“Workforce management software” (WFM) is a term used commonly in the HR industry to describe a single or set of software solutions that enable employers to efficiently plan, track, and analyze workforce operations related to employee scheduling, time management, and leave management. Although the term is often focused more specifically on workforce planning and employee attendance, the term is also often used in a much broader HR software context.
In more general terms, a workforce management software solution today could also be inclusive of other important aspects of Human Capital Management (HCM) software, including talent acquisition, new hire onboarding, employee performance management, benefits administration, payroll and other key parts of managing a successful workforce today.
Core Modules within Workforce Management Software
Let’s take a moment to focus on the core elements of workforce management software from the time and attendance perspective mentioned above.
Employee Scheduling Software
No matter what type of business you’re in, workforce scheduling can be a time-consuming, error-prone, and challenging task. In response, employee scheduling software is a tremendous efficiency and savings tool to help employers improve results while reducing the administrative time required to create, adjust, manage and repeat employee schedules.
Scheduling is also highly beneficial in improving overall customer service coverage, reducing overstaffing and understaffing, and ensuring the right employees (with the right skill-sets) are on site and on time. Ultimately, a modern, effective scheduling software solution will reduce the hours required to manage schedules, reduce workforce costs and improve company performance.
Buyers tip – Are you shopping for an employee scheduling solution?
Employee scheduling software comes in countless shapes and sizes, capabilities, features and so forth. Certainly, some are far more feature-rich than others, while some offer a better user experience than others that can result in much greater time savings. Given that scheduling is a highly repetitious activity, be sure to choose a solution that is extremely user-friendly but also capable of handing your scheduling complexities today and in the future.
Secondarily, to avoid compatibility limitations between your time off accruals, leave management accounting, and time off requests, be sure to choose a solution that is unified with timesheets, time clocks, leave management and payroll modules. If not, your accounting of paid time off and accruals may not function cohesively. These tools should not be a patch of integrated third-party systems, but rather, a unified platform. This will help you avoid limitations, extra admin and headaches.
Time & Labor Management
Your employees are most likely your greatest expense and asset in producing a return on all your business-related investments. From that perspective, a time and labor management software solution is designed to help you get the most from every labor dollar spent while minimizing the administrative time and cost of employing a workforce.
Through an effective time and labor solution, employers gain the ability to reduce labor costs in numerous areas. This includes the ability to pay employees accurately (to the minute), reduce overtime, and minimize a diverse range of employee time theft or fraud issues. Further, a time and labor solution is a critical efficiency tool in minimizing hours of administration preparing payroll each period and protecting the company from compliance-related risk.
Buyer tip – Searching for a Time and Labor software solution?
When shopping for a time and labor solution, in addition to ensuring your solution is part of an all-in-one platform (i.e., scheduling, leave management, HRIS and payroll as core parts of the platform), be cautious in choosing a solution that you will not outgrow in a matter of a few years.
Many time and labor solutions are limited in the types of configurations that can be accommodated. In many cases you’ll discover such limitations during your initial sales research. Often, however, unfortunately you may not discover such limitations until you are months into your implementation phase, at which point the cost to change course is too great. Whether it occurs in a few months or in the more distant future, it is critical to choose a solution that can handle the complexities that will come with company growth, new compliance legislation or simply the unknown you encounter as your needs evolve. Choose a solution that clearly offers the ability to grow with your organization. Often, this means ensuring your technology partner is competent in enhancing the software over time.
Employee absences — whether planned or unplanned — can have a significant impact on your productivity and bottom line. Without accurate, automated leave of absence management, employers are at risk of noncompliance with leave regulations such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and can be subject to fines or class-action lawsuits.
With an effective Leave Management module, employers can automate the tracking of employee eligibility based upon pre-defined criteria (e.g., tenure, vacation, hours worked). Such a tool also reduces the risk of unauthorized time and late returns from leave, all while automatically calculating accrual and pay balances. This can be done through useful features such as automatic notifications.
Buyer Tip – Ensure your solution is compliance-ready.
When considering a Leave Management software solution, as mentioned previously, in addition to choosing a solution that is part of a broader HCM suite, ensure you select one that effectively handles compliance on all agency levels, including federal, state and local levels. Today, numerous states and localities are enacting leave policies and laws specific to their own municipalities. If your solution is not sufficiently flexible to fully accommodate such state and local requirements, consider making an immediate change as more-and-more states are continuing to follow this trend.
Ensure also that your solution can accommodate a wide range of leave policies, including illness, injury, disability, military, bereavement, jury duty, maternity/paternity, child/elder care and labor disputes.
Payroll Link Can Help
Investing in a workforce management software solution is an excellent investment and asset to employers. You should see immediate benefits and results in making such a change.
At Payroll Link, we understand just how critical it is to solve problems through the proper tools, which is why we offer a market-leading unified HCM platform that includes all the workforce management and human capital management technology modules in a single suite. If you have a question about upgrading to such a solution, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our specialists.