What Is Workforce Management?

Workforce management (WFM) includes all of the human resources management tasks that relate directly to the workforce. Similar terms include human resources management (HRM) and human capital management (HCM.) Workforce management solutions are software products that help organizations with WFM.

A common definition of workforce management is:

The right people, in the right place, at the right time.

In some organizations Workforce Management may also refer to the group of people who perform workforce management tasks. “I need to ask WFM if I can get this weekend off.”

Workforce Manager often refers to the person who is responsible for workforce management tasks.

Some organizations implement workforce optimization software which builds upon workforce management software to include key performance indicators and measurements of the workforce.

So now with a few definitions out of the way lets get back to the question: What is workforce management?

Most organizations use some form of workforce management software to help with all of the above tasks. Some organizations will use many different workforce management solutions and others will select a single solution to handle the job. It really depends on the complexity and requirements of the purchasing organization.

Workforce management software is different from staff scheduling because staff scheduling software only covers the schedule start and end times. Usually staff scheduling software looks like a spreadsheet with some extra color and images. Some staff scheduling software has add-ons for time and attendance. These packages do not fully cover workforce management which also includes employee management, absence and leave tracking, self-service, human resources, forecasting, and importantly schedule adherence. Make sure that when you purchase workforce management software you are not just getting a glorified spreadsheet. In that case just use out employee scheduling template.

One of the biggest users of workforce management in contact and call centers where employee scheduling must be very tightly coupled with demand. Too few agents and customers will be waiting, too many is equally a problem for the business.

Many small business owners use workforce management for their small business to manage employee scheduling and time and attendance together with adherence. When making a workforce management software comparison make sure that you compare the features you need for today and those that you will need in the future.

The retail industry has a lot to gain from using workforce management software for retail stores as well. Getting the right number of sales staff directly translates to more sales for the store. When the store makes more sales the employees can take home better commissions, making for a happier workforce.

Workforce Management and Workforce Management Software are terms used to describe management of a workforce in a business environment.

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