Why Workforce Management Is Important
July 11, 2023
by Malysa O’Connor
Why is workforce management important? What benefits will we realize by implementing a comprehensive WFM strategy? What daily activities can be automated with WFM? Retail companies often ponder these questions as they strive to optimize their operations. Workforce management (WFM) plays a pivotal role in driving business success, shaping everything from staffing optimization and customer satisfaction to labor cost control.
This post delves into how effective workforce management helps boost employee productivity and engagement while ensuring compliance with HR processes. Stakeholders such as the C-suite and HR teams must understand the value of effective workforce management to drive business success.
We will highlight the risks associated with non-automated WFM systems in retail environments and discuss how legacy tools can hinder your organization’s progress. So why is workforce management important? Read on as we unravel why WFM is critical in today’s dynamic business landscape.
Modern workforce management is also important because it replaces legacy systems. We’ll dive into their drawbacks at the end.
1. Staffing Optimization
Having the right employees with the right skill sets at the right time is essential for success in retail. Optimized staffing reduces labor costs and improves customer service and operational efficiency. Overstaffing leads to wasted labor costs, while understaffing leads to unhappy customers. That’s why it’s crucial to accurately forecast customer demand and align staff schedules accordingly.
- Better Customer Service: Optimized staffing ensures prompt customer attention and assistance, improving overall service quality.
- Reduced Labor Costs: Accurate forecasting and labor optimization help retailers avoid overstaffing situations, significantly reducing labor expenses.
- Increase Operational Efficiency: Optimized staffing reduces employee idleness or burnout due to excessive workload, leading to a more efficient operation. And with automation, managers can deliver schedules that better match business needs and employee preferences, freeing them to focus on the employee and customer experience.
Without intelligently automated software, more often than not, these decisions end up being educated guesses. Modern workforce management software like Legion WFM leverages data analytics and intelligent automation to optimize staffing decisions.
2. Customer Satisfaction
When there’s enough personnel to meet customer requirements, patrons can avoid lingering in lengthy queues or wandering around seeking assistance. And when employees are happy and feel like their schedules meet their availability and preferences, they provide better customer service. It’s a win-win situation.
- Satisfied Customers: Happy customers mean more sales and more profits. It’s that simple.
- Loyal Customers: Satisfied customers are more likely to return for more and recommend the store to others.
- Better Reputation: Positive reviews and recommendations can attract new customers and enhance a retailer’s reputation.
The key to effective workforce management is using advanced software solutions like Legion WFM. Workforce management tools offer predictive analytics for accurately forecasting staffing requirements, real-time insights into daily operations, and more. These things benefit more than just employees.
3. Labor Cost Control
This may be one of the greatest reason why workforce management is important. Don’t let labor costs eat into your profits. With a modern retail WFM solution you can predict peak periods, align staffing levels with demand patterns, and set realistic budgets based on historical data and future projections.
- Predictive analytics: Use advanced forecasting algorithms to schedule staff when your store will be busiest.
- Schedule optimization: Ensure the right number of employees are working at any given time by aligning staffing levels with predicted demand patterns.
- Labor budgeting: Set realistic budgets to avoid overspending on labor costs.
It’s not just about reducing expenses but also ensuring maximum efficiency during peak times. Legion WFM offers real-time adjustments based on actual traffic patterns to help businesses achieve both objectives simultaneously.
Remember, every hour spent on labor counts in the highly competitive retail industry. It’s important to strike the right balance and control your labor costs to achieve long-term success. However, optimizing labor costs cannot come at the cost of the employee experience.
4. Employee Productivity and Engagement
Efficient workforce management practices are crucial for engaging and motivating employees in the retail sector. Schedules that meet employee preferences, fair workload distribution, schedule flexibility, and training opportunities enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. Satisfied employees are more productive, which directly impacts the customer experience.
Effective workforce management also plays a significant role in employee retention. With automated workforce management, you can create a setting where employees feel respected, heard, and encouraged to give their best effort.
- Schedule Transparency: Providing transparent schedules with advanced notice helps employees balance work-life commitments better.
- Fair Workload Distribution: Equitable allocation of tasks prevents burnout while promoting teamwork within the organization.
- Growth Opportunities: Offering continuous learning opportunities enhances skills and keeps your team engaged by showing them a path forward in their career journey.
Using modern performance monitoring and review software, like Legion’s performance and rewards solution, helps managers provide real-time feedback on performance metrics leading to greater accountability between staff members at all levels.
This holistic approach to managing your retail workforce leads to high-quality service delivery from engaged employees who understand the value they bring to the business’s overall success.
5. Compliance and Risk Management
Don’t risk your business by disregarding the law. Compliance with labor laws is crucial for effective workforce management in retail. Make sure your employees get their breaks and work the correct hours. Check out the legal requirements to avoid penalties and lawsuits that could harm your reputation.
Compliance processes are automated when using an efficient workforce management system. It reduces the risk of human errors and assists with adherence to rules. The system can track overtime accurately and maintain compliance with varying local labor laws. Advanced, intelligently automated systems additionally offer predictive analytics capabilities to minimize risks associated with non-compliance.
6. Data-Driven Decision Making
Don’t trust your gut; trust the data. Workforce management systems provide valuable insights into employee performance, customer behavior, and operational efficiency.
Retailers can take advantage of the insights from workforce management systems to make informed decisions regarding staff, training, long-term planning, and more.
- Data-driven decision-making allows for proactive problem-solving by identifying potential challenges before they become major issues.
- Tracking key metrics over time helps retailers measure the effectiveness of their workforce management strategies and make necessary adjustments for continuous improvement.
- Data transparency promotes employee accountability by providing clear benchmarks for performance evaluation and goal setting.
These benefits lead to improved outcomes, including increased sales revenue and profitability and enhanced brand reputation through better customer service.
The Impact of Non-Automated WFM for Retailers
Non-automated WFM can result in a plethora of difficulties and ineffectiveness within the retail industry. Let’s delve into some key issues:
- Inflated labor costs: Manual errors, unnecessary overtime, and employees manipulating time records can all contribute to increased labor expenses.
- Lack of store efficiency: Overstaffing or understaffing due to inaccurate scheduling forecasts, coupled with manual processes and lack of visibility into operations, hampers overall store productivity.
- Deteriorating customer experience: When managers are burdened with tedious scheduling tasks instead of focusing on floor activities and customer interaction, it negatively impacts the shopping experience, which may eventually affect top-line sales.
- Poor employee engagement & high attrition rates: A rigid schedule without flexibility or transparency leads to disengaged employees who feel undervalued. This results in higher turnover rates that not only increase hiring costs but also disrupt store operations. A report from Gallup suggests that millennial turnover alone costs the US economy $30.5 billion annually.
Retailers must recognize these potential pitfalls associated with non-automated WFM systems and take proactive steps toward implementing modern solutions designed for today’s dynamic workforce needs. Legacy tools were created at a time when employees were considered merely as ‘labor’ or ‘personnel’, but now is the era where an employee’s work-life balance matters more than ever before; hence they demand greater control over their schedules & paychecks.
Mobile apps & self-service capabilities should no longer be afterthoughts but integral components of any effective WFM system. Don’t let outdated systems hold you back from achieving your business goals. Upgrade to a modern WFM solution today.
Non-automated workforce management systems can lead to inflated labor costs, lack of store efficiency, deteriorating customer experience, poor employee engagement, and high attrition rates in the retail sector. Retailers should recognize these potential pitfalls and take proactive steps towards implementing modern solutions designed for today’s dynamic workforce needs by upgrading to a modern WFM solution with mobile apps & self-service capabilities.
Outdated Tools: The Bane of Modern Workforce Management
This disconnect between old-world software design and new-age employee needs is causing significant hurdles in effective workforce management:
- Lack of Flexibility: Traditional systems offer limited options for schedule adjustments, making it difficult for employees seeking work-life balance.
- Inadequate Transparency: Legacy tools often do not provide real-time visibility into schedules or pay details, leading to confusion or mistrust among staff members.
- Poor User Experience: Outdated interfaces can be challenging to navigate, leading to frustration among users trying to manage their shifts or review their compensation details online.
In essence, instead of facilitating efficient workforce management processes as intended, legacy solutions have become roadblocks hindering operational efficiency while negatively impacting employee satisfaction.
The Key to Business Success
Are you still wondering why workforce management is important? For large retail companies, modern, intelligently automated, employee-centric retail workforce management software is essential for efficient operations and profitability. You can optimize staffing, satisfy customers, control costs, boost productivity, manage compliance, and make data-driven decisions all in one place with the right solution. Outdated tools are hindering progress in business—it’s time to embrace modern solutions.