Workforce management (WFM) is a discipline that looks at maximizing performance and competency across an entire organization. Workforce management as a practice centers around the importance of people in the workforce, their well-being, and attempts to elevate their collective potential.

If you run a business or you are part of one, chances are you already have a workforce management system in place. We at ContactPoint 360 work with many companies to help them grow their business. Many of our clients don’t realize that they have a workforce management system in their companies. Managing staff schedules or forecasting hiring requirements are all part of the workforce management discipline. Take your HR software or payroll invoicing tool for instance. These technologies are examples of critical components of a workforce management system that will help set you up for success.

What Does Workforce Management Look Like in Action

When you zoom out of your organization’s day to day affairs, you will be able to see how workforce management tightly integrates with all other processes in your company. For instance, let’s say your organization sells a product or a service to a specific market. Your company needs to map a long list of internal processes such as hiring, scheduling, budgeting, managing, and measuring to launch the product/service in the market. The overarching terms for planning, tracking and managing all these activities fall under the scrutiny of workforce management.

Let us look at some real-world use cases of how workforce management looks in action in an organizational set-up. Tactically, a workforce management tool or a system helps in:

  1. Ironing out the onboarding tasks by making it digital, more automated, and consistent
  2. Building a scheduling system for hourly workers
  3. Designing a portal where employees can request or approve time-off
  4. Streamlining the discrepancies around employee clock-in and clock-out system
  5. Unifying employee data and automating direct deposits to employees’ accounts
  6. Managing employee benefits such as raises, bonuses, and health insurance
  7. Identifying critical skill gaps across teams and forecast labor requirements
  8. Creating a framework to track individual employee performances
  9. Matching employees’ skill sets with the right groups/functions
  10. Budgeting for new projects and assessing team bandwidths
  11. Managing assets and optimizing technological dependency to achieve goals
  12. Ensuring a steady growth curve

The rationale of applying workforce management in an organization is simple — to standardize time-consuming internal processes so that your employees can free up their time to focus on the actual work. In contrast, the lack of such standards might mean filling out forms manually, working in team silos, and recurring team conflicts due to misalignment across teams.

Workforce Management System for Contact Centers

Contact centers are a perfect example of (WFM) due to their entire infrastructure built around contact center agents and their collective human potential. Each contact center agent is a vital component of that particular business who shoulders the responsibility of contributing directly to its revenue. A workforce management system, in that sense, is critical to the success of your contact center’s performance.

Along with the workforce optimization process, WFM can help your contact center solve fundamental internal problems such as staffing, agent scheduling, attendance tracking, payroll management, and career planning. On the other end of the spectrum, WFM can also help your contact center management improve higher-level, external metrics such as first response time, average resolution time, customer satisfaction (CSAT), and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Workforce Management System Sets You Up for Success

A workforce management system streamlines processes and breaks organizational silos. But that’s not all you can achieve when you apply workforce management in your company. Below, I’ve listed some of the advantages you can make by standardizing workforce management in your organizational culture.

  • WFM automates mundane, manual processes. You don’t have to chase paper trails to get approval or initiate requests when time is at stake. Work happens digitally and collaboratively.
  • You get a broad insight, as well as day-to-day visibility of your organization’s affairs.
  • Workforce management breathes productivity in your human capital. By digitizing and automating processes, employees no longer have to waste time unblocking manual barriers.
  • When you organize all your internal processes, you are likely to grow evenly and at scale.
  • You can manage and measure your internal process accurately and in real-time so that you can optimize backlogs on the go.
  • By setting up a culture based on consistency, you essentially build an organizational algorithm that is unique to your company. Algorithms make predictability, and predictability leads to trust in the system.

Work Smarter With WFM

When you use Trello for project management, Peoplesoft to keep a tab on employee details, or Facebook’s Workplace to communicate across teams, you are essentially facilitating the collaboration between individuals and groups in your company. As a result of effectively using these tools, you can motivate your employees to be more goal-driven, keep them accountable for their goals, and gauge the success of their activities. It’s a win-win for everyone.

From a business perspective, you create a redundancy-free culture that values people and processes. From an individual and team perspective, using workforce management systems helps them work smarter, not just harder.