Changes implemented within any business are often expected to yield visible, quantifiable results as soon as possible.

However, when it comes to workforce management (WFM) solutions, attaching a timeline to expected results is not always so straightforward. The approach and scope of a solution typically impacts the timeline between inception and the point when ROI can reasonably be expected.


Setting the scene for change

Most organisations want to improve their workforce by aligning employees to their enterprise goals and ensuring that their employees enjoy an effective employee experience.

In industrial sectors, there are generally two approaches for introducing a new WFM solution. The same two steps apply in both methods, but with different priorities assigned to each:

Industrial approach 1: Retail Industrial approach 2: Mining and Manufacturing
Step 1

Based on the nature of their workforce structures, multinationals based in FMCG are acutely dispersed to service their clientele. A WFM solution that provides improved employee communication and experience to ensure immediate reach and impact is critical.

Step 1

Heavy industry is more traditional in its approach. Organisations in the mining and heavy manufacturing sectors prefer a WFM solution with an emphasis on conventional features that align employees to their organisations’ objectives.

Step 2

Following step 1, the WFM solution is developed to emphasise conventional features that align employees to their organisations’ objectives.

Step 2

After the more conventional WFM structures are in place, these industries then move to explore features that provide improved employee communication and experience to ensure immediate reach and impact.

It should be noted that this is a general trend within the different industries and that the methodology behind the introduction of a WFM solution depends entirely on each organisation’s unique needs.


Different companies have different, tiered requirements

Incorporating a system that keeps a business running smoothly impacts both the bottom line and the organisation’s people. However, the degree to which these areas are impacted is different for every business.


Requirement 1: Quick, operational changes

Traditionally, WFM software is focused on scheduling and tracking workforces. The main goal is to allocate workers most effectively and efficiently. This is particularly important for organisations with shift workers. Here, the focus is on:

  • time and attendance tracking
  • labour scheduling
  • compliance monitoring (e.g., with labour laws, health and safety)
  • leave management
  • staffing optimisation
  • task management
  • employee self-service, including time-off requests and peer-to-peer shift trades.


Result 1: Quick, visible results

When a WFM solution is focused on task management intervention, the improvements are almost immediately visible. For example, if the solution enables supervisors and store managers to assign specific tasks, the solution can present data on whether employees are carrying out these tasks.

Organisations can also set KPIs – both for employees and the efficacy of the WFM solution.

These KPIs will focus on setting clear targets for employees to achieve and identify areas for improvement.

For workforce managers, it is also essential to measure the result of the WFM process, to evaluate areas of improvement in the WFM procedures, such as quality of forecast, quality of scheduling, and customer satisfaction.


Requirement 2: Long-term behavioural changes

When a WFM solution is required to drive a value change, the solution extends beyond improving task management and encompasses an enhanced communication strategy.

Organisations now leverage WFM processes and tools to increase organisational performance strategically, including human resource management, implementation, and training management.

Result 2: Sustained organisational change

A values campaign requires long-term behavioural change, and thus substantive material transformation will take comparably longer to become apparent. This is due to the slightly imprecise nature of enhanced employee engagement, such as:

  • motivation and employee satisfaction
  • performance optimisation
  • more humanised management
  • a strategy focused on developing happier employees.


Is HSE management a bridge between task management and value change?

Health and safety (HSE) management in multinational organisations is critical to their overall success and financial returns.

Health and safety is an interesting case study for an end-to-end WFM solution because it benefits from both task management intervention and value change.

Task management intervention Value change
  • Cost efficiencies
  • Process optimisation
  • Labour management (e.g., shift scheduling and training scheduling)
  • Improved safety statistics
  • Information sharing (safety and security)
  • Recognition and rewards (e.g., for safety milestones achieved)
  • Psychosocial wellness initiatives


Overcoming common challenges

Before rolling out a new WFM solution, there is a real possibility that you will experience pushback from the employees you’re trying to help.


Resistance from managers

While managers might be interested in a WFM solution to expedite task management, they may be less interested in taking other aspects of the solution onboard, such as encouraging a (potentially nebulous) value change.

There are a few tips you can follow to get complete buy-in from the relevant managers:

  • Encourage early participation

Leaders should try to involve managers in WFM plans right from the very start by including them in the decision-making process. This helps to gradually introduce the concept of change and provide an understanding of what the organisation is trying to achieve with the new solution.

  • Begin departmental integration

It is a good idea to work with managers across operations, HR, procurement, and finance to create a holistic overview of your organisation’s WFM needs. Discourage departmental segregation and actively integrate all aspects of the business through improved communications and transparency between departments.


Resistance from employees

These new technologies are only as good as the people who use them, and without employee support, new systems will ultimately fail to achieve their goals. To achieve proper adoption, employees need to understand the reasons specific to their benefit.

Prepare employees for change, as this is key to ensuring the following:

  • Successful implementation
  • Boosting adoption
  • Deriving total value from your new WFM solution

An easy way to get employees to take up a new WFM solution is through rewards and recognition. Build these into the new WFM itself, and you will quickly see their positive response.


Key Takeaways

Taking a systematic and systemic approach to assessing how your organisation will benefit from a WFM solution, as well as observing a thorough approach to its rollout, will sidestep any potential barriers and guarantee complete and company-wide acceptance.

Are you ready to find out how a WFM solution can help drive operational efficiencies for your organisation? Click ? here to speak to one of our experts to see how we can help

Unleash Tomorrow.