Workforce Management (WFM) tools are essential for several businesses across industries, including those in the cleaning services sector. These tools make it possible to enhance productivity as well as improve scheduling, operational efficiency, and a business’s bottom line. Digital transformation has seen a shift in the type of tools available on the market compared to those utilised traditionally. Below we examine this evolution as well as what you should be looking for when considering workforce management tools for your business.
The Evolution of Workforce Management Tools
When a business implements a workforce management software solution, they implement a set of tools to increase productivity and efficiency. This is essential for companies within the cleaning services industry which relies on ensuring that you have the right employees, with the right skills set, at the right location, performing the right job.
This, however, is just one element of workforce management. This process also includes Human Resources (HR Management) and operations elements, including payroll, time, attendance, administration, scheduling, performance management, customer service and more. It is therefore essential for HR departments and operational managers to effectively and efficiently perform their tasks.
Traditionally this complex process was managed by putting pen to paper, which, as you can imagine when managing a large number of employee timesheets and schedules, resulted in a backlog of paperwork and admin, took a long time to find what you needed and was not efficient at all.
Then came computers and the use of Microsoft Excel, which provided a way to track and record all elements related to workforce management. Although quicker than pen to paper, this process also took up a lot of time and resources as everything had to be entered and captured manually. Today many businesses are turning to innovative technology that uses automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence to make this process faster, more efficient and effective. The adoption of this new WFM software technology enables you to:
- Automate schedules based on employees experience, skills levels, availability, locations and more.
- It allows you to track and manage over time, if working hours have been exceeded as well as your customer and employee experience.
- Gain more control and visibility over staff turnover, peak seasons, overtime and identify any issues or problems that can impact your business negatively.
- Track, manage and predict employee availability and effectively allows you to cover shifts if needed due to absenteeism.
- Reduce payroll errors through real-time reporting, attendance tracking and scheduling tracking.
- Reduces compliance risk in relation to labour laws by tracking elements related to employee contracts, certifications, vacation time, working hours, overtime etc.
5 best features you need to look for when considering WFM tools?
From the above, it is clear that the implementation of workforce management systems offers businesses many benefits, but like everything, not all technology is built and designed the same. This requires you to research the workforce management tools that would be best suited to your unique business needs. To help you with this process, we have outlined the top 5 best features to look out for when choosing a workforce management tool:
1. Scheduling and rostering functionality
Your WFM system should enable you to efficiently and quickly schedule and roster your employees against the cleaning contracts, workflows, availability, and employee skill sets. You should be able to do this both manually and automatically to enhance flexibility and facilitate any necessary shift swaps.
2. Easy integration
The WFM solution you choose should be easily integrated into the other systems that you utilise, like payroll systems, benefits administration, reporting capabilities etc. This enhances onboarding and enables you to consolidate all information from one single location and perform more tasks quicker, making the human resource management process that much easier.
3. Track employee time and attendance by location
Time is money, so it is essential to track the amount of time your employees are taking to complete a job at any given location. An effective way to do this is to ensure mobile device functionality and that your solution has a mobile app feature or time clock that will allow your employees to easily check in, track time, and mark their attendance at each location. This provides valuable insight into task management and productivity which can highlight any issues or problems that could be affecting your bottom line.
4. Automated reporting
Analytics, metrics and reporting are essential to understanding what is working and what areas need improvement. Your workforce management solution should have this capability and provide you with relevant insights that you can use to make informed business decisions regarding workforce planning, talent management, and profitability.
5. Demand forecasting
The workforce management tool that you choose should allow for demand forecasting. This enables you to look at historical data and make predictions for future trends and demands that could impact your business. This ensures that you can plan and meet customer demand accurately, and allows you to effectively manage recruiting in relation to demand, allowing you to meet your customers’ needs.
Now you may be thinking, how do you find a solution that ticks all of the above boxes? Well, we have you covered with Adapt IT’s EasyRoster solution.
EasyRoster as a workforce management tool
The EasyRoster technology has been developed with the cleaning services industry in mind and is based on over 25 years of industry experience. This workforce management technology focuses on assisting you in maximising your labour efficiency. The secret to the effectiveness of this solution lies in the features and modules this innovative platform provides. These include:
- Contract management – Details regarding each site or location are captured and maintained in EasyRoster. When roster and attendance hours or shifts are registered for a site, they are compared to the requirements of the contract or site – providing you with a bird’s eye view of all jobs and operational requirements.
- Personnel management – Details regarding each employee are captured, managed and maintained in EasyRoster. This allows you to choose and assess the right employees for the project, site, or job.
- Staff scheduling per location – Scheduling (rostering) of personnel shifts is done per location and may be done manually or automatically. This allows you to ensure that the right employees are at the right locations, enables you to track and get overtime alerts, monitors non-productive time, and provides sales data that you can use to determine the profit per site.
- Time and attendance per location – The capturing of actual attendance details is done per location and may be done manually or automatically. This allows you to pull reports and make the necessary adjustments to attendance to ensure that sites are correctly covered, and that wage costs are kept to a minimum.
- Minimise wage costs – The most crucial functionality provided by EasyRoster, is the power of the management information and reports that are provided. These reports highlight incorrect rostering and attendance regarding the number and grades of personnel rostered or posted at a site, projected and actual wage costs, overtime, non-productive time, site profitability etc. This enables an operations manager to keep day-to-day real-time control of operations to ensure that costs are kept to a minimum and personnel requirements are precisely met.
- Flexible business rules – EasyRoster is highly customisable and flexible, allowing for the creation of customised business rules according to your requirements which could include shift type definitions, wage rules, grades/rank, allowances, earnings and more.
These features translate into several different benefits for a business. Not only does this solution improve payroll efficiency, but it simplifies the complexity of workforce management. You can access all the relevant information needed to make informed decisions related to labour efficiency, productivity, and employee engagement, which further allows you to reduce and optimise labour costs.
This software also allows you to track and manage compliance related to employee work hours, shifts, and overtime, which is essential in this industry. You can utilise this technology to increase your operational agility in relation to production schedules, market and demand changes, and more. These benefits not only have a positive impact on your overall profitability and efficiency but on employee morale as well.
Over the years, workforce management tools have continued to evolve. On the market today, there are several different software solutions available to enhance the efficiency of workforce management within a business. Still, you need to find the right fit for your business needs. Luckily, EasyRoster ticks all of the workforce management boxes and enables you to effectively manage your workforce, labour efficiency, and costs. For more on how this solution works, book a demo today.
As a Senior Product Manager at Adapt IT, I lead the division responsible for one of our flagship products, EasyRoster. Our primary focus is to empower organisations with top-tier Workforce Management Software, enabling them to optimise operational efficiency and streamline processes.
With over 12 years of experience in the industry, I have collaborated with clients across 25+ countries, delivering training sessions and offering labor efficiency consultations to diverse groups of professionals.
In my capacity as Senior Product Manager, I oversee a multidisciplinary team that together, strive to create innovative solutions and maintain our commitment to excellence in the realm of workforce management.