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.


How Mature Are You? Part 1

This is not a trick question. In the world of workforce management, where you are on the maturity curve* could mean the difference between being a high-performance organisation with a real competitive advantage or one that struggles to survive – particularly in these challenging economic times. High performing organisations look to be at the top of the workforce management maturity curve, but there are benefits to be gained wherever you are and it doesn’t matter what size organisation you are or what industry you operate in – if you want your workforce to be key to your success and bring true competitive advantage – you should want to know where you are.

Workforce Management Maturity Curve - Automate The first phase of workforce management maturity is the move from manual to automated. The Automate Phase focuses on the ability to streamline, simplify, and standardise necessary business processes such as attendance and absence management and/or calculating hours for payroll. As with all phases in workforce management maturity, the automate phase combines both process and technology improvements. And while the levels of complexity and maturity vary drastically from one organisation to the next, often there are additional automation steps organisations can take even if they have some level of workforce management already in place.

The value of its people increases as an organisation navigates the automate phase. Automation unburdens the workforce and allows their time and energy to be invested in higher value activities that will help your organisation achieve its strategic goals.

So here are a few questions for you:

• Do you know who is at work right now?
• Do you know who is working overtime?
• Who was late this-morning?
• Who was missing yesterday?

In my next post I will be introducing you to the next level – The Planning Phase – don’t forget to sign up to my blog so that you won’t miss it. And if you have any comments or questions it would be great to hear from you, 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.