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by Jen Leigh on April 13, 2023

What Is Workforce Management?

Workforce management (WFM) enables companies to organize employee processes more effectively, drive efficiency, and reduce costs. An organization should consider workforce management when its labor force needs a productivity boost.

This article reveals everything employers need to know about workforce management— from how it works to why every business needs it to optimize performance. 

Workforce Management Defined

Workforce management is a collection of processes organizations use to streamline workflows, tap into new efficiencies, and make their teams more productive. WFM aspects include employee scheduling, time & attendance management, and performance management. Workforce management has several critical functions in tech-enabled organizations. 

The Role of Workforce Management In Business

Employers implement workforce management for specific purposes, including: 

Streamlining Processes and Boosting Workforce Productivity

Automated workforce management makes it easier to assign the right tasks to the right employees…at the right time. Employers can quickly and efficiently consider employee availability, pay rates, preferences, skills, and other critical factors before assigning tasks. Automation ensures businesses spend less time assigning tasks and more time on productivity. 

Reducing Operating Costs

Automation = reduced manual, time-consuming, and repetitive processes. As the organization taps into new workflow efficiencies, less time is spent on administrative tasks, which cuts down operating costs. 

Collecting Accurate, Timely Data

With a reliable workforce management solution, organizations use time & attendance technology that gives real-time visibility into worked hours and absences. As a result, workforce management enhances payroll accuracy. 

What Are the Key Aspects of Workforce Management? 

There's no one-size-fits-all WFM strategy because every company is unique. However, common aspects of effective workforce management include the following: 

Employee SchedulingEmployee Scheduling Solution CTA Vertical

Properly assigning tasks is one of the essential aspects of workforce management. Employee scheduling ensures businesses consider work hours, breaks, time off, availability, and skills before assigning tasks.

The result?  Employers assign the right tasks to the right people with the necessary skills at the right time. This prevents understaffing, employee burnout, and noncompliance with applicable labor laws. Choosing the right employee scheduling software is vital. 

Time and Attendance Management

Tracking working hours and clock-in times optimizes time management and productivity in a business. Automated time and attendance solutions simplify repetitive tasks such as managing employee schedules, approving timesheets, and responding to time-off requests. 

Organizations should ensure their employee scheduling software integrates with time & attendance software. That way, it is easier to track in real-time scheduled hours vs. work time and labor costs. 

Forecasting and Budgeting

Using workforce management solutions to analyze current and historical data provides helpful insights into the organization and productivity. Organizations can use this information to formulate budgets and predict labor costs when targeting a specific productivity level. 

For instance, employers can leverage past data such as products made, the number of customers served, and the sales generated within a particular period, which is critical in budgeting and forecasting the future. 

Performance Management

This aspect of workforce management is a data-driven approach to nurturing and developing top talent. It allows business leaders to set expectations. Then, regularly assess, coach, and acknowledge workers for a well-done job. Continuous, forward-looking performance management techniques drive engagement, which is critical in retaining top talent. 

Compensation Management

Most workforce management solutions allow employers to manage payroll easily. Organizations can set up compensation cycles quickly and seamlessly to avoid manual, recurring approval processes. Compensation management solutions also provide a framework for merit pay and promotion-based raises. These perks promote corporate growth, efficiency, and accountability. 

Compliance and Risk Mitigation

Noncompliance comes with huge risks, such as license revocation, damaged reputation, lost customers, and costly fines. To minimize these risks, workforce management tools collect and organize essential business information to help companies stay on top of compliance measures

Recruitment & Talent Acquisition

An effective workforce management solution helps HR departments hire the right talent that matches an organization's empty job positions. It uses pre-determined skill sets to determine whether an applicant qualifies for a job role before recruitment. In other words, WFM automates the recruiting process to eliminate paperwork. This streamlines administration and makes recruitment more efficient. 

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Top 5 Benefits of Workforce Management Software

When businesses implement a modern workforce management system, they benefit almost instantly. Here are the massive perks of WFM to organizations: 

1. Automates Time and Attendance Tracking to Increase Efficiency

Using manual procedures to track schedules, work hours, and clock-in time can be challenging, especially with a vast multi-location workforce. Traditionally, time tracking is slow, downright frustrating, and highly susceptible to errors. This can result in inaccurate paychecks and additional administrative burdens. 

Modern workforce management software automates tracking attendance and working hours to relieve administrators of the burden of using old, cumbersome methods. Automation improves accuracy by reducing the chances of human error. The software reports absences and worked hours in real-time. 

2. Streamlines Processes to Eliminate Unnecessary Costs

Business is multifaceted. And struggling with manual processes does not help. Instead, it jacks up operation costs because of inefficiencies. 

Everything about modern workforce management software is designed to streamline scheduling, attendance, HR workflows, and payroll for both employers and employees. That means increased automation that eliminates costly manual, repetitive processes. 

3. Improves Coordination to Boost Productivity

Modern workforce solutions keep employees coordinated. An organization can quickly inform workers about open shifts and enable them to accept tasks via any mobile or desktop device. All employee resources are in a central location, so everyone can access the information right when needed. WMF software ensures smooth employee-administrator coordination to enhance productivity. 

4. Simplifies Managing a Multi-Located Workforce

Workforce management software transforms how businesses manage work worldwide. Some solutions use cloud technology and mobile apps, allowing companies to easily collaborate with employees, regardless of geographical location and time zones. Cloud-based workforce management ensures tasks are done anytime, anywhere, for business activities to run smoothly. 

5. Provides Access to Valuable Business Insights

WFM solutions come with data reporting and analytics. Employers get access to helpful metrics that show the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes, such as onboarding and training programs. 

These metrics are vital in measuring team effectiveness and tapping into new improvement potentials. Real-time reporting enables business leaders to make informed decisions. Additionally, they can leverage historical data to forecast the future regarding productivity and efficiency. 

Modern vs. Traditional Workforce Management Solutions

Tracking time manually, managing processes via Excel sheets, and paper-based performance monitoring are old, time-consuming, and inefficient techniques in the modern business world. 

Today, business leaders want to know in real-time the tasks being worked on and the exact time an employee used to complete a job. Traditional workforce management methods just cannot keep up with these demands. 

Data integrity can be compromised without real-time insights into worked hours and clock-in time. For instance, overtime pay can easily be missed on paychecks because old HR solutions lack time-tracking capabilities. Inaccurate wages not only break employees' trust but can also cause legal problems that result in negative publicity. 

Modern workforce management software comes with powerful tracking capabilities. It automatically captures essential data to minimize errors and make informed decisions. 

Improving Compliance with Modern Workforce Management Software 

Federal and state regulations such as Parental Disability and Leave Act and Family and Medical Leave Act establish when employers must provide leave of absence benefits. Employer-specific policies also affect whether a worker gets paid on leave. 

Inefficient implementation of these regulations and policies puts employers at risk of non-compliance. The risk is even higher when using manual, error-prone processes.New Call-to-action

Modern WFM has an automated leave management solution that considers government regulations concerning when employee absence should or shouldn't be paid. Automating leave management keeps administrators on top of employee absence, reduces the risks of errors, and minimizes chances of non-compliance. 

The leave technology allows organizations to:

  • Access and manage leave policy
  • Define who qualifies for paid leave
  • Track past leave requests
  • Optimize leave request and approval processes
  • Personalize leave workflows and reports

How to Choose the Best Workforce Management Solution

Here are the three factors to consider when looking for workforce management software: 

Need-Specific Features

Businesses have different needs. Organizations should identify what solutions they are looking for and choose software that meets their needs. Common features to look for in WFM software include: 

Ease of Use

Technology that confuses or gives workers a hard time adapting defeats its purpose. Workforce management software should streamline workflow both for managers and employees. What an organization opts for should serve that purpose. 


A workforce solution that integrates with other technologies is highly beneficial. For instance, the complete visibility of integrating employee schedules, time management systems, and payroll reduces time-tracking and processing errors. 

The Bottom Line

Workforce management software automates processes, drives efficiency, reduces costs, and boosts productivity. Businesses that choose the right workforce management solutions assign tasks easily, track working hours and clock in time accurately, and improve compliance with regulations. However, picking the right solutions can be challenging. 

Contact us today for help finding the right workforce management provider with the right software and tools tailored to a business's needs. 

Jen Leigh

Jen Leigh is a Senior Product Specialist with Inflection HR's Cloud Based HR and Workforce Management Solutions. Connect with Jenni and the rest of the Inflection HR Team on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.