Right People, Right Place, Right Time

Workforce management (WFM) is all about optimizing how, where, and when work gets done, and who is best suited to do the job.
WFM can encompass:
  • Forecasting of workloads and staff requirements for specific needs, such as project deadlines or variable customer flows
  • Scheduling to fulfill forecasted needs in the most effective manner
  • Training to fill gaps in employee efficiency and versatility
  • Analyzing the results of the entire human resources management process.

Workforce management objectives

Effective workforce management is a continuous planning process that can streamline operations across all aspects of your business. It can help you:
Define work roles and responsibilities. Defining roles, requirements, and responsibilities in a holistic way across the company and in focused ways for specific projects can help you identify the right people for the job. It may point out a need for new hires in certain areas or a reassigning of existing talent.
Identify staffing levels. For the most efficient operations, the number of employees in any given department may vary during different times of the day or month. Anticipating these variations takes into account issues such as sales forecasts, seasonal work requirements, or customer traffic. When staffing strategies are carried out effectively, you more often have the appropriate number and type of employees on the job. These employees will be on the job when and where they are most needed.
Allocate business resources. When you’ve nailed down staffing levels and skills in each area, you are better equipped to budget for recruitment, hiring, and training costs. You  can determine where to allocate financial resources for the best results. For example, you could shift funds from hiring a new employee to training and educating a current employee, which could help hold down overall expenses.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions

Small business owners are finding that the complexities of workforce management can make the traditional tools – spreadsheets, paper request forms, time cards – hopelessly outdated and time consuming.
SaaS solutions are Web-based, integrated software modules that can give you control over workforce management, such as creating schedule shifts, tracking time, submitting requests, and tracking absences, among other functions These cloud-based software packages are typically sold on a monthly subscription basis, making it easier to control spending without committing funds to a legacy system that could be costly to maintain and upgrade.

Game Plan

  • To see ratings and read reviews of popular workforce management software systems, see this list from Software Advice.
  • Even more workforce management software options, with descriptions and the ability to compare multiple packages, can be found on this page.
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