Workforce management: all you need to know

  • March 23, 2021
  • by Kat Ciesielska
  • No comments

If you ever worked in a corporation, you probably have heard this term: workforce management. If you had the pleasure to be a part of the contact center, I am more than sure that you’ve heard it multiple times. Supervisors like to use it a lot, including the short way which is WFM. Are you one of them? Then you probably know how does it work better than me. I will be happy if you dare to share your experience and thoughts in the comment section. 

However, if you’re new in the call center world, you’ve just been promoted for a manager position or If you’re thinking if workforce management is good for your company too (even it’s not the call center) then this article will definitely put some light on your situation.  

What will you find here? 

Check by yourself and don’t hesitate to jump right into the most suitable section for you: 

What is workforce management (WFM)?

As Wikipedia says, workforce management has developed from a traditional approach of staff scheduling to improve time management. These days it means the process that is supposed to maximize the performance in the whole organization. 

It covers all the activities that are meant to increase productivity and receive the best possible results, like:

  • collecting all the data about performance,
  • analyzing the current situation of the organization,
  • planning company’s budget according to the analytic, 
  • managing the company’s resources, including inventory, vehicles, etc. (known also as field service management – FSM),
  • human resource management (HRM), including recruiting, training, and even employee engagement,
  • forecasting, including requirements of the staff and people’s knowledge,
  • scheduling every step of the company and staff scheduling, having in mind possibilities of upcoming surprises (like people getting sick, going to parental holiday, etc.).

If all this still sounds pretty tough for you, don’t you worry. There is no need to remember all these bullet points. 

Workforce management is meant to help to deliver the best results to the organization, right? And every organization, no matter how big, is nothing without a great team of specialists. 

That is why all this information about WFM can be summarized and put into simple words: right people, right place at a right time

This is all you need to know.

Workforce management benefits

Now you know what workforce management is. It’s a good moment to consider why it is worth implementing.

Some of the most important benefits of well driven WFM are:

  • boosting productivity and effectiveness,
  • cutting off the number of extra hours (and need to deal with comp time),
  • mastering forecasting,
  • improving recruitment and onboarding procedures, 
  • increasing the income of the whole company without the need for more employees.

Workforce management is not just for contact centers

WFM is really popular in call centers, but why do actually people think that is right just for them? Every company, no matter the industry, needs a constant performance improvement. You know it too. If you want to win with the competitors, make your work meaningful and grow your business, getting better is a must. 

And let’s be honest, you want all these things, even you’re not the company owner. If you can’t agree with that… well, maybe think about some change? 

Workforce management is the way to achieve your goals. Implementing it in the right way will help every business. Small and big, new and old. Just give it a try. 

Examples a workforce management software

There is more than just one workforce management solution that you’ve probably heard about: Kronos. It is one of the most popular and great software in the world, but it is good to know some other workforce management tools. 

Let’s take a look at some of them. 

  1. TimeCamp: it would be pretty weird if I didn’t mention the product we’ve created, wouldn’t it? You don’t need to believe me that’s worth it. You can check by yourself, completely free, how does it work. This is the software which every manager would like to have: it shows you how does your team really works. Thanks to the tracking system, you can analyze together how to boost efficiency and how much time to spend on some task. 
  2. Calamari is a great tool for every industry. It will help the HR team in their everyday work, especially if your company hires many people. It helps in scheduling holidays, remote work, and you can integrate it with Google Calendar. Everybody will know about the absence of other staff members. 
  3. There is no speaking about workforce management software in app development if I don’t mention Asana. The well-known solution that helps in organizing projects: even these complicated ones.  

 

How to enforce remote workforce management?

Data collection is life for every workforce management analyst because of the reason. There is no possibility to improve productivity without knowing its starting level. There is no chance to put the right person in the right place, without checking the competency of all the workers. It is impossible to schedule the most productive activities if no one knows what are these. That is why you need to…

1. Know your numbers.

To achieve it, you should choose the right workforce management tools, including the software. I’ve shown you some examples above. Not all are needed when you work offline, but implementing remote workforce management will be impossible without some of these solutions. 

To check your employees’ productivity, you can easily go with TimeCamp. This one software will work for many types of teams: starting from accountants, through social media marketers, and finishing with the developers. When you see how much time your employees spend on the real work and how much on the distractions, you can think about the right solutions for helping them to focus. And yes, there is the reason I am putting this that way. TimeCamp is not meant to spy on anyone, it was created to help people. 

Implement it wise and your employees will be not just more productive, but also much happier. 

As you already know, workforce management is not just about the employees’ way of working. You should also control your budget, check your inventory and analyze the training and recruitment process. Write it all down in a sheet or use the right tools. 

Before starting the next big marketing campaign for your company you should know how to easily check the old ones and get all the analytic, including ROI. Before hiring the next member of the customer service team, check how many clients can one person handle. Maybe there is no need for an extra person? Maybe a better schedule will be enough. 

Data and workforce management analysts are the heart of the improvement. 

2. Forecast basing on your analyses. 

When you know your actual performance levels, you truly understand where you are. Then you can start implementing efficient workforce management into your business. That is the time for forecasting and scheduling everything properly. 

When you really see all your company got, you can use it well. Engage all your employees to fulfill your goals, and don’t forget about their needs. Use workforce management software that will help you in creating the work schedule. Give your team some control, for example, possibilities to switch shifts, so they can also control their work-life balance. This way you will keep their productivity on a high level. 

Plan the most accurate training to increase service quality and boost the efficiency of your workers. WFM systems will help you to choose these workers and managers who will get the most of the learning. 

3. Get more data and optimize the process. 

Don’t stop collecting data. Workforce management is a never-ending process. Your organization needs to keep growing, and proper scheduling is one of the most important things to implement if you want to succeed. 

Get started with your workforce management strategy

As you can see, WFM is a complex topic. Every organization has its own idea about it. There are many  WFM systems to use, many ways to schedule, and many ideas on how to boost productivity. 

No matter if you run the call center, or you are a team member in HR, you need to find your own way for workforce management implementation. 

Just remember that is all about the right people, in the right place at the right time. Including you.




Kat Ciesielska

Freelancer copywriter and salesman. Currently, in love with timeboxing time management (using TimeCamp). Writing since childhood (the story about dwarfs was the first one ever). Bookworm, foodie, gamer & nature lover (yes, she walks without shoes sometimes).

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