In 2023, businesses across all industries were forced to face the reality of cutting costs while simultaneously feeling the pressure to grow. In industries with a frontline workforce, there has been the added challenge of a labor shortage in North America and Europe.
Despite a challenging year, I believe we’re also presented with the opportunity to find new ways to work and improve the work experience for businesses and frontline workers.
In the coming years, we’ll see the digital workforce management (WFM) space transform even further to help us improve our working experience.
Where we are now
It’s undeniable that we’re in a time of incredible digital and technological capabilities. However, the digital experience in workforce management is still lagging.
There is still more than half of the organizations using an on-premise WFM tool. To keep up, stay competitive as an employer, and stay secure, companies will need to invest in the transition to a cloud-based platform.
Compliance is top of mind for employers and workers. Companies want to ensure they’re following the law and treating their frontline workers fairly, but it can be a challenge to keep up with the ever-shifting landscape. Investing in technology that assists in compliance across different markets and even states in the US will be key.
Looking ahead, the focus should be on improving the experience of your frontline workers.
Improving the frontline worker experience
Finding and retaining talent is challenging right now. Ensuring you have an organization with a purpose, you offer career progression and learning opportunities, and a competitive salary are the foundational aspects of attracting and retaining talent.
Another way to increase your company’s retention numbers is to improve the overall frontline workers’ experience in their day-to-day. A large aspect of this is the technology and processes in place.
Getting the basics right
Scheduling is a big one. Having a WFM tool with simple and streamlined scheduling capabilities makes a big difference for frontline workers.
You need to have enough staff and a staff with the right balance of skills working together. Employees should be able to easily swap shifts for last-minute emergencies, and available staff should be able to see open opportunities in the schedule to fill them. Surprisingly, close to 78% of frontline workers don’t have a tool to swap shifts.
Having the basics in place for employees is an easy way to start everyone's day off a little better.
Consolidate your tools
In our State of the Frontline Workforce 2023 report, we discovered that 33% of frontline workers are using 4 or more digital tools in their work. I think many of us can relate to having to keep track of the many apps and tools we use even outside of work, so it’s not fun to have to keep track of what’s happening and when to use what throughout your workday.
For example, say you track overtime in one tool, like your scheduling tool, but then you need to remember to report it in your payroll. Or even worse, if employees are dealing with more than one payroll tool.
Consolidating your WFM tools gives your employees a smoother day-to-day experience. It also allows the company to combine the data for things like schedule optimization.
A big plus is combining communication, learning, and information into one tool.
Consistently ranked as a top priority for frontline workers is whether or not they have a say in their working hours. 41% say they don’t. Offering flexibility in schedules and even locations is a cost-free way of improving your employee experience and increasing retention. I predict we will see more and more companies becoming more flexible and offering more of a say to their employees over the next 5 years.
There isn’t just flexibility in scheduling! There are also ways to offer flexibility with pay, such as “earned wage access.” This allows employees to access the salary they earned for the shifts they’ve worked more immediately than having to wait weeks to get paid.
You can also offer the opportunity to work at different locations. Do you have a location in a different part of town? A different state? A different country? Give your employees the opportunity and flexibility to work and grow at different locations.
Compliance is key for building trust
As we’ve mentioned before, compliance is important for both employers and frontline workers. Showing you’re compliant with labor laws in each country, region, or state builds trust within your workforce. This can mean people stay longer.
An easy way to build that trust is a technology that increases transparency with access to information about compliance laws, and whether or not they are being followed.
2023 has been filled with talk about AI, but it’s hard to ignore! With budgets tight, and finding and retaining talent as a challenge, WFM tools that have been built with AI in mind can help improve everyone’s lives.
Saving time on scheduling and assisting with compliance are just 2 areas where AI can significantly help in WFM. In fact, a Quinyx customer has reduced their time scheduling for their store managers by 33% with the help of our AI scheduling capabilities.
Quinyx has incorporated AI that assists with automatic scheduling, demand forecasting, and compliance checking and this is only the beginning. We’re implementing AI capabilities across all areas of the platform
Quinyx and AI
There are a lot of exciting opportunities that lie ahead in workforce management. Sometimes in the most challenging moments, we can find the greatest opportunities, and I’m excited to see how Quinyx will be a part of that evolution.