Successfully implementing a workforce management system

The key to a successful business is making the most of your resources. You’ve got your business up and running but are you maximising the way your workforce operates? It’s worth considering how a workforce management system could help your business flourish and stay competitive.

Once a small or medium-sized business starts to take on more employees and increases the complexity of its operation, then human resources functions need more attention. It’s vital to consider how you manage your workforce if your business is to stay ahead.

Following criticism that it wasn’t exploiting digital opportunities, it was reported this year that even the Metropolitan Police was overhauling its systems including its workforce management system, important for its staff scheduling and rostering. The organisation expected to greatly enhance the way it organises itself while reducing IT and infrastructure costs.

Firms of all types and sizes are recognizing the benefits of managing attendance and other activities at work through a workforce management system. For SMEs, a good workforce management system offers a chance to compete with bigger players. For smaller businesses hampered by the lack of extensive HR and payroll staff, a workforce management system offers increased capability despite having more limited funds and manpower. Having worked hard to make your business idea a reality, it’s a false economy to struggle on with poorly-managed back-office HR systems and outdated ways of tracking your growing workforce.

Some tips for successfully implementing a new workforce management system:

  • Identify time-consuming management tasks – think about the HR processes and tasks which are being performed manually but which could be automated; these may include: manual timesheets, manual calculation of payroll, shift calendars on wall charts, compiling data, dealing with requests for holidays or other absences etc.
  • Choose an automated workforce management system – consider the workforce management systems available and opt for one which makes lighter work of the management tasks which are taking up valuable time. More efficient workforce management should enable your business to accomplish more with the same staff.

A good workforce management system will:

  • Provide you with a time and attendance system which offers a range of clocking-in options to best suit the needs of your employees, including any remote workers.
  • Help line managers to check and authorise timesheets online and from any location.
  • Organise your payroll for you based on the automated timesheet information.
  • Prevent holiday clashes by planning leave on shared online calendars.
  • Collate a wealth of data giving your business access to powerful information e.g. sickness and absence rates, employee information.
  • Provide a web-based option so that managers and other authorised staff can access information on the go, 24/7.
  • Initial set-up – discuss your needs fully with your chosen provider; the software can often be tailored to individual business needs.
  • Provide training for staff – once the system is set up be sure to arrange training for managers, supervisors, workers, and key administrative staff. It’s also a chance to reinforce key messages about efficiency and about the investment in taking the business forward.

Implementing workforce management software is a relatively low-cost way of improving overall efficiency with a big positive potential impact on your business. From clocking-in, to payroll processing, to absence management and data reporting, it’s an ideal solution for any business looking to become more efficient and competitive as well as saving time and money.