How Stronger Workforce Management Practices Promote Better Employee Engagement

When your employees are engaged and excited about their work, efficiency, revenue and innovation all climb. Turnover and associated training costs fall, as does the likelihood of human error.

A global study of 6.4 million employees showed that companies that actively take steps to improve employee engagement “can achieve up to 4.5 times more revenue growth”.  Yet this study – and others – indicate that employee engagement in Australia isn’t as high as in other countries. In fact, one 2020 survey found that two in every five employees across Australia and New Zealand plan to change jobs within two years. Fortunately, stronger workforce management practices can promote better employee engagement, and in doing so, help your company thrive.

What Causes Employee (Dis)engagement?

Every employee is different, and multiple factors can affect engagement levels. However, it’s safe to say that employees are more likely to feel engaged when they have a good working relationship with their manager and their team, when they feel challenged and fulfilled, and perhaps most importantly of all, when they feel appreciated. Study after study has shown that feeling appreciated and respected is more effective at engaging employees than offering pay rises or promotions. Conversely, feeling underappreciated can lead employees to disengage. Their enthusiasm decreases, they procrastinate more and they are less inclined to go the extra mile to support the company. While saying “thank you” to your staff is a good habit to get into, there’s a reason we say that actions speak louder than words. Good workforce management practices can show that your appreciation and respect for your staff goes beyond lip service.

Ways to Improve Engagement Through Workforce Management Practices

Make Onboarding Smoother

When an employee signs up for a new job, they are excited to be a member of your team. They want to progress to the next stage in their professional career, they want to grow with your company and they want to start working. Poor onboarding processes, however, can frustrate and disengage the most eager of new starters. In fact, one 2019 global study found that employee engagement rates drop by 22% over the first several weeks. Onboarding is a new recruit’s first impression of what it’s like to be a worker, not a candidate, at your company. If their start is delayed by frequent requests for paperwork, if they are incorrectly added to the system under the wrong award or job title or if they can’t find out the details of their shifts or managers, it not only inconveniences them but also sends the message that your company views them as dispensable. In contrast, a smooth onboarding can help convince new starters that this really is the dream job they thought it was. Using a system like Humanforce to automate onboarding can help you cut down on onboarding bureaucracy and ensure employees are never asked to provide the same paperwork twice.

Improve Scheduling for Shift based workforces

It should come as no surprise that workforce management practices, crucially scheduling, has a major impact on employee engagement. When done well, it helps staff maintain a good work-life balance, while also knowing that they will have enough work to support themselves and their commitments. On the other hand, when staff can’t access  or change their schedule, shift locations and holiday details, their job starts to add stress to their lives. They are no longer able to plan and instead arrive at work stressed and unhappy or even call in sick.   There are many ways to improve scheduling, although the ideal strategy might vary based on your individual businesses’ operations. You may decide, for example, that you want to announce schedules earlier or give shift workers the opportunity to stipulate when they can and can’t work or really empower them and allow them to swap shifts with their colleagues.  You can sleep easily knowing that systems can ensure that team members can’t swap if it  puts them into overtime or if  qualifications are out of date.  Whatever your policy, Humanforce’s workforce management practices tools allow you to input a wide number of requirements and allow staff to select preferred shift times. Your team will be able to see their work schedule at any time  – plus, if anyone calls in sick, the system can quickly and efficiently identify the best possible cover options, enabling you to give as much notice as possible to employees.

Automate Payroll

Payroll may sound mundane, but it’s at the heart of an employee’s relationship with their company. Paying them correctly and on time shows them that they are appreciated. They know they can depend on their job as they work to support their family and pay their bills on time.  A 2019 study, however, found that one in three payroll managers makes mistakes every month – and in 45% of companies, it’s the employees who are left to raise the issue.  When late or underpaid wages mean employees are effected in many different ways and the clear message is that their company does not care about them.  Using Humanforce makes it possible to pay employees on-time every single week or month, since you can integrate timesheet and modern awards data in our system in order to make sure payroll is correctly calculated. It’s an easy way to help your teams feel valued, appreciated and engaged in the workplace.