Why Workforce Management Is Crucial During A Labor Crunch

SwipeClock workforce management helps companies survive a labor crunch
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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Unless you haven’t been paying attention, you probably realize that the labor pool is shrinking. Last month, the unemployment rate sunk to 3.9 percent, the lowest it has been since 2000.

The labor crunch is being felt all over—healthcare, retail, construction, manufacturing, and hospitality.

How are employers competing for an ever-shrinking pool of talent? Business owners are getting creative—and desperate. Some are relaxing their policies on drug use. Some are lowering the educational requirements for new hires. Some are seeking less-desirable candidates, such as those with criminal records or limited English skills. Some are recruiting semi-retired part-timers.

Here are 5 ways workforce management software helps employers compete in an era of low unemployment.

1. Optimize Your Current Staff

Having trouble filling open positions? It’s not going to get easier any time soon. You can increase the capacity of your current labor force with the right tools. WFM software customized for your industry provides key advantages for all members of your team.

Self-service Human Resources hubs streamline all employee interactions with administrative processes. Workers can access all important information. This includes time cards, tax forms, benefits information, schedules, and PTO accruals. Employees are more productive when they can solve HR issues on their own. This is especially important for millennial workers who expect technology that allows self-management.

WFM productivity tools drive employee engagement, competence, and job satisfaction. If you are shopping for productivity tools, look for software designed specifically for your industry. Some systems may integrate with productivity applications you are already using.

Managers benefit by having improved team oversight. With mobile apps, they can manage remote employees as well as onsite workers. Cloud-based systems streamline inter- and intra-team communication. Automated time and attendance systems allow managers to approve digital time cards in seconds.

Scheduling analytics helps managers forecast scheduling needs. Analytics reveal how scheduling affects productivity. They also help managers organize effective teams and assign projects. Managers can adjust variables as necessary when they understand the productivity implications. Analytics also reveal when you need to hire more employees.

Since WFM can automate every admin process, it’s especially helpful for your HR department. From recruitment to retirement, WFM gives your admin team speed, power, and agility.

Time is of the essence when evaluating job candidates in a small labor pool. Job seekers have many companies to choose from. If you hesitate on a qualified candidate, another company will surely snap them up. WFM recruitment tools help advertise, interview, evaluate and make hiring decisions. All in a fraction of the time of old-school methods.

Upon hiring, WFM streamlines onboarding, training, benefits enrollment, performance reviews, and engagement. If you can’t afford to expand your HR team, give them sophisticated tools so they can manage more employees.

Employee self-service portals ease the burden on your HR staff. At the same time, they increase employee engagement and job satisfaction, which leads us to number two…

2. Provide Employee-Friendly Scheduling

After health benefits, a flexible schedule is the most desired job perk. If flexible schedules aren’t possible for your business, try to provide consistent schedules. Employee-friendly schedules are key to employee loyalty. If you have a large labor force and many shifts of varying lengths, sophisticated scheduling software is a must-have.

Scheduling software also allows managers to limit unnecessary overtime. There is a connection between frequent overtime and high attrition.

3. Create a Company Culture That Will Attract New Hires

Employers are discovering that workforce management hubs have a profound effect on company culture. Recognition programs improve morale and offer incentives. Businesses that share relevant industry information on the company portal increase engagement and unity.

WFM hubs encourage collaboration and group-sourcing. Organizations can leverage their staff’s affinity for social media use. Winning ideas can emerge in online collaboration forums.

Anonymous “suggestion boxes” reveal problems employers didn’t even know existed. When management responds quickly to concerns—even small ones—employees feel valued and respected.

4. Save on Labor Costs to Mitigate Increased Wages

If you have raised wages to keep pace with competing employers, your labor budget is already stretched thin. Prevent further payroll bloat by eliminating time theft, payroll mistakes, and unnecessary overtime.

In a survey of 500 retail and service industry employees, over 30 percent admitted to committing wage fraud. Two common forms of time theft are buddy clocking and time card padding.

Employee time theft results in an average of 4.5 stolen hours per week, per employee. For one $12/hour employee, that’s $54 per week—$2808 per year. A small business with ten employees loses over $28,000 a year. Manual timekeeping can perpetuate a culture of time theft.

Inadvertent time card rounding also costs you. Even honest employees fail to remember exact start and end times when recording them days later.

Automated time and attendance with a biometric time clock is a company’s best defense against time theft.

Companies without WFM are more likely to issue inaccurate paychecks. Time card omissions, withholding mistakes, and inaccurate PTO tracking are common problems. Inaccurate paychecks cost you time and money.

Lower your labor expenses by tracking employee time to the minute and improving payroll accuracy. Use the money saved on programs to improve retention.

5. Offer Advancement as a Benefit

The skills gap continues to widen. Positions for highly-skilled employees are the hardest to fill. Some companies are training lower-level employees in-house or paying educational expenses. Workforce management systems help in every aspect of this process.

The benefits are numerous. It makes the lower-level positions more attractive to potential hires. It opens up a pool of candidates who are already on the payroll. Employees are more invested in your company. You save thousands by hiring in-house. Advancement programs help retain employees.

SwipeClock Workforce Management

SwipeClock workforce management products are used by over 30,000 employers to optimize their employee operations. WorkforceHUB, is the industry-leading timekeeping, scheduling, payroll, engagement and human resources portal. Request a demo to learn how WorkforceHUB can help your business.

By Liz Strikwerda

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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