“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.”
— Inventor Dean Kamen
Businesses of all sizes are interested in working smarter, not harder. With growth comes scalability challenges and the tendency of companies to spend too much time on the wrong tasks and too much money on overhead. Technological advances and workforce strategies are now making it possible to cut down on costs while increasing employee satisfaction and improving the customer experience. The key is to let automation and improved tracking capabilities handle the bulk of the workload.
Here’s how to achieve an optimized workforce for your business.
Workforce Optimization (WFO) refers to a business strategy that is focused on balancing customer satisfaction with service levels, workforce scheduling, operational costs, and other key performance metrics. The goal is to get the maximum performance from employees at any given time while servicing customers in a way that works for them. WFO is an overall approach to business operation with the necessary tools and applications put in place to foster efficient and effective growth.
Based on the information, WFO is about working faster and stronger using the right resources and supportive technology to predict staffing needs and streamline decision-making. An optimized workforce means you understand how your employees work and know how to best leverage their skills to reach greater organizational goals.
Workforce Optimization is about getting information to the right people when they need it for the best outcome while giving insight into every aspect of your business. Because it matches skill levels with job duties, scheduling, and task assignments are at the heart of optimizing the workforce. It can predict demand and ensure that the best employees for the job are scheduled and ready to take command when they are most needed.
To optimize staffing, you should first look at the customer experience (CX) you provide in relation to where you want to be in terms of sales. Evaluate your workforce and then develop baselines for performance and tasks that will optimize employee production.
Look at your organization from the customer’s point of view. Surveying customers to find out what’s working for them and what they consider your weak points gives valuable insight. Share the feedback with the staff.
Get a full view of employee attendance and time management using attendance software. This time-saver cuts down on errors that occur with manually clocking in and out. This also measures employee engagement by showing who’s working overtime and who has trouble with early mornings.
Scheduling software puts all the information you need right in front of you so that you can schedule qualified staff when they are most needed. Employee availability, skills, performance, attendance data, and time off indicators make the scheduling process as easy as possible. Some software programs are able to automatically assign open shifts based on availability and performance factors. All you have to do is review, approve, and publish.
Not every employee is in a role best suited to individual skills. That does not mean that the employee is not a valuable asset to the company when hired in a different capacity. WFO software can help you examine productivity and evaluate which processes are not working as well as they could be. Analytics tools deliver insights into your workforce’s performance, effectiveness, and productivity.
Workforce Management is organizing a company for optimal productivity. It deals with managing the workforce as it now stands. Focusing heavily on scheduling, its goal is to avoid staffing issues while also streamlining human resources tasks like payroll and timekeeping.
Workforce Engagement refers to how committed to productivity employees are. Are they arriving late and clocking out early? Do some struggle to complete their tasks or hit quotas? Managing the workforce for optimal engagement requires an honest evaluation of strengths and weaknesses combined with a commitment to optimal customer experience. It takes effective workforce planning.
Workforce planning involves making sure that the priorities and needs of a company are aligned with those of its workforce so that it can meet objectives and goals as efficiently as possible. Workforce planning tries to anticipate staffing alterations to effectively plan for the future.
Data is a key element in workforce planning. Operational workforce planning involves “hard” numbers in making predictions for the future using historical data or doing a quantitative analysis of the market to match supply with demand. Strategic workforce planning relies on qualitative insights to identify and maximize the drivers of performance.
For help optimizing your workforce and driving powerful business outcomes, contact us.
Murray consults with clients to create digital solutions that align with their vision, markets, customers and products. Prior to OZ, Murray co-founded Biztegra, a digital marketing, engagement and technology agency.
He also held senior positions at some of the world’s largest digital agencies, including Razorfish and Sapient, and began his career at what is now Accenture. An IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt™, Murray earned his B.S./B.A. in computer science and finance from the University of Florida.
OZ is a consulting and technology solutions leader focused on increasing customer engagement & operational excellence by leveraging Intelligent Automation.