“Holidays are coming, holidays are coming…” is a tune you might be humming during Christmas or whenever you sip on a Coca-Cola.
If you work in HR or operations, that song might give you the chills because holidays are ALWAYS the busy season - both in sales and employee requests! Your challenge is - during that time - to balance your employees’ (many!) wishes and leave requests against the needs of the business.
You might then be questioning if you’ll have the right number of staff with the right skills - when many are on holiday. And you might also wonder if you’ll meet the forecast demand and deliver the best ever customer experience with the headcount you have.
Getting it wrong is obviously not an option.
Then you’re going to be understaffed (and that’s never fantastic) because it crushes and stresses out your staff, and your customers will sense it.
Unfortunately, understaffing is common, and more than 50% of hourly shift workers have experienced understaffing during the last year. Our latest research, also says that 80% of them say it made them feel stressed at work.
So how do you decide on whether an employee can go on vacation? Do you take a best guess? Or do you pull out the crystal ball and hope it gives you the answer?
What can help your scheduling decisions is AI-driven demand forecasting. In this blog post you can learn how to stay ahead, anticipate what is coming and plan your employee holidays in a super easy way.
What is demand forecasting?
Demand forecasting uses algorithms to predict future customer demand. The best WFM tools will help capture different demand drivers like transactions, footfall and revenue per location and department, making your forecasts more accurate than ever before.
AI-powered demand forecasting is the driving force behind your most accurate workforce planning. Roadchef is a great example of this - read how they got 95% forecast accuracy, happier employees, and a better supply and demand fit.
How AI-driven demand forecasting works
The best demand forecasts combine historical data with events, public holidays or promotions - basically anything that could affect your business demand.
Here's an example; you run a bar around the corner from a sports stadium. There’s a big game taking place at the weekend, which means you’re going to be super busy and you’ll need more staff to cover the increased demand. So when your head bartender asks for the night off (because, hey, they also want to go to the game!), you can check your forecast for what headcount you'll need for a night full of thirsty sports fans. And voilá, there you'll have the answer for the leave request!
The charm of this, is that your tech assistant (aka your WFM solution) will calculate the required headcount for you - based on your forecast. You'll be served with the optimal labor hours you need to make your business perform at its peak. On top of that, you'll make sure that your staff have the right skills for each shift, and that you as an employee don't break any labor standards.
It’s all in the data
Data will always talk if you’re prepared to listen. This is exactly what AI-driven demand forecasting does. Listen and you’ll be able to make better, more informed decisions.
In the case of employee holiday planning, this means you can see - in an instant - if you can approve it. It saves you time, increases your efficiency and will, ultimately, lead to your employees being happier because your decisions are made with full transparency.
Want to find out more about AI-driven demand forecasting and how it can help your business?