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Why Businesses Should Embrace Workforce Management

Why Businesses Should Embrace Workforce Management

Businesses should leverage technology to enhance efficiency, says Ahmed ElShrif, director, Middle East, at Kronos.

The Gulf region is an emerging market for workforce management with both SMEs and large corporations alike starting to value the benefits it can bring to their operations. The UAE is spearheading this transformation by banking on solid infrastructure and IT resource maturity.

But why should businesses in the region look to deploy workforce management solutions?

Control Labour Costs

Scheduling and managing absence will emerge as major challenges for HR departments which use conventional methods for scheduling and record keeping. Without having a clear overview on labour demands, HR personnel usually react by over-staffing, often with a temptation to employ the most reliable and flexible employees. Not surprisingly, these happen to be the most expensive, inflating labour costs especially when combined with overtime, which can be abused. By embracing workforce management, organisations can realise savings of between three and six per cent of annual wage costs.

Another aspect acknowledged by HR managers is the cost of employee retention. Recruiting the person with the right qualifications can be both time-consuming and costly and therefore, companies cannot afford to lose their best employees. By establishing fairness in systems traditionally known for generating errors, conflicts and preferential treatment, employees’ morale will improve. There are also the added incentives to be more productive and dedicated on the job.

Boost Productivity and Improve Customer Satisfaction

Deploying workforce management solutions empowers organisations to track and compare both budgeted hours with actual hours spent on performing tasks. As a result, the generated reports provide complete visibility over staff efficiency, utilisation and productivity. By measuring activity-based costing, businesses in the region can track worker output by the minute. This is critical for future planning as it provides insight into the exact labour costs as opposed to purely productivity.

Automated scheduling solutions can be sector-specific,responding to changing demands, in the healthcare & retail/hospitality sectors for example. Having the right person in the right place, at the right time, working on the correct task will greatly improve patient outcomes/customer satisfaction. The key to every business’ success is attending to the customers’ needs at all times, even at peak hours. Therefore, having happy and productive employees will translate into happy customers and most importantly, business growth.

Ensure Fairness at the Workplace

Fair treatment for all is critical – for both employers, and the management. By having automated timekeeping control systems, an organisation can ensure that they are paying their employees exactly what they are owed. Conventional timekeeping methods require managers to spend too much time on complex pay rules and run the risk of making errors. Businesses cannot afford to risk making overpayments that eat into profits, and underpayments that put them at the risk of labour laws, government regulation, and potential lawsuits. Accordingly, an advanced time and attendance system eliminates costly guesswork by capturing company, union, and regulatory rules up front and automatically applies the rule for consistently accurate pay.

Automated systems also empower employees and engage them in processes which were previously confined to HR managers. Now, they are able to input their shift preferences, availability, requests for leave, etc, making the schedule reflective of the overall employee’s availability, preferences thus ensuring optimum productivity. For instance, in the case of unplanned absence, the system is able to detect a potential replacement’s availability having the right qualification and skills to perform the tasks.

Additionally, alerts reach managers when employees have been working long hours without taking a break. This can severely impact their performance and/or have critical consequences such as the case of operating heavy machinery, or healthcare professionals attending patients. Fairness is guaranteed as the schedule takes into account each person’s preferences and does not prioritise one over the other. Having automated solutions ensures that organisations are doing their best to minimise compliance risk.

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