What is Workforce Management?

Within your store operations, your workers are at the very core. Every customer interaction depends on them. In today’s workforce, it has been proven that workers expect more from their managers than they have in the past. This can range from greater work-life balance, to more say on how they contribute to day-to-day operations. In addition to your workers, store managers are also being challenged to address these new demands along with ensuring to manage and stay compliant with ever-evolving labor laws, regulations, union rules and internal policies. Given these new challenges, you should consider implementing an intelligent workforce management software solution for your retail operations.

What is Workforce Management?

At a basic level, workforce management solution is one that enables you to simplify retail complexity. In other words, this technology helps speed up your processes while eliminating inefficiencies. When this software is in the hands of your managers, it enables them to optimize schedules in order to spend more time training and assisting front-line associates and interacting with customers. In addition, with these optimized schedules, your managers will be able to account for their workers’ schedules and improve employee satisfaction and retention for their store. With workforce management software, the intuitive mobile interface mobile user interface allows your employees an easy-to-use method to share their availability that will, in turn, empower your store managers to see what resources they have and distribute tasks appropriately.

Workforce management software also ensures your store operations stay compliant with the ever-evolving labor laws and keep your labor costs low. When configured correctly, this solution can automatically adjust schedules in response to these labor laws being created and changed. Internally, tracking compliance with the policies can bring a challenge without real-time visibility and actionable notifications. Time and attendance solutions help identify noncompliance issues in real-time which enables management to proactively respond to potential violations to avoid fines and penalties. Not only can you avoid unnecessary costs for your store through potential violations, but you will also be enabled to forecast future demand needs from your customers to eliminate unneeded labor spend. This solution can more accurately predict factors impacting sales and customer demands and can come with advanced algorithms that automatically account for variables such as store type, size, departments, workers’ roles and regulatory laws.

Why is Workforce Management Important?

When given real-time data and insight into your store operations, the impact your managers and store associates can have on the success of your business. Workforce management helps organizations optimize their workforce and improve productivity. By using workforce management solutions, organizations can automate and streamline their workforce processes, including time and attendance tracking, scheduling and task management. This can help reduce manual errors, improve compliance and reduce labor costs. In addition, workforce management solutions provide real-time visibility into workforce performance, enabling organizations to identify and address performance issues quickly. This can help improve customer service and increase revenue. Here are some key benefits of workforce management:

Plan for Demand

Match labor forecasts to customer demand, ensuring you have the right front-line teams at the right place at the right time to serve customers. Save time and eliminate guesswork and the need to manually schedule creation.

Optimize Labor Spend

Control labor spending with advanced budgeting and reporting. Identify trends, eliminate excess overtime and drive continuous improvement across your organization. With access to actionable insights, managers can make data-driven decisions regarding labor spending. They can identify areas where costs can be optimized, such as reducing overtime expenses, improving scheduling efficiency or reallocating resources as needed. A workforce management solution can also help provide a transparent view of labor costs at various levels, from individual employees to entire departments or locations. This visibility enables managers to understand where labor expenses are incurred and helps them identify areas for cost optimization. By using advanced budgeting and reporting data, businesses can align their labor spending with overall financial goals. This ensures that labor costs are managed in a way that supports the company's profitability and growth objectives.

Provide Schedule Flexibility

Dynamically adjust schedules to fill labor gaps and share resources between locations. Multi-site scheduling capabilities enable employees to select shifts and locations that meet their needs. With multi-site scheduling capabilities, employees gain the flexibility to select shifts and locations that best suit their preferences and requirements. This empowers workers to choose shifts that align with their commutes, personal obligations, or preferences for specific work environments. Consequently, this can improve overall employee satisfaction and work-life balance. For businesses operating in multiple locations or branches, it may be essential to efficiently distribute resources across sites. A workforce management solution can facilitate resource sharing by enabling managers to access a centralized view of workforce availability and skills across all locations. This allows them to optimize staff allocation and redistribute employees to areas with higher demand or urgent needs.

Improve Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

Offer workers greater control over their shifts to boost morale and improve retention. High turnover rates can be costly for businesses, both in terms of recruitment expenses and lost productivity. When workers feel that their scheduling requirements are respected, they are more likely to stay with the company for the long term, reducing turnover and improving overall retention rates. With a workforce management solution, businesses can reduce scheduling errors with optimized schedules on a mobile-first platform that accounts for employee preferences for when, how much and where they need to work. Manually creating schedules can be prone to errors and inefficiencies, leading to under-staffing or over-staffing situations. A workforce management solution utilizes advanced technology and data analysis to optimize schedules. By taking into account employee preferences, availability and workload requirements, managers can minimize scheduling errors and ensure that the right number of employees are available at any given time.

Stay Compliant

Ensure compliance and prevent fines with proactive tracking and highly configurable labor models. Ensure federal, state and local labor laws, union rules and internal processes are followed. A workforce management solution can help businesses stay compliant with these laws by automating the application of various regulations. As you may be aware, non-compliance with labor laws and regulations can lead to hefty fines and legal penalties, which can significantly impact a company's bottom line. With a workforce management solution, businesses can minimize the risk of fines and legal repercussions, protecting their financial health and reputation.

Make Smarter Decisions

Generate insightful exception reports to highlight areas needing attention. Automatically uncover opportunities to reduce waste and staffing inefficiencies. By leveraging reporting and analytics capabilities, businesses can gain valuable insights into their workforce operations. Be able to efficiently strategize and address issues such as overstaffing, understaffing or scheduling conflicts. These reports can help managers identify areas where additional training or support may be needed.

Learn More About Zebra's Workforce Management Solutions