Main workforce management challenges


5 min read

Main workforce management challenges


    The top workforce management challenges faced by businesses today (and how to solve them)

    If you struggle with workforce management, know you aren’t alone. A study by BrightHR found that 35% of small and medium size businesses (SMBs) in the UK struggle with managing employee time off, with 32% saying it impacts employee morale, and that 24% of SMBs struggle with managing employee scheduling, with 20% saying it impacts customer satisfaction. And these are only a few of the workforce management challenges faced by businesses today. 

    In this article, we'll reveal the most common workforce management challenges facing SMBs and share with you some best practice tips to resolve them. 

    5 workforce management challenges (we see all too often)

    From scheduling conflicts to attendance tracking, there are so many workforce management challenges that we regularly see business owners dealing with, just to maintain routine business operations. 

    The top 5 challenges we see on a regular basis include:

    1. Scheduling conflicts and employee availability

    SMBs often struggle to create work schedules that meet both the needs of their business AND their employees.

    You need to create schedules that meet the needs of your business while also taking into account employee availability and working preferences. Failure to do this can result in scheduling conflicts, employee dissatisfaction and reduced productivity.

    2. Time and attendance tracking

    Accurately tracking employee time and attendance is a critical aspect of workforce management, however small your business. That's because accurate tracking of employee hours worked is crucial for accurate payroll processing, compliance with your local labour laws and monitoring employee performance.

    The problem with tracking time and attendance manually, using dated methods such as paper timesheets or manual punch clocks, is that it's time-consuming and prone to human error. Not only that, these methods can be taken advantage of by employees, or, if there are instances of human error, can lead to payroll errors and potentially compliance issues.

    3. Compliance with labour laws

    As a business, you have a legal responsibility to operate according to your local labour laws, meaning you need to comply with all relevant regulations, for example, minimum wage laws, overtime regulations and employee classification requirements.

    Non-compliance with labour laws just isn't a risk you want to take as it can result in legal and financial problems for both you and the company.

    4. Communication and collaboration

    SMBs often face challenges when it comes to communication and collaboration. Limited resources, outdated technology, lack of training, cultural barriers and departmental silos can all contribute to miscommunication conflicts. Without effective communication and collaboration, SMBs risk decreased productivity, missed deadlines and low employee morale. 

    5. Cost management

    Finally, cost management is the bane of almost every business. Keeping on top of labour costs when you don't have a centralised system for accurate time tracking or employee attendance is a one way ticket to escalating costs. And the more employees you have, the bigger the costs become.

    Suggested workforce management solutions

    We may be slightly biased, but we are firm believers that workforce management software is the answer to helping businesses achieve more by uncomplicating your workforce management.

    From avoiding scheduling conflicts, time and attendance tracking, to compliance with labour laws, and effective cost management, Planday can help you reduce administrative tasks, create a more efficient and productive workplace and ultimately increase profitability. And who doesn't want that?

    Let's explore these solutions in more detail:

    Automated scheduling

    When businesses can create schedules that take into account employee availability and preferences, as well as business needs, everyone wins. Planday's scheduling feature allows your employees to set their availability and preferences, such as preferred shifts or which days off they want/need. This information can then be used by managers to create work schedules that are tailored to individual employee needs while also meeting business requirements.

    Even better, the scheduling feature can help you manage unexpected scheduling changes, such as employee absences or last-minute shift swaps. With Planday, your employees can easily request time off, swap shifts with other employees, or even offer their available time to cover shifts. 

    Decreasing the time and effort required to create and manage employee schedules, and reducing scheduling conflicts will help improve employee satisfaction all around, which in turn can lead to increased employee productivity and lower staff turnover.

    Track time and attendance

    When you automatically track time and employee attendance, not only does it eliminate the need for manual tracking (saving hours of time), it also significantly reduces the risk of errors. With Planday's Punch Clock feature, employees can quickly and easily clock in and out using their mobile phone (or device), and their hours are automatically tracked and recorded in real-time.

    The Punch Clock feature also allows you to set up custom pay rules (saving you time and reducing the risk of payroll processing errors) such as overtime and shift differentials, which can be automatically calculated based on employee work hours.

    We mentioned above about tracking and recording employees in real time, but this data and insights into employee attendance and performance can help you identify trends, such as excessive employee absenteeism or tardiness, and help you take early corrective action as needed.

    Compliance with labour laws

    Your business has a legal requirement to stay compliant with local labour laws, but these laws can be complex. Using tools to help track and monitor compliance-related data, e.g. tracking employee work hours to ensure compliance with overtime regulations, monitoring employee breaks to ensure compliance with meal and rest break laws, and tracking employee schedules to ensure compliance with scheduling laws, will help keep your business on the right side of the law.

    Communication and collaboration

    No matter what type of industry your business operates in, communication is key to success. Planday's communication feature will keep your staff informed and engaged, and all in one place. Planday's communication feature is a centralised platform allowing businesses to send messages to employees - to communicate important updates, share work schedules and provide feedback on performance, or create group chats, all from one place.

    When you make communication and collaboration easy among employees, regardless of where they're located, or what their work schedule looks like, everyone feels better connected. Which in turn can help increase employee engagement, improve employee productivity and reduce staff turnover rates.

    Cost management

    Want to save money on staffing? Of course you do. Which is why with Planday you can create and manage your employee schedules, track employee time and attendance and monitor labour costs, all within the same platform, and in real-time.

    Because Planday includes features for creating employee schedules based on labour demand and availability, you avoid overstaffing and only schedule employees based on their availability.

    Plus, tracking employee time and attendance helps you monitor costs in real-time, including tracking employee clock-ins and clock-outs with our Punch Clock feature, monitoring employee breaks and tracking employee overtime hours. It can also help identify areas where labour costs are high and implement cost-saving measures, such as reducing overtime or adjusting staffing levels.

    With Planday, you get real-time data and insights into your employee work hours and labour costs, helping your managers make data-driven decisions about cost management. Finally, with our reporting and analytics capabilities, you can forecast labour costs and make informed decisions about staffing levels and allocations.

    By using Planday, you can reduce expenses, increase profitability, and improve your bottom line.

    Make your day work with Planday

    So, if you're ready to streamline your workforce management processes and overcome the challenges we've discussed, try Planday for 30 days, completely free.

    By taking advantage of this free trial, you'll have the opportunity to experience firsthand how Planday can simplify employee scheduling, time and attendance tracking, compliance with labour laws, communication and collaboration and cost management.

    To get started, simply sign up for the free trial and start exploring the features and capabilities of Planday today. 

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