I was asked a very good question not long ago – “What are the biggest mistakes companies make when buying workforce management software?” There are so many solutions out there offering to make daily operational routines easier, so how do you make sure you choose the right system? I’ve gathered my thoughts and what I’ve found is that there are two common misunderstandings which seem to make the journey through the jungle of workforce management tools very complicated. So, here are some guidelines.
A change of concept is needed
There are some common mistakes that companies make when on the search for workforce management software. One of them is that they think it’s an old-fashioned piece of software which they will have to install locally on a computer – just like Excel which many companies still rely on to handle their shift planning, budgets and hour registrations. It’s a program which we download, install and access from one user at a time. However, that’s not how we should see software anymore. Today, many systems, including workforce management systems, are online, and the best ones are even mobile as well.
We’ve moved away from the concept of having everything stored locally on a piece of hardware to being able to access everything whenever we need. Software systems are now able to work around us instead of us having to work around them.
Seeing workforce management systems as old-fashioned installations is a big misunderstanding – and one that I think pushes a lot of people away from buying smart solutions. Many still think “Well, we’re using Excel and that works for us. Why would we need to install yet another system on our computer?”
So, we need to change to way we understand software. However, there is an even bigger misunderstanding which makes it extremely difficult for many to find the system they need.
Workforce management – a misleading term
I see a huge problem in the term “workforce management.” When companies search for workforce management software, many believe that they will get a top-down management tool, suitable for the high levels in an organization to control the various internal activities. And I don’t blame them – that’s what the word “management” means. But that’s not how it works at all.
Workforce management systems simplify essential internal dynamics such as employee scheduling, HR, communication, hour registration and salary calculations. These are tasks that involve employees as much as management.
Employees are able to check their shift plan, register their hours, and swap, book and request shifts through this online and mobile platform, meaning that they don’t have to call around to get a shift covered or ask for the updated shift plan to be shared. This gives the employees a lot of freedom to plan their work days, especially if they are working two or more jobs, or if they cover different job roles within the company.
At the same time, managers are able to oversee and control HR, budgets and payroll in the very same system.
A workforce management system connects managers and employees, and employees and employees. It enables them to interact with each other and as everything is online and mobile, they will communicate in real-time. This creates a huge value for everyone across the organization.
In fact, it should be called a workforce collaboration system. Or a team connecting system. That would probably help more businesses in their search for a system that will live up to their needs and even exceed their expectations.
If you’d like to try out what the industry analysts still refer to as a “workforce management” system (but is so much more) free of charge you can click here and then see how it really connects you and your team.
Or feel free to check out this video to find out how easy it is to get started with an online and mobile workforce management system.