The impact of a workforce management solution and how to measure it

by | 12.04.2018

In a week’s time we’ll be hosting our second Workforce Management Day in London where the theme will be measuring the impact of a workforce management solution.

With a line-up of top speakers taking the stage, we’ll be looking at the ‘hard’ facts you can measure and real results of what can be achieved when using workforce management software to optimise your business. This will cover everything from savings on payroll through to efficient communication and employee engagement.

So how do you measure the impact of a workforce management solution? First, let’s look at the benefits companies typically see when they use a business optimisation tool like WFM software.

According to HR.com, businesses who implement a workforce management solution will see, on average, a 6-10% cost saving in under 12 months. Benefits of using a workforce management solution tend to include increased administrative efficiency, improved compliance, better customer satisfaction, reduced absenteeism, improved productivity, better employee engagement and more powerful business insights.

It’s important to understand every business is different, and because the range of benefits of a workforce management solution are so broad, the pain points a workforce management system solves vary from business to business and industry to industry.

What we find many businesses have in common is the need to answer these questions:

- How are we performing against our targets?

- How are our units performing compared to each other?

- Which factors contribute most to our staffing costs?

- What parameters affect our efficiency and profitability?

In order to answer these question effectively and, in turn, measure the impact of using workforce management software, we recommend monitoring the following metrics:

Staffing levels. Measuring staffing levels includes measuring labour cost and hours worked. It will also take you some time after implementing a solution to fully understand your staffing requirement and the trends of how it varies depending on customer demand.

Scheduling changes. When using workforce management software, you’ll be able to see how many times a schedule is changed each month. As your use of the system matures you should see less changes being made after a schedule has been produced. This in itself will point towards both improved productivity and improved efficiency.

Time. Measure the time you spend doing specific tasks, especially scheduling. We find on average a manager who creates schedules will save 9 hours a week once this process is fully automated. To measure this impact on your business you have to track your time to see where it’s being used. Better use of time is also a clear indicator of increased productivity.

Employee engagement. Employee engagement is another important metric all businesses can measure. Engaged employees will help your business improve customer satisfaction and will save you money as more engaged employees are more productive. The best workforce management solutions give employees the choice of what shifts they can claim and when they can work. This helps them plan more effectively and tends to see a stronger work-life balance which in turn leads to improved engagement.

Staff turnover. For many businesses, reducing staff turnover and improving retention is the main reason they decide to implement a workforce management solution and as such, measuring turnover is a must to gauge the impact the solution is having.

Forecast and budget accuracy. With a detailed forecast of future staffing requirements, planning and follow-up relating to budget becomes more accurate. Measuring the variance of the forecast to the actual results will show how accurate the forecast was. And we tend to find the longer a workforce management solution is used, the more accurate it becomes.

You’ll be also be able to follow the data streams and metrics which will help you get the most out of your workforce and give you the best overview of your business. These could include:

  • The number sales broken down per hour and per employee
  • The percentage of salary cost compared to sales
  • Payroll cost
  • Absence percentage which includes statistics on sick leave and vacation days
  • The optimal setup of your staff including how many full time employees you need compared to part time.

These are just the starting points and, as mentioned above, each business is different. During Workforce Management Day we’ll be hearing from different business who will be telling their stories of how they implemented a workforce management solution and the impact it’s had.

Don’t worry if you’re not going to be there on the day, we’ll be recording all the talks and making them available for you to watch at your convenience.

In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about any of the points covered you can download our Ultimate Guide to Workforce Management through the link below.

Download the guide

Tommy Tonkins

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