In the early 2000s, workforce management referred to a broad category of business activity — what we now call human resource management (HRM). As business practices evolved over the past 20 years, workforce management took on a much more specific, technical definition.
In this article, the experts at Inch discuss the key components of workforce management and why they matter so much to your business.
What Is Workforce Management?
Workforce management (abbreviated WFM) is a combined set of interrelated processes and practices that businesses use to track and improve the productivity of their employees.
With the growth of mobile technology and cloud computing, those processes and practices are now conducted, almost exclusively, via computer and its associated software (a.k.a. apps).
Add to that the fact that many businesses are now coordinating both on-site and remote workers, and it quickly becomes apparent why businesses of all sizes and types are turning to digital solutions to help them keep everything organized.
We’ll focus on an example of one such digital solution — Inch — and how it applies to workforce management as a whole in this article.
Key Components Of Workforce Management
1) Task Management
An essential element of all good workforce management programs is organizing and executing tasks. Whether your team members work in-house, offsite, or online, delegating work and ensuring that it gets done in a timely and correct manner is crucial for your business’s success.
Incorporating WFM processes and technology into your standard operating procedures makes coordinating complicated tasks much simpler.
The Inch app, for example, gives you the power to distribute tasks across your team and prioritize what gets done when, whether employees are in the building, across town, or across the country.
Team members can even access the task list from any device — phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop — so they always know where they need to go and what they need to work on next.
2) Time Tracking
Another key component of strong workforce management is time tracking.
In the past, many businesses relied on pen and paper to conduct this important activity. That often meant assembling multiple timesheets, entering the information into a computer, crunching the numbers for payroll, and examining the data to identify trends, discrepancies, and how it all affects strategy.
Now, the Inch app makes it easy to track and control when your team works without having to collate reams of paper and spend hours on end entering the information into your computer.
And, with Inch, you no longer have to cobble together multiple apps just to keep everything digital. Inch is your one-stop, turnkey solution to task and field service management.
Incorporating the Inch app into your workflow can have a dramatic effect on one of the largest expenses your business has to contend with — labor costs.
With the Inch app, not only can you assign tasks to anyone, anywhere — on-site or off — but you can also:
- Turn any phone into a time clock and allow employees to clock in and clock out from anywhere
- Set up geofencing so that team members are in the right place when they start and end their work
- Prevent early clock-ins and forgotten clock-outs
- Reduce time theft
- Export timesheets for simplified payroll processing
- Much more…
Regardless of whether you manage a remote or in-office team, the Inch WFM software can help your business simplify time tracking for more accurate payroll and data acquisition.
One of the biggest bottlenecks in workforce management is communication. Distributing information quickly and consistently to a large team can take a lot of time out of your day if done incorrectly.
Whether you talk to your employees in person, send messages via email, or instant message them with updates and policy changes, you need a communication structure in place in order to get things done.
That communication structure must function efficiently for everyday activities as well as any emergencies that occur. You don’t want there to be confusion when you’re trying to reassign who does what when a rush job comes up.
With Inch, for example, you can send private and group messages at the click of a button and organize conversations by different teams, locations, or skill sets.
That way, you can keep everyone informed — and stay informed yourself — without missing a beat in your daily activities.
The heart of your workforce management is scheduling both short-term, day-to-day activities and long-term, month-to-month (and even year-to-year) plans.
Look for a program that combines the simplicity of a calendar view and the easy distribution of cloud-based technology. That way, you and your employees can access the schedule wherever you are, whenever you choose.
Inch, for example, harnesses the power of cloud computing to let you manage multiple locations from your base of operations.
Or, if you’re mobile during the day, you can use Inch to manage all your employees — no matter where they’re located — on your iOS, Android, or Windows device.
That’s true flexibility and power.
Why Effective Workforce Management Matters
Efficiency is all about getting things done promptly.
With advanced task management, time tracking, and process checklists, the right field service management software boosts efficiency wherever your team is working and on whatever job they’re focused.
With the advanced features that the Inch workforce management software has to offer — and the efficiency they produce — your team’s productivity is likely to increase dramatically.
Even if you implement new programs and processes one at a time (instead of all at once), you’ll see productivity improve somewhere in your business. It’s just that powerful.
Trying to manage your on-site workforce is hard enough. Add in a remote-work option or a field service component, and you’ve got a very real nightmare on your hands.
That’s why the best workforce management software allows you to see and make changes in real time.
With Inch, for example, if a salesperson breaks down en route to an appointment across town, they can contact you through the app, and you can dispatch another salesperson to cover the call with as little downtime and inconvenience to the client as possible.
This gives you the agility and the speed to manage the ups and downs of your workforce without breaking a sweat.
In workforce management, transparency must go both ways — from team member to management and from management to team member.
You need to be able to see what your employees are doing, and they need to be able to see what you’re doing (and why).
WFM apps make that transparency possible by giving everyone involved insight into what other parts of the business are doing both in real time and over the long run.
5) Customer Service
Efficient and effective workforce management has a direct impact on how your customers feel about your business.
When you provide quality service with as little delay as possible through proper WFM, your business’s reputation will improve and more customers will flock to your door.
The Best Tool For Workforce Management
If you’re looking for the best way to perfect your workforce management, Inch is the app for you.
What is Inch? It’s a suite of voice-operated task-management, time-tracking, communication, and scheduling tools all rolled into one. It’s also available for smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computers.
The software incorporates task management and time tracking in one powerful solution and is designed to make it easier for managers and employees to get aligned on their to-dos, ensuring that all tasks get completed on time.
Inch also simplifies communication. Employees can perform a wide variety of tasks from their tablet or phone, including:
- Working from a shared task list
- Getting clarity on work that needs to get done
- Receiving voice-assisted reminder notifications
- Clocking in and out of tasks at different locations
- Completing work assigned to them
- Communicating with managers and each other
All of that and more without having to touch a mobile screen or report back to the office.
For managers, Inch makes it easy to distribute tasks manually across their teams or populate tasks automatically based on preset conditions.
This unique feature ensures that all work is covered and keeps employees accountable and clear on their specific responsibilities, expected outcomes, and deadlines.
Managers can also assign work to the employees that are closest to the jobsite or have tasks generate automatically as the need arises. And they can follow work progress and task completion in real time.
Inch helps eliminate frustration for employees, headaches for managers, and inefficiencies for the business.
Whether you need help setting up when each team member will work during the week or what tasks they will perform, Inch gives you unprecedented control over an inherently complicated process and makes it easier than ever to streamline the workforce management side of your business.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.