Companies with large numbers of hourly employees face the challenge of creating efficient and cost-effective work schedules. Traditional manual scheduling processes, driven by managers’ experience and intuition, often fall short of meeting the dynamic demands of customers while staying within budget. To address this issue, many employers have turned to workforce scheduling management solutions. These sophisticated software tools utilise technology and data analytics to automate scheduling processes, eliminate guesswork, and uncover efficiencies that even the most detail-oriented managers might overlook. In this guide, we will explore what WFM scheduling is, along with its benefits and key functionalities.
What is WFM (Workforce Management) Scheduling?
Workforcе Managеmеnt (WFM) schеduling is a systеmatic approach to dеtеrmining how many еmployееs arе rеquirеd for spеcific job rolеs at any givеn timе. Thе largеr and morе divеrsе thе workforcе, thе morе complеx this procеss bеcomеs. However, modern WFM solutions leverage machine learning and data analysis to alleviate the burden of complex scheduling decisions for managers.
Benefits of Using WFM Scheduling Solutions
The benefits of using WFM Scheduling Solutions are as follows:
- Control Labour Costs: Scheduling management helps organisations optimise labour costs by ensuring that the right employees are scheduled for work at the right times, minimising excessive labour expenses.
- Create Flexible Schedules: Managers gain the flexibility to create schedules based on department, job roles, locations, or individual preferences. This allows for the creation of more accommodating and versatile schedules.
- Manage Scheduling Changes with Ease: Collaborative features enable easy management of schedule changes. Managers can communicate available shifts to employees, who can request changes or swaps, ensuring a more adaptable and responsive scheduling process.
- Optimise Labour Resources: WFM scheduling software uses various data inputs such as sales data, delivery schedules, and occupancy statistics to forecast staffing needs. This helps in creating schedules that minimise understaffing and overstaffing, improving overall resource utilisation.
- Maximise Workforce Productivity: The software enables managers to track and account for individual employee performance metrics, such as task completion times and sales or service efficiency per hour. This data-driven approach empowers supervisors to make informed decisions regarding shift assignments.
- Address Complex Scheduling Needs: For large retailers with numerous locations, creating schedules that adhere to budget constraints can be challenging. WFM analytics and labour forecasts can help eliminate inefficiencies, resulting in significant cost savings.
- Support Regulatory Compliance: WFM scheduling solutions can enforce rules and compliance requirements, such as minimum hours between shifts or maximum hours per day or week, helping organisations meet legal obligations.
What Can WFM Scheduling Software Do?
WFM scheduling software offers a range of powerful features and tools that simplify the scheduling process while improving employee and supervisor performance and satisfaction.
Some of the core functionalities of WFM scheduling software include:
- Optimise Shifts: The software allows the creation of best-fit schedules based on various criteria, such as forecasted demand, employee skills, availability, and preferences. This ensures that the right employees are assigned to the right shifts.
- Simulate Possible Scenarios: Managers can use simulations to assess how changes to the schedule or the introduction of new shift patterns may impact productivity and labour costs. This aids in making informed decisions.
- Monitor Staffing Levels: WFM scheduling software provides real-time visibility into actual vs. scheduled hours, earned hours, and overtime. This enables organisations to address understaffing and overstaffing issues promptly.
- Handle Unplanned Absences: The software facilitates the rapid response to unplanned absences, allowing supervisors to communicate open shifts with employees and confirm updates. Employees can also swap shifts among themselves based on their changing availability.
- Empower Employees: Self-service options enable employees to view their paid time-off balances, submit PTO requests, and accept or decline shift assignments through web or mobile applications, increasing employee autonomy and engagement.
Issues WFM Scheduling Can Solve
WFM scheduling applications, powered by machine learning and advanced algorithms, can address numerous challenges within the workforce management process. Some common issues it can help solve include:
- Overstaffing: By analysing demand and employee availability, WFM software can prevent overstaffing, which can lead to unnecessary labour costs.
- Understaffing: WFM solutions ensure that the right number of employees are scheduled for a particular work, reducing the risk of understaffing, which can result in poor customer service and lost revenue.
- Unexpected Absences: WFM software allows for quick response to unplanned absences, minimising disruptions and ensuring work continues smoothly.
- Over-Budget Labour Costs: By optimising schedules, organisations can reduce labour costs and prevent budget overruns.
- Unproductive Employees: By tracking and analysing individual employee performance, WFM scheduling can help identify unproductive employees and address performance issues.
- Poor Customer Service: Proper scheduling ensures that the right employees with the necessary skills are available to deliver high-quality customer service. Know more about ProHance – the Key That Unlocks Human Capital And Business Challenges.
Features to Look for in Workforce Management Scheduling Software
When evaluating workforce management scheduling software, employers should consider the following features:
- Rapid Scheduling: The ability to create schedules by location or job quickly to respond to changing needs.
- Labour Forecasting: Forecasting tools that help prevent over or understaffing based on historical data and trends.
- Assignment Optimisation: The software should recommend the best-fit employee for a shift based on factors such as skills, availability, and seniority.
- Mobile Applications: The software should offer mobile applications for sharing schedules and managing shift changes on the go.
- Real-Time Data: Access to up-to-the-minute data on hours worked, actual vs. scheduled hours, earned hours, and overtime to help managers stay on budget.
- Employee Self-Service Options: Empowering employees to manage their schedules and time-off requests.
- Integrations: Compatibility with other HR applications for seamless data sharing.
- Data Security: Robust data security and cloud storage for sensitive workforce data.
- Scalability: The ability to scale and adapt the software to the evolving needs of the organisation.
- Managed Implementations: Support for implementation and ongoing management of the software.
Workforce management scheduling software is a powerful tool that enables businesses with a large hourly workforce to create efficient work schedules. By automating complex scheduling processes, WFM solutions help organisations control labour costs, optimise employee productivity, and ensure compliance with regulations.
In this evolving workforce management landscape, ProHance has the best WFM scheduling solutions that align with the unique needs and objectives of the companies. Businesses that use WFM scheduling software have increased productivity and employee happiness from their bottom line.