overall, Workforce Management Software facilitates smoother operations and better resource management for businesses of all sizes.

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