How Mature Are You? Part 3

Throughout this series of articles we have looked at how automation and planning can help your organisation streamline the common processes of scheduling and paying your workforce accurately and efficiently to keep costs down while improving service levels.

Workforce Management Maturity Curve - ExecuteThe third phase of workforce management maturity curve* is The Execute Phase. This phase is about ensuring all that planning you have done is carried through in the real world. It involves managing the workforce in real time and adapting to changing conditions quickly to maintain a high level of productivity.

Organisations that have evolved to the execute phase view their workforce as a flexible asset – a group of skilled workers with the tools they need to consistently produce for you and can adapt to different tasks or roles in real-time. At this stage, the workforce understands and executes key tactics that have a direct impact on key operational measurements: revenue, service, quality, responsiveness, throughput, productivity.

In every industry, your labour plans are impacted every day. Weather, illness, customers, equipment failure, materials, contracts, accidents, funding issues, large orders, even a successful campaign or promotion can impact plans for better or worse. How a manager reacts to these constantly changing conditions has a direct impact on your business.

Workforce management solutions have evolved to enable managers to ‘manage in the moment’, with technology that works in real time. Imagine your managers with mobile access through a tablet that understands where it is and presents detail about the labour in that area. Staffing management allow managers to see who is present at any given moment and which areas may be understaffed or overstaffed. Real-time adjustments can be made to address the areas that need help, while back-office adjustments to labour tracking, job costing and payroll systems happen automatically, without delays or errors. Labour activity tracking provides line managers with real-time visibility into what is going on in the business right now and ‘managing in the moment’ the things that make a real difference such as customer service, quality and labour utilisation to maximise output and productivity goals.

Here are a couple of questions for you:
• Are your employees and managers capable of being agile on the job?
• Do they have real-time viability into service levels, quality, output?
• Can they react to changing conditions and maintain high levels of productivity?

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

In part four we will take a look at the next phase of workforce management maturity – Innovate. 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.