How Mature Are You? Part 2

So, you have automated your workforce management processes and are capturing absence and employees’ time automatically, providing data to your managers and supervisors and feeding data into your payroll and/or HR systems. What’s next?

Maturity Curve Phase 2 - PlanningThe second phase of workforce management maturity curve* is The Planning Phase.This phase is about aligning your labour with business demand by understanding what in your business drives the need for labour and matching that need with the pool of employees you have.

Once you have automated many of the manual processes that are obstacles for your workforce, the focus should turn to deploying the right person, in the right place at the right time – or in other words providing structure to the important business process of matching your people to demand. Organisations that are in the Planning phase see the value of their workforce as beyond an expense, and more of a resource – your people have particular skills that you won’t want to lose. Similar to an asset like equipment or materials, the workforce is an important component of the business with skills and capabilities that need to be deployed the right way in order to meet your business objective. Whilst at the same time ensuring the work is stimulating and engaging for the employee.

Mature organisations typically have workforce management solutions that provide accurate forecasts of what drives labour demand, standards that convert those forecasts to skills required in each area of the business, and schedule optimisation capabilities that take the ideal requirement and match it to the labour in the organisation. The solution will take into further consideration: preferences, availability, time worked and local legislation, providing complete visibility and control to where the workforce is deployed.

By eliminating manual scheduling processes organisations will reduce excess labour costs from over-scheduling and the quality or service level impacts of under-scheduling. Overtime and supplemental labour usage is reduced and balanced schedules greatly improve staffing. Moreover, employees are much happier and engaged when they feel that they are adding value to the business. The time and effort required in manual scheduling processes is eliminated, and schedules automatically adhere to rules, requests, skills, certifications, availability and experience. So here are a few questions for you:

• How does your workforce know when they are scheduled to work next?
• How is the right level of coverage for each shift or activity determined?
• Are employee shift requests and preferences taken into account when a schedule is created?
• Are there any seasonal or external influences that could impact demand on your business?

With cloud-based workforce management on demand, organisations of any size can now benefit from enterprise-class technology at a fraction of the cost and resource requirements.

In part three we will take a look at the next phase of workforce management maturity – Execute. Don’t forget to sign up to my blog so you won’t miss it and if you have any questions or comments please post them and I will be happy to respond.

*The workforce management maturity curve was first discussed in detail in my US Kronos colleagues’ blog It’s About Time.

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4 thoughts on “How Mature Are You? Part 2

  1. Nice article Simon

    A thought though: Stage 2 indicates that there are greater benefits/efficiencies from aligning demand with available labour supply. That’ true.

    Therefore in Stage 1: this means that an organisation is inherently inefficient because you haven’t yet aligned demand with available labour.

    So why are you automating the T&A processes in Stage 1; but not dealing with the fundamental issue in the first place.

    That the misalignment of demand to the supply of available labour is the key problem and will continue to cost companies money if not addressed in the very first place.

    We all know T&A is great for capturing what has actually been worked. Simon has been saying this correctly for many years……………..

    But what value is there to a business if this is costing the company( unnecessary overtime and agency costs) & creating undue work place stress due to poorly planned work patterns.

  2. Thanks Bruce, one might think this is akin to “the chicken and the egg” and the debate of which comes first. However, I would always advocate you can’t manage what you don’t measure and you have to start by making sure those people you expect to be at work actually turn up. Without the basics in place there is little point in progressing to sophistication in staff deployment. It’s important to remember that absence costs on average £650 per employee per year and those organisations that capture attendance see rates up to 40% lower than those that don’t.

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