Compliance, Engagement and Forward Thinking

Yielding Better Decisions and Results with Workforce Management

By Adina Sapp

According to the latest Labor Department data, 80.4 million Americans are hourly workers. As labor laws and state regulations continue to increase to protect these vulnerable workforce members from discrimination and unfair labor practices, employers are answerable for complying with an alphabet soup of standards: FMLA, FLSA, PBJ and a host of others.

The latest developments include “fair workweek” and “predictive scheduling” regulations in a growing number of jurisdictions around the country. These laws aim to protect hourly workers by requiring that employers provide advance notice of schedules, compensation for last-minute schedule changes and more. While beneficial for vulnerable employees, these laws create substantial administrative burdens for employers.

“Workforce management systems improve organizational agility, allow for better business decision-making and contribute to employee work/life balance.”

“It is increasingly difficult for managers and supervisors to comply with the law and manage business needs for scheduling, especially when there are unexpected changes,” says Beth Baerman, director of communications at Attendance on Demand, Inc. “A workforce management solution that combines advanced scheduling capabilities and powerful time and pay calculations helps to ensure compliance and alleviate that burden.”

The Shifting Employee/Employer Relationship

It’s no secret that many businesses with large numbers of hourly workers have notoriously high rates of turnover. A study on America’s hourly workforce by LinkedIn and Snagajob found that the length of time employees stay in their jobs is often an indication of how engaged they are. A workforce management system can boost employee communication and engagement while also attracting new workers by allowing them to participate in the scheduling process and collaborate with supervisors and co-workers.

The great benefit for employees is the ease of use: being able to drop, add or swap shifts, request time off or even self-schedule from a mobile device or PC. Increasing the autonomy of employees through a workforce management solution is a huge win for employers looking to retain top talent.

Planning and Staffing Accurately

Employers can also use workforce management to plan schedules to meet their business needs for staffing while reducing operating costs. Transforming the data collected from punches, schedules and shifts into predictive analytics allows employers to forecast overtime and budget overages. These predictions are then proactively communicated to managers through a text, email or phone app, allowing better schedule alignment to maintain budget coverage.

This analytic capability can also help organizations plan the labor coverage in industries where skilled workers are critical. For example, long-term health care facilities must comply with regulated staffing ratios for skilled nursing. “A solution that helps with scheduling decisions by presenting census and nurse staffing ratios, alerts for over- and under-scheduled shifts, and advance predictions about likely overtime can help a facility meet their staffing goals to provide the highest quality care, while managing their labor expenses,” Baerman says.

Fairness for employees is also maintained, as the workforce management solution provides employees with advance notification of schedule changes and applies attendance policies fairly, automatically and impartially.

Looking Forward

In the bigger picture, while workforce management solutions provide data and knowledge for the day-to-day scheduling and service needs, analysis of the workforce lifecycle can be taken even further to feed back into the information needed for hiring. By measuring against scheduling data and calculating coverage and targets, it can give useful feedback regarding what shifts are difficult to fill, where overtime is usually incurred, areas where certification is needed and other valuable information to drive hiring decisions and increase flexibility for responding to future regulations.

Baerman says, “A workforce management system should help with organizational agility. It should be flexible to respond to future regulations and provide capabilities such as APIs (application programming interfaces) to allow backend business systems to communicate and integrate throughout the organization. Transforming data into knowledge for better decisions and better results makes work life better for both employers and employees.”

From all perspectives, workforce management solutions provide multi-layered benefits to organizational management. The results are immediate and deliver measurable returns in the form of reduced labor costs, increased service levels and increased customer satisfaction.

To learn more about how Attendance on Demand can drive positive business results, visit attendanceondemand.com/why.

Attendance on Demand Inc. delivers cloud-based time and labor management software for time tracking, scheduling, labor budgeting, and mobile access that help companies solve business requirement for managing their workforce. With an above average uptime of 99.995%, our automated, human-centered products intelligently solve workforce planning challenges and enable you to meet compliance challenges, improve productivity and increase employee engagement. Learn more at attendanceondemand.com.