The workforce is the lifeblood of an organization. Good employees are the real force that turns the tides and steers your efforts toward achieving your organizational goals. They overcome challenges to make things possible, contribute to your overall sales goals, and help in building, sustaining, and supporting their brand reputation in the market. Thus, you must keep your employees happy and build strong relationships with them. This is where workforce management comes in. But what exactly is workforce management?
What is workforce management?
Simply put, workforce management refers to a set of practices that help an organization enhance productivity, reduce risks, and maximize competency. It aims at strategically optimizing the workplace productivity of the employees and ensuring optimal distribution of resources at the right time and place. It involves key components like performance management, time tracking, capacity management, traffic management, etc.
Over time, workforce management has become crucial for all businesses, primarily due to the changing nature of the workforce. It imparts benefits including-
- Enhanced efficiency and flexibility
An effective workforce management system minimizes manual processes and aids in better management of policies about time and attendance. Increased visibility into aspects like the number of working hours, availability of workers, and safety incidents enhance the efficiency and productivity of the workforce.
- Workload forecasting
Proper workforce management aids in effective workload forecasting. It helps predict future requirements (and customer demands) that further aids the management in optimally allocating employees and other resources.
- Scheduling and planning
Scheduling is a time-consuming and complex task that can be eased with proper workforce management. It uses fitting approaches like data analysis and timesheets to make operations and processes easy.
- Data-informed decisions
Aligning data with workforce trends can help you make well-informed decisions. For instance, analyzing data provides insights that help predict future staffing requirements. These insights allow you to plan, organize, and evaluate your workforce accordingly.
- Improved Administration
Lastly, proper workforce management can save countless hours of redundant administrative work. It can improve processes like getting budget approvals, providing system access, and invoice management.
Keeping your workforce engaged and effectively managed is vital. In fact, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive. Another study by Gallup asserts that highly engaged workplaces experience almost 41% lower absenteeism.
On the other hand, ineffective workforce management can lead to challenges that go beyond operational setbacks. For instance, disengaged employees can cost organizations about $450 to $550 billion annually. A huge figure that can raise anyone’s eyebrows and leverage another reason to forge your workforce management. Unfortunately, many organizations tend to make some common mistakes that result in poor workforce management.
Common workforce management mistakes
According to a study by Human Capital Institute, about 38% of organizations say that they lack the time and financial resources to invest in strategic workforce planning. This lack of workforce planning can lead to challenges, especially when it comes to building a workforce for the future.
An organization that does not have a strategic plan in place tends to face multiple challenges in remaining competitive in the market and undertaking workforce transformation initiatives. Here are some common workforce management mistakes that you may be making-
- Misalignment with the organization’s objectives
Workforce management is not a standalone strategy and should align with the organization’s overall goals and objectives. For instance, if your workforce management strategy does not align with the organization’s growth projections, market predictions, or product launches, you may face challenges in aligning resources and building a workforce for the future.
- Lack of communication
Lack of communication is one of the biggest challenges in streamlining operations, and workforce management is no different. In fact, it acts as a huge obstacle in building strong workplace relationships. Improper communication can make the team feel disconnected and may even lead to misunderstandings and attitude issues.
- Lack of leadership buy-in
Workforce management needs leadership buy-in. Your plans and ideas will only work if the senior leaders are on the same page. This may be a troublesome task – given leaders are already facing uphill due to the current economic challenges.
Micromanagement is often regarded as one of the most damaging practices in any organization that leads to poor time management and disengages employees. It affects employees’ productivity, impairs their satisfaction levels, adversely affects their morale and confidence, and hampers the overall spirit of teamwork.
- Manual processes
This is the age of automation! Most organizations today are breaking free from the challenges of manual efforts by automating their business-critical operations. However, if your organization is still dependent on manual efforts, it is a big problem for your workforce management efforts. Manual management or processes are costly and susceptible to errors. They decrease employee efficiency and harm an organization’s competitiveness in the market.
- Poor planning, policies, and strategy
This is one of the most common mistakes companies make. Workforce management is intended to build a workforce for tomorrow. Thus, it requires proper planning and policies at the operational as well as strategic levels. For instance, many companies follow an ongoing, step-by-step process that allows the concerned to build a robust action plan by comparing the current skill sets with future workforce transformation needs.
- No documentation
Documentation is the key to smooth management and protects an organization from any possible legal issues. Lack of documentation can undermine your stance in a legal suit by a disgruntled employee or in government audits. Thus, make sure you document everything from health and safety training modules to signed timesheets. Also, make sure that your employee handbook clearly mentions all rules and guidance concerning employee policies, disciplinary measures, devices, social media use, alcohol (or drug) abuse, leaves, and more.
How can Pyramid Consulting help?
Pyramid Consulting is an award-winning global staffing company, and one of the leading and most reliable sources of the best total talent. We unleash the power of people, businesses, and brands to move society forward and help you make a workplace that works for everyone. We are your workforce transformation specialist and partner for life.
Pyramid Staffing can help you build a productive and growth-oriented workspace that complements everyone’s work ethics and culture. We work with procurement, human resources, business users & diversity teams to meet client needs and help you build a workforce for tomorrow!