Workforce management software: ultimate guide

Workforce Mangement software comes with many benefits

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In an HR study, 75% of companies said that workforce management (WFM) software reduced at least 6 – 10% of payroll in less than a year!

While that’s certainly impressive, you won’t get that kind of result without the right workforce management solutions, so it’s critical to thoroughly understand your needs as a business, and then match them to the right software.

Workforce management software is the one tool that impacts your business the fastest, and the most powerful in a very short space of time. It saves time, costs and boosts productivity.

It significantly improves your organisation’s efficiency by empowering your operational managers and allowing them to manage the workforce smarter, impacting the business, staff and clients.

What is workforce management software?

Workforce management software is an overarching term for programs that help a business manage staff scheduling and attendance, simplify workforce planning and controlling labour costs. This type of management system is generally used by service businesses that employ a large number of workers who usually do shift work at remote locations.

Benefits of workforce management software

The way that workforce scheduling has traditionally operated is time consuming, inaccurate, and does not provide meaningful insights.

Workforce management software automates many of the common, everyday, laborious tasks performed by Operations and HR departments.

Workforce Mangement software comes with many benefits

Scheduling software comes with many benefits, but the two most important ones are reduced operating costs and increased business efficiency. Other top benefits include:

  • Improved employee satisfaction because things don’t take as much time or effort, and employees can access schedules as they are published, and minimises pay queries. This is important because the more satisfied your employees, the lower the staff turnaround.
  • Frees up management time because the most time consuming tasks are automated.
  • Provides meaningful insights with data collection in order to make continual improvements, specifically in terms of labour efficiency.
  • Meets with compliance requirements.
  • Improves service levels because it helps get the right people doing the right things at the right time, to ensure that clients get what they pay for.

Types of workforce management software

There are various types of workforce management software:

  • Time and attendance software
  • Absence and leave management software
  • Workforce analytics software
  • Scheduling software
  • Those systems that provide a combination of all of the above.

Typical challenges in the old way of doing things

  • Let’s first bring up the major challenges around traditional workforce planning:
  • Unstable workforce schedules
  • Employee scheduling is time consuming
  • Inability to easily track activity
  • Overtime calculation errors
  • Information overload
  • Inaccurate forecasting
  • Irrelevant data that does not add value
  • Lack of integration of software and between departments
  • Difficulty scheduling staff at multiple locations
  • Compliance issues
Unstable workforce schedules

Features to look for in workforce management software

Now that we’ve addressed the major challenges in how workforce management was traditionally approached, let’s delve into the features that address these issues:

Workforce scheduling

If your business needs to schedule employees at multiple locations, it’s important to find workforce management software to achieve this. EasyRoster specialises in rostering and posting of personnel shifts per location, and providing the information necessary for managers to improve labour efficiency and service delivery..

Manage contracts

If your company manages employees on multiple client sites, then it’s important to look for software that helps management manage client contracts on all sites.

Personnel details

The system must be able to house all personnel details which can be accessed by all relevant parties and departments, and in real time.

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Time and attendance

Again, if your business has employees working on multiple sites, the software must be able to cater to this as does EasyRoster time and attendance software.

Data that provides meaningful insights

Look for a solution that uses data to not only provide meaningful insights, but offers many different reporting views so that all departments can make use of the insights.


The tool should allow customisation so that any business can make it their own. It must have flexible business rules, like:

  • Shift type definitions
  • Allowances
  • Grades and ranks
  • Wage Rules
  • Exporting to payroll systems


The software must be able to integrate with the other tools your business uses, in order to fully streamline processes. In other words, find workforce management software that can be used across departments. Example: Operations performs the shift scheduling, but Payroll uses the software to calculate hours for payment.

Very importantly, the software must integrate with clocking technologies and other operational systems.

EasyRoster Integrations

Bonus tips to choose the right workforce management software

It should be user friendly with a responsive design. In other words, there should not be too much of a steep learning curve to master, and should be accessible on all devices.

Make a list of what you need to make your processes easier and find a tool that fits your needs. Try out before you buy where possible.

In summary: most important points

If you’re reading this, then you are either using outdated methods of managing your employee’s time, or you are dissatisfied with your current solutions.

Make a list of your requirements and find software that caters for them.

If your business has staff situated at multiple locations, be sure to narrow down your search to software that caters for this.

Book a demo today

Take advantage of a free 30 minute personalised demo to see EasyRoster in action.