How to choose the right WFM system for your retail or hospitality business

Managing a retail or hospitality business can be challenging, especially when it comes to managing your shift-based (or ‘deskless’) workforce. Scheduling employees, tracking time and attendance, labour cost management and keeping tabs on employee productivity and satisfaction are just some of the tasks you need to handle.

Fortunately, using a workforce management system can help you achieve these goals. However, with so many options available, selecting the right system for your business can be overwhelming. That's why we've created this step-by-step guide to help you identify the essential factors to consider when choosing a workforce management system.

For a more detailed guide to building a business case for workforce management software investment, download our whitepaper.

Step 1: Conduct a needs assessment

Before you begin comparing different workforce management systems, it's crucial to assess your needs first. This will allow you to determine your business's specific requirements and the areas where a workforce management system can make the most impact.

Start by identifying the areas where your business is struggling and where you need the most improvement. Take into account your current scheduling process, time and attendance tracking, labour cost management and employee self-service capabilities. This will help you select a system tailored to your unique needs.

If you're unsure what your business needs, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We understand the demands of retail and hospitality, and our team is here to help you understand the benefits of a workforce management system.

Step 2: Evaluate key features

Once you've conducted a needs assessment, the next step is to evaluate the key features and functionalities of different workforce management systems. Look for a system that offers robust scheduling capabilities, including the ability to create schedules quickly and easily and to make changes as needed.

You'll also want a system that includes time and attendance tracking, so you can monitor employee hours and ensure that your team is working efficiently.

Additionally, opt for a system that offers labour cost management tools, such as forecasting and budgeting, to help you control your expenses effectively. Finally, consider a solution that includes employee self-service, empowering your team to manage their schedules, request time off and view their pay and benefits information.

Step 3: Consider scalability

Your workforce management needs will naturally change as your business grows and develops. To address this, selecting a system that can grow alongside your business and adapt to your evolving requirements is crucial. The most suitable system will offer flexible pricing and accommodate the size and complexity of your business, even as these factors change over time.

Additionally, it's worth looking for customisation options so that you can personalise the system's capabilities to suit your specific needs. This, in turn, can give your business a competitive advantage.

Step 4: Evaluate system integrations

Your workforce management system should integrate seamlessly with other business systems, such as payroll and accounting. This will help you avoid manual data entry (and the chances of human error that comes with it) and streamline your processes.

Choose a system that delivers robust integration capabilities and works well with your existing systems. You might also want a system that offers an API, which allows you to build custom integrations with other systems as needed.

Step 5: Don't forget the value of vendor support

When selecting a workforce management system for your business, it's vital to choose a vendor that provides reliable customer support. Look for a vendor who offers phone, email and chat support, as well as access to a thorough knowledge base and training resources. Additionally, ensure the vendor provides ongoing software updates and maintenance to keep your system functioning smoothly and securely.

It's a significant investment, so take your time and choose wisely.

Step 6: Focus on business efficiency, productivity and workforce satisfaction

Ultimately, the goal of selecting a workforce management system is to improve the efficiency and productivity of your business while also keeping your team satisfied. The best system is easy to use and intuitive for your employees, mitigating the risk of adoption resistance. It should also seamlessly automate manual processes to save you time and minimise errors.

As a bonus, choose a system that includes analytics and reporting tools, so you can monitor your workforce performance and make data-driven decisions that benefit your business in the long-term.

Find your best-fit workforce management system today!

Choosing the right workforce management system for your retail or hospitality business can be a daunting task. However, you can make an informed decision by conducting a needs assessment, evaluating key features, considering scalability and system integrations, and assessing the quality of vendor support.

By prioritising business efficiency, productivity, and workforce satisfaction, you can select a system that enables you to manage your workforce more effectively, helping you achieve your strategic goals both now and in the future.

Keen to know more about how workforce management technology can help your business? Download our ‘Industry in Focus: Retail’ and ‘Industry in Focus: Hospitality’ fact sheets.

About Humanforce

Humanforce is a leading provider of composable, best-of-breed workforce management, payroll and wellbeing solutions that simplify onboarding, scheduling, time & attendance, pay, employee engagement, and communication for frontline workforces. Founded in 2002, Humanforce has a 1700-strong customer base and over half a million users across a wide range of industries, including aged care, child care, hospitality, retail, local government and more. Today, we have offices across Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Our vision is to make work easier and life better by focusing on the needs and fulfilment of frontline workers and the efficiency and optimisation of businesses.