How to Select the Best Workforce Management Software for Your Business
In any organization, human resource department tends to take a huge chunk of business operating budget. Unfortunately, the department does not directly contribute anything in terms of profit or productivity.
Most of its contributions are indirect unlike other departments such as sales or marketing which can quantify their output. It’s against this backdrop that most executives are not willing to invest more resources in the department. More often than not, HR managers are forced to cut their budget due to the limited resources. That’s why most organizations are investing in Workforce Management Software. The system allows the department to cut cost without compromising on service delivery.
Workforce management software helps businesses to effectively manage each employee’s payroll and benefits such as paid time off, pension and insurance. The system can simplify the following processes and minimize potential errors: process time sheets, process time-off requests, record absences, manage employee insurance information, and maintain employee files.
What are Workforce Management Software?
Workforce Management is a term that refers to all the activities that are used to maintain a productive workforce. These activities include core HR functions, time and attendance, benefits, on boarding, payroll management among others.
For organizations to remain efficient, they need a form of software that assists in tracking projects and employees hours. Such a system is commonly referred to as Workforce Management Software. The software helps in automating most of the human resource tasks that would have otherwise be tracked either by use of a spreadsheet or on paper. Automating these crucial processes helps to eliminate human error which at times can be very costly to the company.
Workforce management software enables businesses to develop and retain outstanding talent, train employees, monitor each employee’s performance, and include employees in the scheduling process. Another reason why businesses use the software is to manage their payroll and employee benefits.
What determines the choice of Workforce Management Software? The major determinants on kind of software to pick are size, scope, and needs of an organization. The choice should also be guided by the ability to customize the system to suit your specific needs.
Advancement in technology has lead to the development of cloud-based Workforce Management software which operates as a SaaS. This software can suit both large and small businesses. It helps to consolidate data into a single platform thus promoting self-service processes. This eases tasks for HR as they can focus on analytics.
What are the types of Workforce Management Software?
Workforce Management software is concerned with scheduling and tracking the workforce. Some of the functionalities captured in the software include; application to track time and attendance, ability to monitor compliance with labor laws, optimizing staffing capabilities and at times includes payroll functionality.
- Absence and leave management software: The application offers automated features to support employee leave management, employer-authorized leave, medical certification process, and customized leave correspondence as well as employee self-service capabilities. Leave management supports compliance with government regulations.
- Workforce analytics software: This system is used to analyze compensation, benefits, and other employee variables. The application is also used to analyze and optimize labor allocation for particular projects.
- Workforce scheduling software: The product is designed to increase forecasting accuracy by factoring in a variety of methods and historical patterns. It creates optimal schedules to meet customer’s demands while reducing cost and maximizing resources.
- Time and attendance software: The application helps in automating employee time tracking in different locations, helps reduce overtime expenses, improve payroll accuracy, and eliminate pay errors and adjustments. It also assists in simplifying and optimizing administrative tasks by ensuring accurate and current labor data is available.
What are the features of Workforce Management Software?
To maintain a productive workforce, companies should ensure they have the right tools in place. One of the tools is good Workforce Management Software. The software ensures there is efficiency in the company’s administration, keeps track of employee work-hour and performance, ensures there are compliance as well as maintaining a smooth workflow.
- Ease of use and mobility : Having a user-friendly design is critical if employees are to be encouraged in using the system. The information should also be accessible with a click of a button. Have a system that can be accessed through mobile phones. Mobile compatibility has the power to create the biggest impact on employee productivity.
- Cloud-based system: A cloud-based system does not require regular upgrades every now and then. This ensures there is no interruption of the workflow while carrying out the maintenance. Also provides some degree of data security.
- Attendance management: The system should help in tracking employee attendance effortlessly. This data should be compiled at the end of every month for review to assist in payroll and leave management.
- Overtime and shift management: Companies, where employees work in shifts, requires a system that can effectively define the different shifts, shift timings, break timings and shift rules. It should also be able to track overtimes to ensure appropriate compensation is provided to the workers.
- Payroll management: Should have a payroll automation module to help in streamlining the payroll process. Payroll automation ensures that payroll, receipts, and reports are generated with ease.
- Automated reporting: Helps save time and effort of manually generating HR reports to be presented either to the managers, investors or any other stakeholder. The system should be able to prepare custom reports and prepare different variations of graphical representation for all the data.
- Software integration: It should be able to integrate with other software to help consolidate business data and provide better information to managers.
- Multi-platform support: Employees are increasingly using their personal devices in the workplace thus company need not go through the hassle of adding company devices. Offering a multi-platform support, companies can save resources by allowing employee use their own hardware to access Workforce Management Software.
What are the benefits of Workforce Management Software?
Workforce Management system is meant to make people’s life bearable. How? By making the business run more effectively, making managers’ life easier as well as empowering the employees. The essence of Workforce Management system is not just providing an easy way to create a schedule. Here are some ways your business can benefit from it.
- Helps cut on cost: Better Workforce Management helps you save money by automating key processes, freeing up time for most important members of staff or helping you accurately forecast and budget.
- It saves you time: By automating key processes, you are able to save time that would have been consumed to perform tasks manually. This time can be invested back into the business and used to improve customer satisfaction.
- Promotes self-service at the workplace: Employees are able to easily request for shifts they want to work, swap shifts with others and free shifts are easily filled. Also helps in leave management by the click of a button and reduces paperwork which at times is tedious and time-consuming.
- Customer satisfaction: The system allows integration of customer service performance as part of the overall performance review of your line level employees. Managers are able to use measurable criteria to asses if employees are interacting with the customers according to specific standards, record that measurement for purpose of integrating with the overall performance.
What are the latest trends of Workforce Management Software?
- Self-service: Work schedules are now being accessed online. Gone are the days where employees had to go to the workplace to find out when the next shift will be. This also applies to other services such as leave management where they are able to request for leave online.
Self-service capabilities help in streamlining workload and processes as well as empowering employee. As a result, you are able to spend less time managing your business and more time growing it.
- Integration: There are apps for any business management process you can think of. Employee scheduling, HR management, payroll, the point of sale are now being integrated to facilitate ease of data processing. Business owners are looking for systems that can be easily integrated with each other and work seamlessly.
For instance, tools have been developed to manage employee’s roasters, schedule and wages within one easy to use ecosystem of tools.
- Automating processes: Automation in Workforce Management is taking shape in the corporate world. With the emergence of different apps and platforms, tasks have been simplified thus reducing the time taken to perform those tasks. More and more business are discovering the benefits of automating tasks which is beneficial both to the company and the employees.
How to Select the Best Workforce Management Software for Your Business?
Choosing any type of software can turn out to be a time-consuming process. To help you ease the pain, here is a checklist that will help you find the answers to all the important questions. It will also give you a piece of mind that you are getting the right software for your organization.
- The requirements for your company: You need to access if there is a need for Workforce Management Software in your organization. What problem do you want to solve with such a system?
New organizations might want to have an edge and be well established through Workforce Management software, successful businesses that are consistently expanding might have outgrown the manual system, an organization that has reached the limit of their market growth or are having challenges will need access to accurate and real-time data.
- Look for enhanced functionality: Go for a system that has enhanced functionality and unique features. The system should be able to perform different tasks at a go. Some systems are able to offer the latest customer engagement technologies through web portals as well as allow customers engage with companies whenever they want to.
- Reporting: Consider a system that offers detailed, real-time reports. For management to be on top of what is happening in their business, they need to analyze service quality and trends. Some of the commonly requested reports include; job status, inventory analysis, customer feedback, and employee performance and accounts collection.
- Basic functions of the software: The software should be user-friendly and scalable. You should conduct a need assessment in your organization to help you identify the operational challenges and gaps that need to be addressed.
The software you are procuring should be able to meet the identified gaps from the existing system.
5. Subscription Cost: Subscription / Licenses cost of the software.
Here are the trending and the top rated Workforce Management Software for Small Business for you to consider in your selection process:
Here are the trending and the top rated Workforce Management Software for you to consider in your selection process:
Is Free Workforce Management Software Worthwhile?
Workforce Management Software has many features and can do a lot to help your business to succeed by managing your workforce, but it can be expensive. There are plenty of free Workforce Management Software available. There are two categories of Workforce Management Software based on licensed model: Open Source Workforce Management Software and Proprietary Workforce Management Software.
Based on Installation type, there are On Premise Workforce Management Software and Cloud based Workforce Management Software and selection of the installation type depends on your business and organization requirements.
You can find limited free versions and full-fledged free trials in both the licensing models.
You could try Free Open Source Workforce Management Software if you have a development team available in your company and time available to set it up and running. As these are mostly community supported, the support available also depends on the usage basis of the product.
You could try a limited version of Proprietary Workforce Management Software to check how it fits to your business before making a big investment. These software comes with limitations and you need to buy the features using the up-selling vendors offers to make it useful. A free limited version from a proprietary product company will make it easier to upgrade in the long run and also help you determine if that company’s solution is what you want.
There are also many drawbacks to Free Limited version of Proprietary Workforce Management Software. These limited version do not have nearly as many features available in a fully functional paid version, and there are limits such as number of features and functionality, modules, storage limits, number of reports, limited data integration options, and also on the number of users you can have. The free versions also have limited support options.
Based on your functionality requirements and business fit, you can always choose a free trial and experience the system with your data before buying and migrating to a full-fledged solution.
Is there a one size fits all Workforce Management Software: Unfortunately there are no one size fits all solution as each of the products has its own core strengths in functionality, industry focus, integration capability and core features.
We recommend determining how the software fits to your business in terms of features, functionality, and business process with a free trial.