AI has already had a huge impact in the workforce management industry, helping businesses optimize across areas like performance, costs and happiness.
Today, smart WFM softwares can automatically generate schedules based on business needs and employee wishes. And it’s a trend that’s only going to increase and improve. Gartner is predicting that by 2022, 30% of Tier 1 retailers will leverage intelligent automation among their store workforce to improve business outcomes through better customer experience and associate engagement.
As AI advances it will be able to do things like suggest (and possibly automatically perform) actions which end users simply say ‘yes’ to, learn how users behave, automate tasks, and identify trends to help with future planning.
But what will the result be?
Well, a significant amount of saved admin time, as well as always having the right people in the right place, at the right time. Something that will be of even higher significance in times where external factors force us to think differently.
We know that predicting where the industry is going to be in the future is never easy, however here’s our take on how AI will shape workforce management over the next 5 years.
1. Publically available data helps AI predictions
Here’s a fun fact - data from Google searches in 2019 shows a direct correlation with the number of sick days taken in any month. When searches for things such as ‘colds’ and ‘influenza’ peaked, so did the number of sick days.
AI will be able to analyse this kind of data - and others like it - to give you suggested actions. For example, AI in forecasting will look at other data streams relevant to your business, such as public holidays, weather or big events taking place in the vicinity of one of your outlets, in order to create more accurate forecasts.
2. Say hi to your new assistant
The suggested actions above will be presented to you in the form of a virtual assistant integrated within your WFM software. Based on learnings from historical data analysis and generated forecasts, the assistant can suggest actions on how to improve the schedule, then perform multiple actions when you agree to a suggestion.
3. Machine learning suggests actions based on interaction
Machine learning is used to analyse how users (especially managers) handle different tasks. Once strong patterns are identified, they can be automated. For example, if the AI sees you’ve performed an action 20 times, it will ask you if you want to automate the action from now on.
Data will talk to you if you’re willing to listen. AI will be able to alert you to employee patterns which could for example highlight anything being a flight risk. It will also be able to give you weekly reports to help you understand things like the impact edits you made to the schedule had.
4. Automated recognition & rewards for staff
Rewards and recognition play a crucial role in employee engagement. Right now, when engagement is built into your WFM software, your employees have the ability to recognize and reward their peers with virtual badges. In Quinyx, these include Super Colleague, Problem Solver and Always on Time.
AI will be able to automate this recognition, giving your employees automated badges for, say, punching in on time. There’s also the possibility that rewards like additional compensation will be given out by AI.
5. Facial recognition, step counter & time clock integrations catch automated deviations
With this feature, AI will match images of employees punching in to images you have on your employee profiles and alert the manager if it’s less than 90% likely to be the same person. Health devices and time clocks can also be connected with badges with rewards being triggered for goals like the most steps taken at work.
AI and machine learning have already played a huge role in shaping the direction the workforce management industry is travelling in.
We’re already using AI at Quinyx. We’re using it to help you make better decisions, to free up your time, to save you money, to reduce your admin and to eradicate errors. In short, we’re using it to do all the things machines excel at, giving you the freedom you need to bring the human touch to your business and create a happy workforce.
Because a happy workforce means a happy, successful and profitable business.
Download our free need-to-know guide and discover how AI can help you unleash the potential of your workforce.