“Greater competition, increasing consumer demands, a tight labor market, new compliance legislation, and a workforce expecting more from employers — all are making life difficult for retailers around the world.”
Sound familiar? Of course it does. The truth is “upheaval” is the standard state of business. “New technologies disrupting business as usual” is a complaint that could be made not just about today but many times in the past several decades, during accelerating waves of globalization and innovation. It has always been up to managers and C-level executives to create disruptions or keep up with them, and that means capitalizing on the art of the possible with the latest technologies.
In the modern era of interconnected technologies entwining with all aspects of everyday life, advanced workforce management programs are a necessity to keep your operations efficient, your workers productive, and your customers satisfied. Your workforce carries mini-supercomputers in their pockets every day in the form of smartphones; you can leverage that power to create a better way to get work done, for your organization and your workers. Gone are the days where manual input, spreadsheets and hand-written forms are enough for retailers to optimize operations or are even still tolerated by a digitally native workforce.
What is Workforce Management, How Does it Improve EX, and by What Methods?
Workforce management is the discipline where HR, scheduling, payroll, and communications all meet. Basically, it’s the facilitator of employee experience (EX), supporting how a worker interacts with their employer. For many years, these functions were carried out manually, through paperwork, phone calls and walking around the workplace. Need to request time off for a doctor’s visit, get some tax forms, or find your next schedule? You’d have to ask around or physically go to a certain department to get help.
Modern workforce management has digitized and automated all of these processes.
- HR and Payroll: Requests can be handled anywhere at any time digitally. By computer or smartphone, workers can inquire about their health insurance, pay, vacation time — anything related to employment — with a few clicks.
- Scheduling: Not only do workers have easy access to their schedules the moment they’re posted, but schedulers can make use of valuable employee data to ensure the right worker is scheduled for the right task at the right time to get work done.
- Communications: Managers and teams have an open avenue of communication, allowing for easier troubleshooting of problems, integrity of correspondence (i.e., making sure all parties are actively informed), and peer-to-peer interactions, putting HQ, managers and the frontline in contact.
- Training: Provide “in the moment” training when organizations need to be sure the work is being done right. Upskill talented workers in new training, and re-skill workers who may have lost a step by allowing for direct digital training.
- Agility: Open communication and valuable data allow for better problem solving and agility skills. When trouble arises, having the ability to quickly coordinate skilled workers for a task can put out fires long before they get out of control.
These methods free up administrators and frontline managers to focus on more long-term strategic tasks and better serve deskless shift workers, who have been left out on the many technological workplace innovations that have assisted their office co-workers’ roles.
The most important investment to any successful organization is an engaged employee. Hiring and training are costly. Disengaged workers are costly. And unsatisfied workers become disengaged workers. Conversely, engaged workers result in higher efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction. Ergo, employee experience is important.
As many industries — especially the retail industry — lost key team members due to the Great Resignation, organizations are looking to improve employee experience where possible by removing the obstacles that make their work more difficult. Modern workforce management investments are shown to greatly improve the relationship teams have with their companies, resulting in more employee satisfaction, which fuels customer satisfaction.
The business world will always come with its own set of challenges. If it weren’t challenging, it wouldn’t be business. But it’s important that organizations don’t make things harder than they need to be. As modern workforce technologies become more prevalent and sophisticated, they save so much time and improve operations to such a degree that it will soon be difficult to remain competitive without them. It’s time to enable your crew to do the best work possible by letting an advanced workforce management system support your workforce goals.
Mike Morini is CEO at WorkForce Software, a cloud-based workforce management solutions provider enabling enterprise and midsize organizations to digitize time and attendance processes, optimize employee scheduling, simplify absence management, and gain strategic business insights.
Mike Morini is CEO at WorkForce Software, a cloud-based workforce management solutions provider enabling enterprise and mid-size organizations to digitize time and attendance processes, optimize employee scheduling, simplify absence management, and gain strategic business insights.
Mike Morini’s approach to driving company growth is centered on employees, customers, and the broader community of partners and analysts. Mike is a 30-year software veteran experienced in growing and scaling enterprise software companies. With an extensive background building out global cloud-based platforms, he has helped shape and guide multiple fast-growth companies in the cloud arena. Before joining WorkForce Software, Mike was previously in CEO and COO positions at SAP, Aria Systems, OutlookSoft, InterWorld, and Verbind. Mike holds a BA from Colgate University.