Workforce Management Software Guide 2024

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1. Introduction 

Every business is interested in keeping labour costs down and optimising the use of its human resources. However, for businesses in industries that rely on frontline (or ‘deskless’) workers such as aged care, childcare, retail, hospitality and local government – to name just a few – effective workforce management is easier said than done. 

Workforce management is an interlinked set of processes designed to allocate resources, improve efficiency, forecast workloads and manage schedules – all while adding to the overall employee experience and providing data-driven insights to leaders.  

Thankfully, workforce management software can help. From onboarding new hires, to rostering and shift management, tracking time and attendance, managing compliance and awards/employment agreements, through to analytics and reporting, the right workforce management software solution can help employers streamline people management operations and keep employees engaged and productive. 

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about workforce management software, regardless of your location or industry. We cover:  

  • Typical features and functionality of workforce management software 

  • The benefits of a workforce management software suite 

  • Key considerations and questions to ask your workforce management software vendor 

  • Common challenges to overcome in the decision-making process, including obtaining leadership buy-in 

  • Tips on successful system implementation 

  • New innovations and trends in workforce management software   

 

2. What is workforce management software?  

Definition and core functionalities 

In deskless workplaces, workforce management processes form the backbone of business operations.  

Workforce management software plays a critical role in ensuring you have the right people with the right qualifications in the right roles at the right time and place – and that they are paid the right amount for the work they’ve undertaken.   

While the various components and functionality of a workforce management solution may vary, usually there are several core elements: 

We explore these elements and their functions in greater detail in section 5 below. 

Types of workforce management software 

Workforce management software can broadly be broken into two types: specialist (or ‘best-of-breed’) solutions; and ‘all-in-one’, integrated suites.  

Best-of-breed solutions 

Best-of-breed solutions typically focus on one area – time and attendance, for example – and have in-depth ‘all bells and whistles’ features and functionality. While in some circumstances it’s great to have absolutely everything you might need to manage time and attendance in one specialised tool, such a tool must be able to integrate seamlessly with other solutions or tools. Financial outlay may be steep if multiple specialised tools are required, and It can make for a disjointed user experience if multiple best-of-breed solutions from different software vendors need to be ‘stitched together’.  

Integrated suites 

An integrated workforce management suite will combine multiple workforce management solutions, including time and attendance, rostering and scheduling, onboarding, compliance management, and more. While such a suite may have fewer features and functionality, it benefits from being all-in-one. That means there’s typically a single source of truth, shared data and reporting tools, and the user experience is similar no matter which solution or module is being used. 

Workforce management solutions can also be packaged within a broader human capital management (HCM) suite, like that offered by Humanforce. A HCM suite is used by HR professionals and business leaders to automate, manage, and analyse a wide range of HR functions and people-related processes. 

 

Any combination of the following are typical in HCM suites: recruitment, onboarding, talent management, employee engagement, training and development, performance management, skills/qualification/training management, workforce management (including time and attendance, rostering and scheduling), payroll/benefits administration, reporting and analytics. 

3. Benefits of implementing workforce management software 

When building a business case for workforce management software, it’s important to be clear on what the benefits of such an investment might be. A survey by Emergence Capital asked more than 100 companies to name their reasons for investing in deskless technology, which gives a good indication of the benefits they expected to see. Here are the results: 

Top reasons for investing in deskless technology 

  • Productivity: 33% 

  • Employee experience: 23% 

  • Cost savings: 21% 

  • Communication: 11% 

  • Customer experience: 10% 

  • Compliance : 2% 

When we think of return on investment (ROI), we immediately gravitate to financial benefits, simply because they are easier to quantify. For example, workforce management software can result in: 

  • Lower frontline hours required due to smarter scheduling 

  • Decreased overtime due to more effective matching of talent to demand 

  • Reduced headcount for back-office functions due to automation 

  • Reduced legal costs due to higher compliance 

  • Reduced recruitment costs and contractor/agency costs due to more efficient use of workers and higher retention rates 

  • Time savings for both managers and staff due to process improvements and automation 

Benefits to the business:

Breaking some of these points down further, consider how workforce management software can: 

Enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. Employees don’t want to be using clunky, manual processes to do simple tasks. From offering more communication and feedback channels for those workers who are constantly on-the-go, through to self-service functionality, workforce management software can enhance the employee experience and improve engagement. And with an uptick in staff engagement comes happier, healthier employees (with less absenteeism), and improved productivity and customer service. 

Benefit flow from: 

  • Optimised schedules lead to improved service delivery 

  • Motivated, productive and informed teams, which then drive revenue 

  • Engaged staff who build trust and customer loyalty, and strengthen the employer brand 

  • Fewer inquiries to HR and managers due to self-service functionality 

Reduce costs, optimise resources and improve HR efficiency. HR teams and operations managers are typically under-resourced and over-stretched. Workforce management software can reduce the time and resources spent on repetitive manual tasks, ‘giving time back’ and streamlining processes for HR and operations managers. Consider the time saved from being able to pre-populate rosters, the ability to allow employees to bid on available shifts, or the automation of notifications and reminders.  

By using workforce management software for rostering and scheduling, the use of existing talent can be optimised, reducing the need to use agency workers. Such a system can also utilise historical data to forecast future talent needs and identify where and when staff are required, lessening the chances of over- or understaffing.  

Organisations can also benefit from improved onboarding to shift start ratios, more accurate scheduling in-line with business demands i.e. highs and lows, and staff who are empowered to manage their own schedules while remaining compliant and on budget. There are also tangible benefits to be seen in reduced time theft and fraudulent claims, thanks to more accurate time & attendance tracking. 

Benefit flow from:  

  • Reduced overtime hours to achieve same results 

  • Less frontline staff hours needed due to optimised, demand-driven rosters 

  • Reduced administration time for managers, HR and employees 

  • Reduced recruitment costs due to higher retention and less reliance on agency staff to fill in for unplanned absences 

Manage risk and compliance. Risk management and meeting compliance obligations is critical but it can also drain time, resources and money. Workforce management software can help by automating many aspects of compliance by setting up reminders and notifications, and seamlessly linking timesheets to payroll for compliance with awards and employment agreements. Awards/employment agreement engines can help ensure people receive the right pay and entitlements every time. Similarly, the reporting tools within workforce management software can help facilitate data-driven decision-making and make mandatory reporting easier. 

 

Another aspect of compliance is qualifications management. Many frontline jobs require certain qualifications to be held by workers to ensure they are eligible to work and that compliance and regulatory obligations are being met. This includes working with children and responsible service of alcohol certifications, CPR and first aid qualifications, and various licences, etc. – to name just a few. Holding qualifications in a workforce management suite like Humanforce allows for tracking, reporting and alerting on expiry dates. Employees can be prevented from being rostered of clocking on for work, ensuring compliance is enforced. 

 

Benefits flow from: 

 

  • Reduced instances of non-compliance with government or regulatory requirements 

  • More accurate pay and compliance with awards/employment agreements, resulting in fewer employee disputes about pay and entitlements and less employer brand damage 

  • More informed staff, with training reminders due to streamlined qualifications management 

Benefits to HR 

Along with all of the above, for HR professionals the right workforce management technology can mean they will be able to focus: 

More on.. 

  1. Strategic, creative and value adding activities such as workforce planning 

  2. Identifying new business opportunities or threats with real-time automated reporting 

  3. Addressing complex business challenges – e.g. talent shortages 

Less on.. 

  1. Repetitive, manual administrative tasks 

  2. Relying on gut feeling or anecdotal evidence in decision-making 

  3. Operational activities including processing data and managing manual workflows 

 

Benefits to executive teams 

While it’s true that any executive team will be drawn to anything that will help reduce costs and drive revenue, the benefits of workforce management software extend well beyond the financial. For example: 

  • The ability to scale at speed for all users, from frontline staff to executives 

  • Improved productivity and engagement for frontline workers with mobile-first technology and improved insights into overall employee performance, including tracking of KPIs, labour, operations costs, turnover rates, absenteeism, tardiness, etc. 

  • Data security and easy integration with existing HR, finance and business software via secure APIs 

  • Improved completeness and accuracy of HR and workforce management data, with the ability to securely access and share data between tech platforms 

  • High user adoption rates and ongoing engagement with the technology, due to a unified user experience 

Benefits to employees 

Let’s not forget about the employees, who are after technology that is personalised, collaborative, flexible, seamless and intuitive. 78% of surveyed frontline workers say that technology is an important factor when choosing a job. The areas they felt would benefit most from technology were communications (96%), operations/logistics, including workforce management components such as rostering and scheduling (93%), and onboarding/training (91%). 

 

 

4. How to choose the right workforce management software 

There are countless workforce management software providers in the market. When assessing your options and ultimately deciding on which solution or solutions suit your organisation, there are several factors to consider:  

 

  • The size of your organisation in terms of headcount and geographic spread  

  • The complexity of your HR function and the scope of its operations (e.g. the level of customisation required) 

  • Scalability and whether the software can grow as your business expands  

  • Budget – short vs. long term 

 

The following table lists key considerations and questions to ask your shortlisted service providers. 

Factors to consider when evaluating vendor options: 

Integration with existing systems 

As noted above, integration with existing software or platforms is a key consideration. Most vendors will offer an open application programming interface (API), which allows you to build your own integrations between systems, provided they both support the API and you’ve either got some in-house programming talent, or you are prepared to pay a third party to do this. 

When assessing vendors, ask these questions: 

  • Can your vendor integrate with your existing system(s)? 

  • Will there be any impact on reporting from using third-party integrations?  

  • Will your new system be fully integrated with legacy systems or can you expect any technical or reporting issues from the systems’ inability to interface fully?   

  • Will the legacy system recognise all updates?  

  • Are there any issues with your legacy program accessing data in the cloud?  

  • What sort of flexibility will the integration provide going forward?  

  • Can data be imported from Microsoft Excel and other business software? 

 

 

5. Key components of workforce management software 

Key features 

The features of workforce management software will vary widely depending on the software provider. Typical examples include: 

Time and attendance tracking:  
Are your employees where they’re supposed to be, at the right time and place? From the bundy clocks of the past to today’s sophisticated digital clocking tools, being able to accurately track employee clock-in and clock-out times and having effective leave management processes have always been essential parts of workforce management.  

For example, Humanforce’s Time & Attendance solution enables employers to: 

  • Check attendance and see who’s working and where in real-time from intelligent dashboards, enabling managers to reduce timesheet approval times 

  • Automate time tracking with real-time reporting to ensure under-staffing does not occur – avoiding compliance breaches 

  • Remove the need to manually review correct timesheets and save time for managers with an authorisation by exception feature 

  • Offer multiple clocking options to staff, including kiosks and mobile devices, with features including geo-fencing, vein scanning and facial recognition 

  • Link timesheets to award/agreement interpretation and payroll 

 

Scheduling and shift management:  
Do you have enough employees to meet demand? Are there compliance risks or other costs associated with being under- or overstaffed? Managing shifts and creating rosters based on worker availability and preferences, labour budgets, demand and other business intelligence metrics is only possible with modern workforce management tools.  

Using historical data sourced from point of sale systems, event, occupancy and foot traffic data can help businesses more effectively predict demand so that more efficient rostering can be done. For example, a retailer may have quieter times throughout the week, or demand may vary by time of year (seasonality). Staffing levels can be adjusted accordingly. 

For example, Humanforce’s Rostering & Scheduling solution enables employers to: 

  • Accelerate the roster creation process by automatically accounting for all staff preferences, leave dates, availability and qualifications 

  • Boost compliance with industry and government regulations, with Award Interpretation Engine integration 

  • Instantly see on screen the financial costs of rostering decisions; control minimum and maximum hour limits across timeframes, date ranges, qualifications, awards, and more 

  • Utilise templates to automate manual roster creation processes 

  • Use extensive workforce and business data to predict demand and optimise use of human resources, reducing the need to rely on agency staff 

  • Empower team members to easily bid on and swap shifts, and manage schedules via mobile device 

  • Streamline rostering for managers with notifications when roster conflicts or issues occur, including alerts when attempts are made to roster workers who don’t have appropriate or up-to-date qualifications 

  • Stay compliant with capacity and demand-based warnings 

  • Give managers the ability to make shift offers to available and suitable workers 

 

Reporting and analytics features 

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. From onboarding new employees through to tracking time and attendance, your HR data is valuable. Your workforce management software should have reporting tools that help you spot trends and opportunities for improvement, as well as potential risks relating to compliance or budget over-runs. 

For example, Humanforce’s Workforce Analytics solution enables employers to: 

  • Use their workforce management data to create reports, enabling you to spot trends, threats and opportunities for improvement 

  • Utilise in-built reports covering project costs, tardiness reporting, hours worked to hours rostered ratios, causes of unauthorised timesheets, and more 

  • Use the drag and drop functionality in the custom dashboard builder to visualise the most relevant data for your business 

  • Understand where planned and unplanned costs are occurring and identify ways to optimise operations 

  • Track metrics relating to lateness, sick days, worker dissatisfaction, and more 

 

Compliance and regulatory features 

Certain industries, such as healthcare, aged care and childcare, require mandatory staffing ratios for regulatory and compliance reasons. Humanforce’s Rostering & Scheduling solution can help users build rosters that are fully compliant with these regulations, with automated warnings if staffing levels are not adequate.  

Another key compliance consideration is ensuring staff have up-to-date and relevant qualifications. This is also essential for effective rostering, not to mention to stay compliant. Whether it’s first aid certifications, working with children checks, safety training updates or appropriate qualifications to undertake work tasks, workforce management software can help HR and managers keep track, with reminders for when qualifications expire. 

For example, Humanforce’s Compliance Management solution enables employers to: 

  • Use real-time monitoring and alerts to identify and address potential compliance issues before they escalate 

  • Save time chasing employees for certifications, licences, immunisation records or visa details and keep everyone informed of pending changes 

  • Use work rights expiry reminders 

  • Track qualifications for job roles 

  • Produce audit-ready data reports 

Awards and employment agreement compliance 

With ever-changing employment laws and complex awards/employment agreements, staying on top of compliance is essential. Award and employment agreement interpretation engines can automate this element of workforce management, acting as an essential link between timesheets and payroll to ensure people are paid correctly and receive the right entitlements. 

For example, Humanforce’s Awards & Compliance solution enables employers to: 

  • Save time with automated overtime, holiday, break and loading calculations 

  • Save money with better management of maximum and minimum contracted hour requirements 

  • Avoid under- or over-payments and ensure workers are being paid correctly for every shift 

  • Reduce risk of errors and double-handling of data with automated timesheet data capture  

  • Use alerts and reminders to ensure only workers with relevant and up-to-date qualifications are rostered 

  • Utilise powerful reporting to assist with audits relating to Annualised Wage Arrangements 

  • Stay compliant with powerful data security and privacy protocols 

 

Onboarding 

Onboarding new hires can be challenging for any business, but especially those that rely on frontline workers. There might be bulk hiring occurring to cope with seasonal needs (e.g. the festive period), and HR might be recruiting a broad range of roles. Being able to get new hires up to full productivity quickly is crucial. Your workforce management platform should be able to offer pre-boarding via a mobile app prior to day one so that new hires can complete and submit digital forms relating to personal details, tax, banking, etc.  

Managers should also be able to communicate with other team members and the wider business about start dates and introduce the new hire. From there, a configurable onboarding process should be possible to meet the unique needs of each role, with automated notifications able to be sent to other department heads to complete tasks.  

For example, Humanforce’s Onboarding solution enables employers to: 

  • Save time with automated, digital onboarding that ensures new hires complete pre-boarding before they start, including filling out relevant documentation covering qualifications, bank, tax, and other personal details 

  • Roster staff from day one on the job 

  • Submit forms directly to the ATO after approving information uploaded by new hires (Australian users only)  

  • Use chat and notification features to let team members and the wider business know about new starters 

 

Leave management 

Few aspects of workforce management are as critical as leave management. Ensuring leave requests do not interrupt the smooth flow of business or impact schedules or mandatory staffing requirements is a key part of business operations. Your workforce management software should be able to support your existing leave policies and procedures to help minimise the impact of absences on your business, while facilitating fast approvals to keep employees happy.  

It should be able to offer flexible policies with leave requests based on location, department and role, and provide managers with leave accrual summaries and projections. It should also allow for employee self-service so they can check leave balance and make leave requests, while managers can track paid and unpaid leave, track leave projections and approve leave requests easily. 

For example, Humanforce’s Leave Management feature enables employers to: 

  • Streamline leave requests, approvals and tracking, eliminating manual processes 

  • Manage leave accruals and projections 

  • Implement leave restrictions based on location, department and role 

  • Ensure labour law requirements are met, reducing the risk of compliance breeches 

  • Equip teams with direct access to leave balances and intuitive leave features to help them plan 

  • Have leave requests approved instantly, resulting in happier employees 

 

Payroll  
Although sometimes payroll is handled by a separate system, invariably there needs to be some integration with your time and attendance data – usually in the form of timesheets. Alternatively, WFM and payroll can be encompassed in an all-in-one system. In addition, it’s critical that employees are paid according to applicable award or agreement rates. 

For example, Humanforce’s Payroll solution enables employers to: 

  • Utilise one cloud-based system for all timesheet, award interpretation and payroll data 

  • Use flexible pay cycle processing options, including the choice to process bulk or one-off payroll events 

  • Fulfil compliance obligations relating to Single Touch Payroll (STP/STP2)/Superstream (AU) or Payday Filing/KiwiSaver (NZ) 

  • Use permission-based or role-based access with each database change and user process logged 

 

 

6. Common challenges and solutions 

Every business is unique and will have its own set of challenges when it comes to choosing and implementing software. We’ve identified several shared challenges that impact just about every organisation when it comes to workforce management software. 

Addressing resistance to change 

Change is tough. Most of us are creatures of habit, and we all know that habits are hard to break. In shift-based, ‘deskless’ workplaces, change is even trickier to navigate. People work odd hours, teams are rarely in the same place at the same time, and HR and other support functions may be based far from the frontline. 

However, it’s not just employers of deskless workers who struggle. According to Boston Consulting Group, only 30% of companies navigate digital transformation successfully. Why?  

 

It often isn’t the lack of resources or budget that result in change initiative failures; rather, it’s human behaviour. Behaviour that does not support the intended transformation – i.e. resistance, scepticism and lack of buy-in from employees and managers – is often the deciding factor.  

 

We recommend two steps to overcome change resistance: 

 

Identify change agents 

These workers are keen, engaged and influential. They are always asking for new technology and putting forward new ways to complete work tasks more efficiently. If you can adopt these ‘contagion influencers’ their excitement can be used to ‘rally the troops’ and build positive momentum for the change.  

 

Just behind these change agents are your early adopters. They show enthusiasm but aren’t necessarily first in line when it comes to tech adoption. It can be useful to hold focus groups once they have been introduced to the new tech to discuss any questions they have or challenges they’re facing. Their feedback can help inform the rollout to the rest of the team. 

 

Identify ‘tech sceptics’ – and convince them that change can be beneficial 

At the other extreme, some people will resist change with all their might. They will only come onboard if they are repeatedly pushed and incentivised to do so. You could try to: 

 

  • Clarify how they stand to benefit from the new tech. For example, time savings, greater flexibility, better work-life balance. Remember, every employee is different but the ‘what’s in it for me’ (WIIFIM) factor should never be downplayed. 

  • Involve these individuals from the start and encourage them to provide their feedback – that means there’s no way for them to claim “I wasn’t involved” or “You didn’t listen to me!” 

  • Offer more support. These workers may need a bit more hand-holding and one-on-one sessions. Their reluctance might simply come down to fear of doing the wrong thing. 

  • Be empathetic. You may be asking seasoned professionals to give up the way they’ve previously undertaken tasks. A little bit of empathy can go a long way. 

  • Make it fun. To ensure user adoption, consider a gamification approach whereby employees accumulate points, gain financial incentives or achieve new levels of ‘status’ as they undertake training or help their peers. 

 

By getting to know your employees, actively listening, challenging perceptions and ultimately gaining their trust, it’s possible your laggards might become change champions. 

Overcoming implementation hurdles 

Most tech rollouts will take a phased approach, with participants having to complete the preceding phase before moving to the next. Pilot group testing is also recommended, as the feedback and experience of the pilot group will help guide the broader rollout. 

 

This structured phased approach also ensures everyone is onboard, and also allows everyone to move forward together, even if some may require extra support or training. Most change programs will encounter unexpected delays or challenges. Perhaps mistakes will be made. These should be treated as learning opportunities and worked into the change program further down the track.  

 

Technology implementation is also never ‘set and forget’. There are always new users, refresher courses to run, new features to learn about. It’s best to commit to a marathon rather than a sprint. 

 

See section 8 below for more tips on successful implementations. 

 

 

8. Tips for successful implementation 

Below are some tips to keep in mind before, during and after implementation of workforce management software. 

The return on investment of workforce management software relies on this disclaimer: “It depends…” 

  • It depends on how your organisation: 

  • Implements the software 

  • Adopts the software 

  • Optimises the software 

Planning and preparation: Getting buy-in 

Well before implementation it’s essential to involve several key stakeholders in any tech transformation project. Each will have their own concerns and motivations. For example: 

 

The tech leader 

Whether it’s a CTO, a CIO or IT Director, this person’s job is to ensure every aspect of their organisation’s tech platforms and processes are running smoothly. Their motivations include: 

 

  • Cutting costs 

  • Improving security 

  • Simplifying IT complexity 

 

The financial decision-maker 
Whether it’s a CFO or Finance Director, this person’s role entails ensuring the organisation remains financially viable by creating – and adhering to – budgets, undertaking risk assessments, and identifying opportunities for future growth. When it comes to new tech investments, they’ll expect a detailed breakdown of cost and ROI. Their motivations include: 

 

  • Cost savings 

  • Improving risk management 

  • Obtaining better insights across the organisation 

 

The sense-checker 
Whether this is a member of your legal team or compliance department, or perhaps a head of operations, their primary focus is ensuring your organisation’s regulatory commitments can be met. They’ll be keen to identify potential risks in the project and will want to ensure the highest standard of data protection is in place. They are motivated by: 

 

  • Data security and integrity 

  • Ensuring all legal and regulatory obligations are met 

 

The ultimate decision-maker 
This may be your Managing Director or CEO and their mandate covers the entire business, from operations through to its people. Priorities might include setting the strategic plan and goals, navigating risks, pursuing opportunities, and reinforcing the mission and values of the organisation. They are motivated by: 

 

  • Reducing the overall overhead of the organisation 

  • Transforming the organisation into a more agile, resilient player in the market 

  • Ensuring the organisation is a talent magnet, attracting and retaining the best talent  

 

Getting each of these stakeholders on-side and addressing their unique needs in the business case will ensure buy-in from them. 

 

Your employees are also important stakeholders. Change simply for the sake of change is far from ideal, and ideally any technology change should not just be about digitising manual tasks (such as onboarding). Identify genuine pain points for workers. Use a consultative approach by asking them to share where bottlenecks or inefficiencies occur. Without an understanding of existing work processes, or how people use technology (if it exists at all), there’s a danger of adding tools that don’t achieve much or result in extra stress for workers.  

 

Here are some further tips for a successful implementation. 

 

Create a resource estimate 

Estimate all the resources required during the implementation phase. Resources to consider include funding, personnel, facilities, customer support, equipment, and anything else required to implement the solution. 

 

A cloud-based solution like Humanforce will typically mean that disruption to a business will be minimal; however, some internal resources will be required for this project to be followed successfully through to completion.  

Your software service provider should be able to provide an implementation timeframe guideline with key dates noted throughout the rollout process. This will of course vary depending on the level of system complexity and configuration required. 

Follow change management best practices 

Outline to key stakeholders how you plan to introduce new technology to the business, with a specific focus on change management. This change management plan will impact everyone across the business, but the extent of this change will vary by role and seniority. For example, the working lives of the HR team, leadership team and workers will be impacted differently.  

 

Overcoming initial resistance to change and ensuring longer term goals such as high user adoption rates are reached often comes down to effective change management.   

Although there are countless change management models and theories, a human-centric approach to change will focus on four steps: 

Outline the need for change 

Identify and illustrate the reasons for investing in new technology and communicate these reasons to three key stakeholders: executives, managers and employees. A strong emphasis will be placed on the ‘what’s in it for me’ (WIIFM) element. This needs to be articulated clearly during this step and throughout the entire change journey. Examples might include: 

 

  • For employees, this change will result in a richer employee experience, including greater autonomy through self-service functionality and more say in when shifts are undertaken. This communication should commence well in advance of system implementation. 

  • For managers, this change will result in data-driven decision-making, greater oversight of teams while on-the-go, and better reporting functionality. Managers will be given extra support including training and information, to enable them to answer employee questions. 

  • For executives, this change will result in greater optimisation of workforce resources, enhanced compliance, productivity gains for HR, and happier, more engaged workers – resulting in higher productivity. 

All stakeholders will want to know: 

 

  • How will it solve my challenges? 

  • How will this new system help me perform better?  

  • What are the tangible benefits for me in my daily job?  

  • How will it affect my team, my customers, my suppliers, etc.? 

 

Training and preparing for change 

At this stage we will outline the impact of implementing the new system on a granular level. During this stage, change roles will be assigned and clarified, and support requirements will be established. That support will include employee training.  

A training needs analysis will need to cover: 

 

  • End-user roles: A review of how each user will use the technology in their day-to-day role to see what support is required. An initial survey of digital competency might be required to assess what ‘levels’ of training are required 

  • Training delivery: How will training be delivered? It might be a mix of webinars, live demonstrations, on-the-job practical training and eLearning delivered in small chunks as micro-learning available via mobile app 

  • Training targets: How many training stages are required before employees can confidently use this technology? 

  • Training assessments: Using formal testing to ensure each user understands and can use the technology 

  • Information sharing: This might be a mix of in-person focus groups or online knowledge bases, accessible via mobile devices. Remember that user feedback is extremely valuable to identify where improvements or changes to processes need to be made 

 

Implementing the change 

Next is the creation of a detailed action plan, including timelines for tasks to be completed, project lead names, implementation dates, key deliverables, and other stakeholders who will need to be involved. As mentioned in Step 2, workforce training will need to be scheduled, and feedback will be gathered and analysed as each task is worked through. These tasks will include items such as data migration, system testing, and user testing for executives, system administrators, line managers, and individual employees. 

 

Sustaining the change 

This last step is about ensuring processes and systems introduced by the new technology will be sustained. This will include ongoing systems training, changes to processes and procedures, and updating of manuals and support documentation. This step will also involve: 

 

  • Getting people into the habit of using the tech, including the development of KPIs and metrics to measure the effectiveness of the training 

  • Documentation of learning to inform future HR projects 

  • Development of incentive programs to encourage employees to keep using the software 

 

 

 

9. Case studies and real-world examples 

  

Whatever your business or industry, workforce management software can have a tangible, quantifiable impact on business operations. For example: 

  • The level of process automation offered by workforce management software can be significant. For example, according to research from Salesforce, 74% of IT and engineering leaders say process automation has helped their workforce save at least 11-30% of the time previously spent on manual processes, and another 59% say costs on those teams have been reduced by 11-30%. 

  • Research from Gartner shows that 18% of IT leaders believe that HR is the department that sees the highest ROI from process automation. As such, 88% indicate their HR department is currently investing in automation or plan to in the future 

  • Research from McKinsey & Company covering the retail industry found that with workforce management software, retailers can cut store labour costs by up to 12% while improving both customer service and employee satisfaction.  

Discover some of Humanforces happy customers and how they have changed the way they do business after using our product.

Delaware North
Accor Group
Sheike

 

 

10. Trends in workforce management software 2024 

Technology is constantly evolving, and HR technology is no exception. Several technology innovations are taking place in the workforce management software space. Here are four examples that will impact workforce management in 2024: 

The rise of GenAI 

Generative AI (GenAI) technologies can create content from disparate sources and quickly summarise multiple datasets. With the goldmine of data held in HR and workforce management systems, teams are already using chatbots to respond to employee queries and utilising AI in recruitment – and that’s just the start. Experts claim that GenAI will transform HR into a more strategic function.  

 

Many facets of workforce management have the potential to benefit from GenAI. Rostering & scheduling is a good example, a complex task involving multiple variables, including staff availability, preferences, qualifications and adherence to government and industry staffing regulations.  

 

GenAI algorithms can automate and optimise this process, factoring in elements such as staff availability, budget, legal rest requirements, training schedules, and individual work preferences. By analysing this information in real-time, GenAI has the potential to generate rosters that minimise scheduling conflicts, reduce fatigue-related issues, and offer greater autonomy and flexibility for workers by presenting them with available shifts and shift bidding and shift swapping capabilities. All of this translates into cost savings, better compliance and improved business performance. 

 

On-demand/predictive rostering 

Data is crucial to successful rostering. Knowing worker preferences, seasonal fluctuations in demand, where overtime is occurring and how work patterns shape the continuity and productivity of work teams can make a huge difference to the creation of work schedules that suit both the business and its employees.  

 

The latest workforce management software solutions can collate real-time data from across the business, including point of sale devices, customer bookings, and so on, to create rosters that meet demand. These solutions also draw from historical data to forecast ahead and create rosters that ensure there are fewer instances of over- or under-staffing. The take-up of AI will only build upon these foundations.  

 

Self-empowerment and personalisation 

There’s an increasing understanding that work is a subset of life, and is not separate from it. People are balancing family and personal lives alongside their working lives. It’s therefore important to offer employees greater autonomy in where and when they undertake work – within reason, of course. Giving frontline, work-based the opportunity to bid on available shifts can help with work-life balance.  

Similarly, personalisation including ‘nudges’ that suggest future initiatives based on past behaviour can help with engagement and provide people with more options to explore as part of their work experience. Learning is a good example, with the latest technology able to suggest similar courses or training initiatives based off existing skillsets, aspirational goals and past learning experiences. 

Flexible clocking in and clocking out options 

Most businesses with large workforces, such as those in the events and stadia industry, appreciate that flexible clocking in and clocking out options are crucial for the smooth running of operations. Innovations such as geo-fencing, facial scanning and finger vein scanning can ensure the right people are where they need to be, at the right time – and that they can accurately record their start and end times. Additional innovations such as QR Clocking is another way to ensure the clocking process is easy, with deskless workers able to clock in and out using their mobile devices.    

 
Future-proofing your workforce management strategy 

For employers of deskless workers, workforce planning is perhaps the most important element of human resources management. A strategic approach to workforce planning is not just about ensuring future business plans can be achieved; thanks to workforce management processes (onboarding, rostering, time & attendance, leave management, qualification management), it will also incorporate more granular information about worker skills, capabilities, knowledge and experiences to make those plans a reality.  

 

A strategic workforce management plan that is built upon the foundations of (and data produced by) workforce management processes should be revisited and refreshed at regular intervals (we recommend quarterly) to keep up with changes to business strategy and priorities – not to mention changes in the labour market. The following questions will help to future-proof your workforce management strategy: 

 

  • How do we optimise the assignment and distribution of tasks and processes to improve capacity utilisation, productivity other business metrics? 

  • How do we optimise workforce schedules to meet compliance and fair scheduling needs while ensuring that we operate within budget and hit business targets? 

  • How do we plan for the right number and types of workers (full-time, part-time, casual, contractor) to hit projected business targets? 

  • How do we align resources to our new organisation structure following a significant transformation (e.g. restructure, merger or acquisition, workforce reduction, etc.)? 

  • What are the workforce implications of our organisation’s short- and long-term strategy? Will we have the right resources? If not, how can we get them? 

 

The software that supports a workforce management plan should be reviewed annually, with an audit of existing platforms to make sure that stakeholders have the tech tools they need and that evolving business needs can be met. 

 

Conclusion

The acute skills shortages being felt in many industries that rely on frontline workers – such as aged care, childcare, retail and hospitality – combined with high turnover rates, low engagement and pressure on labour budgets, mean it’s never been more important to find the right balance between the amount of work to be done and the human resources required to handle that work.  

When the complex compliance and regulatory landscape is added to the mix, it’s critical to support managers and HR teams with the right technology solutions.  

Next steps 

Workforce management software can alleviate all these challenges, while improving the employee experience and freeing up time for HR and other business leaders to focus on strategic initiatives. 

If you need to automate time-consuming manual processes, gain deeper understanding of your workforce and their work patterns, optimise or reduce your labour budget, and give workers greater autonomy and flexibility in how and where they work, it’s time to invest in workforce management software. 

Reach out below to find out how Humanforce can help. 

 

About Humanforce 

Humanforce is the best-in-one platform for frontline and flexible workforces, offering a truly employee centred, intelligent and compliant human capital management (HCM) suite – without compromise. Founded in 2002, Humanforce has a 2300+ customer base and over half a million users worldwide. 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. 

 

Schedule a demo or contact us to learn more about how Humanforce can automate and simplify all people management processes in your organisation. 

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