01 Mar Which Workforce Management Tasks should be automated?
People join the HR profession wanting to add real strategic value to their organisation through people development, employee engagement and strategic organisational development. However, getting the very basic employment factors correct such as; employee working hours & schedules, annual leave, planned and unplanned absences, skills and training and legislative compliance is equally as important.
Employees will never be happy if they’re not getting paid correctly for the work they’ve done, if their manager loses or delays their holiday request, if their flexitime balance is inaccurate or if their assigned work schedules conflict with time they have booked off. HR teams can find themselves with a very large administrative burden keeping on top of these very important tasks. However the good news is that with a good Workforce Management solution these tasks can easily be automated enabling HR teams to concentrate on more strategic initiatives to drive the company forward and enhance its attractiveness as a place to work.
When you automate and streamline Workforce Management tasks, you free up your HR team for more strategic tasks that add value to your organisation. Your organisation’s processes and procedures are improved, you increase efficiencies and dramatically reduce administration and manual tasks.
Here’s a list of some key Workforce Management tasks that can be automated bringing quantifiable benefits for your HR team, Managers and employees.
1. Tracking Employee Working Hours
Tracking and approving employee working hours can be a frustrating, time-consuming and error prone task. Automating timesheets eliminates the need for manual tracking, reduces the likelihood of errors and decreases the amount of time spent creating a payroll file. With a Time and Attendance solution you can choose to record time worked using clocking or non-clocking options. Managers review and approve their team’s timesheets before they are sent to payroll. Instead of combining multiple manual files for payroll purposes, one time and attendance file with details of hours worked and pay rates is sent to payroll reducing time spent on payroll file creation and improving accuracy and transparency across the business.The upshot? a more accurate payroll file every time and more time for your HR team to work on other strategies to help your company reach its goals.
2 . Managing Absences and Attendance
Many companies are still using email and spreadsheets to request and approve leave. Digging through emails in search of holiday requests and manually updating annual leave records takes a lot of time out of your HR teams’ day. Automating absence management allows employees to use their PC, Laptop or mobile app to request leave of all types, cancel leave or review leave balances at the touch of a button. Admin work related to absence management is significantly reduced and accountability is improved making it easier for the business to track, manage and approve employee leave and making sure your absence and attendance records are always up to date. All in all, a much better experience for both managers and employees alike.
Scheduling/Rostering is key in ensuring your business matches staff skills and availability to customer demand. It requires careful management to align employee numbers with predicted demand while adhering to regulatory rules. One person too many on your schedule is a costly mistake and in many cases can mean the difference between profit and loss. Scheduling by email, paper or spreadsheets is hugely time consuming, it’s difficult to schedule very far into the future, it’s hard to incorporate last minute changes and it’s almost impossible to spot recurring trends or get useful business insights.
Automating rostering/scheduling means you can easily manage even the most complex of rosters across job functions, departments, teams and locations. Because the solution can utilise information from the time and attendance and skills and certification modules of your Workforce Management Solution, you can be sure you’re only including employees who are available and whose skills correctly match the job on the roster. You can cost out rosters/schedules in advance and compare them to forecasted revenue and payroll costs. You can also build fairness rules into the solution to ensure that no one person is stuck doing the less desirable shifts – no more searching through last year’s spreadsheets to see who worked Christmas or New Year’s Day. The time taken to roster is significantly reduced and rosters can be done with much more advance notice which is proven to significantly increase employee engagement.
4. Keeping accurate employee records
Keeping employee personal information up to date is vital for ensuring employees are paid into the correct bank account, important documents are posted to the correct home address and for keeping next of kin details. Updating one employee record to reflect a new bank account or a change of address is easy but multiply that by hundreds of employees and it becomes a full time job, keeping your HR team member from tackling more strategic initiatives such as improving employee satisfaction or researching which new employee benefits would help with retention and recruitment.
With Employee Self-Service on mobile, desktop or laptop employees can update their personal records to reflect any changes straight away – no emails, no waiting for HR to confirm receipt and no copying and pasting information from one place to the next, everyone can be sure the correct information is securely stored in the correct place.
5. Skills and Training tracking
For many employers keeping accurate records of employee skills, training and certifications is not just a nice to have, it’s vitally important for health and safety, regulatory compliance, identifying skills gaps and planning future training requirements. HR needs to stay on top of what skills are needed for what job, their length of validity and date of expiry.
The more employees an organisation has, the harder it is to track, follow-up and verify their training and skills especially if they’re in different locations or working different shifts. A paper-based system results in voluminous paperwork, delays or incomplete training needs identification. Automating Learning & Skills tracking ensures managers can be confident that the information is accurate, up to date and considerably less time will be spent on tracking skills and training. Your Skills and Training solution can generate alerts well in advance of skills expiring ensuring there is ample time to organise retraining thereby protecting the employee and the business from any regulatory or health and safety risks.
6. Employment Law Compliance
As we mentioned in our Blog on the European Court of Justice ruling there is a global trend towards companies needing to be able to record employee hours to show compliance with legislation such as the Fair Labor Standards Act in the USA , The Canada Labour Code and the EU Working Time Directive. The inability to report or track hours worked poses a substantial risk to companies, with employees bringing cases for unpaid overtime or hours worked outside of agreed hours. The administrative burden of this on your HR team is enormous. A good Time and Attendance Solution can automate this process for you and make sure your organisation is always 100% compliant.
So, to sum up, automating the key workforce management areas: tracking employee working hours, managing absences and attendance, scheduling/rostering, keeping accurate employee records,skills and training tracking and employment law compliance, brings benefits for HR and employees alike. Employees benefit from more up to date, accurate and timely information and more control over their own personal information which in turn improves engagement and satisfaction. Meanwhile, your HR team is confident the information they are providing is timely and accurate and they are freed up to work on more strategic initiatives adding real value where it’s needed in your business. Happy employees, a happy HR team and quantifiable business benefits.. Win win all around!
To find out more about how Softworks Workforce Management Solutions can help you streamline and automate processes from Time and Attendance to Absence Management get in touch today to find out more or request a free no obligations Demo.