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How HR technology helps ease staffing strain, engage employees, and lower costs

Peter Harte, group vice president, enterprise, EMEA at UKG

How HR technology helps ease staffing strain, engage employees, and lower costs
How HR technology helps ease staffing strain, engage employees, and lower costs

This year, a report published by The Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) revealed that the U.K. could face two years of labour shortages as a result of COVID-19 and Brexit. From hospitality and retail to construction and manufacturing, it is no secret that these factors have brought about widespread worker shortages and unplanned absences.

As a result, organisations have much smaller pool of talent available to them and it is vital for business leaders to now invest in their existing workforce. In fact, how organisations choose to manage and support their employees during times of disruption will be the difference between sinking or swimming when trying to navigate future challenges. Leveraging the power of modern HR technology can help to ease the strain placed on the workforce, improve employee engagement, and keep costs down.

How workforce management technology can successfully tackle these challenges

Through modern technology, organisations can efficiently gather and display business-critical data. Specifically, workforce management technology gives business leaders the potential to leverage innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for demand forecasting. Additionally, it can assist in building optimal schedules that consider the needs of individuals, the overall needs of the business, and customers, which is vital for maintaining positive levels of wellbeing and safety on a large scale.

Armed with these powerful tools, organisations are better equipped to counter challenges such as unplanned absenteeism due to sickness. A modern workforce management solution will quickly identify the next available person with appropriate skills to fill a shift. As part of this, the automation of processes and use of predictive analytics, such as identifying, contacting, and adding to the schedule suitably of qualified replacement workers, will help to significantly reduce manual efforts. This development, in turn, can save time and money, and boost overall productivity levels.

HR technology can also help to simplify vital tasks, such as scheduling and forecasting through its ability to easily cross-site schedule. Organisations with multiple sites can use features like these to distribute staff across multiple stores, thereby optimising labour budgets and meeting customer demand more effectively – all on a single platform.

Essentially, workforce management technology enables team leaders to easily and accurately put the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Having the ability to quickly make informed decisions is key to optimal performance and this is enabled through the gathering of accurate, real-time information. Only with visibility, control, and flexibility, across both the workforce and the systems used to manage it, will businesses be able to manage risks, control costs, and exploit new revenue opportunities effectively.

Empowering employees through access to data

Research from the Workforce Institute at UKG shows that improving employee access to information and HR services works to empower individual staff members. Rhis is made possible through resources such as digitalised knowledgebases and mobile access to schedules, which allow employees to access information and forms whenever and wherever they need.

In addition, handing mobile access to employees provides greater autonomy, and works to reduce admin burden on HR teams by placing documents in the hands of employees instantly. Utilising mobile apps to manage communications in real time is also an effective way to help identify staff shortages and respond accordingly.

Digitalising HR document journeys serves to boost overall engagement and productivity by enabling the flexibility that employees both want and need. As well as this, increased automation is necessary for organisations looking to navigate the new world of work, as it puts the power back in the hands of staff.

Making time savings

Time and absence management requires careful consideration, planning, and upkeep to successfully meet the needs of the business. Manually creating complex schedules can often be time consuming and more often than not these schedules need to change or be adapted at short notice. This is where automated workforce management technology comes into play, by transforming these two key HR functions and linking them directly to payroll.

Through greatly improved and automated business intelligence, leaders are able to make better, more informed decisions. The result of this is a successful business, with happy employees, that delivers financially, commercially, and operationally.

Workforce management technology should be a top priority for small business, large organisations, and everyone in between. Fundamentally, it will transform your operations and pave the way for growth, success, and optimised performance in times of uncertainty.

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