Workforce management is essential to the success of all your business functions, but managing people can be a huge challenge, especially if you are trying to balance flexible working with traditional office hours or temporary workers with permanent members of your workforce.
Whether it’s time and attendance, rostering or absence management you have to deal with, there are many potential logistic challenges which require the right software and skillset to get right.
Here’s what our research has told us.
We recently worked with Censuswide to ask some crucial questions around seasonal workers and the impact employee extra, temporary or flexible workers had on businesses. The results were really revealing, and offered some great insights into workforce management and the challenges of managing people in a modern business.
We found that over half of people surveyed (57.60%) spend between one and three hours planning and working out shift rostering every week. That doesn’t sound like long, but it will often effectively take a whole morning, which could be spent on more important jobs – the worst thing is that the time spent on rostering could be zero hours, as workforce management is really easy to automate through software or a managed service.
Staffing comes with potential to be a real challenge, so doing everything manually is always going to be a headache, but despite this, even during busy periods, people are still using archaic manual processes to manage staff rotas. This is a real surprise, yet our research showed that during the busiest seasonal periods 54% of people were capturing work patterns on old-fashioned paper forms, which are prone to administrative errors, don’t create a strong pool of data and can easily be misplaced.
If this figure sounds high, you might be even more surprised to find many demographics and locations revealed much higher dependence on unnecessary forms…100% of respondents in Brighton use paper forms! It’s really shocking to see such a wealthy city failing to invest in the best workforce management tools; this can only mean a lack of awareness around the benefits of a full digital transformation.
Considering the challenges for staffing that paper-systems bring at any time, it’s fair to assume that during busy periods when more people are required, more mistakes will occur. In fact 66% of those we surveyed said staff are more likely to call in sick over busy periods – that’s a huge amount of missing roles to fill and a scrap of paper with details quickly written down on it simply isn’t fit for purpose.
So what does this mean to you?
The implications for business are huge when it comes to changes in employee numbers, our results showed that in December last year 83.4% of people we surveyed in Wales found workers simply didn’t turn up for their shifts over seasonal periods. This lack of cover for business duties is a disaster for already stretched businesses and without interactive real time methods for managing rotas and absences, there are likely to be problems with staff shortages or excess spending if employee levels are not accurately predicted and arranged.
Luckily people are waking up to the benefits of contemporary workforce management. Our survey showed that 66.2% of people are using electronic methods for recording and managing their people data to some extent, which is a strong indicator things are going in the right direction.
However, it seems 33.8% of businesses are behind the times and the fact that so many only use digital methods ‘to some extent’ suggests that many businesses are far from optimal in their procedures, and that their systems just aren’t talking to each other.
The benefits of updating your workforce management strategy are numerous but most important of all, is the reduced likelihood of error occurring. Experience is a big piece of the puzzle, but if you don’t have the right tools for the job then you miss out on a much broader view, one where you are able to visualise all the skills you have at your disposal and who can do different jobs for you when certain departments are badly understaffed.
It’s not just about dealing with day to day rostering and absences either. By gathering a large pool of data, you’re able to see trends based on historic data, which will help you plan better for the future. Once this pool is larger you can step into the world of analytics, which will help you create a much stronger strategy for the future.
These aspects of Workforce Management are just an indicator of the current situation and the need for tools to address the outdated systems and processes businesses follow.
Wanting to learn more about software that can help? Check out our workforce management software page below.Time Saving Workforce Solutions