How Mature Are You? Part 4

There are many organisations that have evolved through the first three phases of the workforce management maturity curve*, from seeing their workforce as an expense they now see them as a resource and a flexible asset.

Best-in-class organisations that have moved into the fourth phase, The Innovate Phase now view their workforce as an absolute competitive advantage. For them, their employees are their most critical asset who, when given the right tools, training and support enable these organisations to achieve great results that their customers’ value and their peers and competitors envy.

Workforce Maturity Curve 4Organisations in the Innovate phase are embracing Big Data initiatives to identify triggers that influence growth, profitability, brand reputation, and operational excellence, as well as organisational transparency and accountability.

In the Innovate phase, organisations incorporate labour metrics into their Big Data strategies, to transform their workforce into a network of individuals all working together to achieve a desired result.

The correlation of workforce data with operational measurements of inputs & outcomes can yield powerful insight into the impact of your people on business growth, brand perception and ultimately shareholder value. Big Data strategy will enable business innovation and continuous improvement. Lack of understanding of how to use analytics to improve the business is the biggest obstacle in achieving success with big data. Organisations must move the analysis from an IT function to a business operations function – combining measurements, analytics and business intelligence tools with visibility and controls for business leaders to understand and act on.

When workforce analytics is combined successfully with operational data, actionable information will lead to operational comparisons and adjustments. Initial tracking of labour metrics like absenteeism, turnover and overtime can evolve into industry-specific trends and analysis. Retail stores can see the impact in increased operating margins, profit per employee and a stronger brand reputation. Manufacturing and Contract Services organisations can achieve operational excellence lean labour principles. The Supply chain can manage in the moment in warehouses and distribution channels and Healthcare providers provide better patient care and outcomes.

When your workforce evolves from a cost of doing business into a competitive advantage, your organisation can make that leap from good to great!

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 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.