Rapid business changes often expose a company’s business agility shortcomings, especially when leadership teams don’t adequately understand the concept. Business agility is a company’s ability to formulate an effective response to any change in its ecosystem (both internal and external environment) without losing its initial momentum. One of the most critical factors contributing to a company’s business agility lies in its workforce planning.
What is Workforce Planning?
Workforce planning refers to a company’s measures to assess, forecast, and plan its workforce supply according to the industry demand. These procedures offer management teams an opportunity to ensure a practical human resources (HR) system and have the right people with the appropriate skills.
Workforce management is often associated with time tracking and scheduling, but it truly encapsulates any processes that help companies engage and leverage labor.
Advanced workforce management solutions include analytics and AI capabilities that can better predict and recommend staffing availability.
Why is Workforce Management so Important?
Effective workforce planning translates to efficiently managed assets. Making sure the right people are performing the right tasks at the right moment is crucial for organizational success. Due to pandemic restrictions, workforce planning helps track and comply with capacity restrictions to ensure customer and employee safety.
The Covid 19 pandemic underlined many reasons for companies to adopt a remote work business model. Remote teams require significant workforce planning efforts. From tracking actual working hours to assessing efficiency, workforce planning becomes a next-to-impossible task when leadership only sees output. With 16% of the global companies working fully remote, these roadblocks required immediate solutions.
How to Achieve Business Agility?
Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems include workforce planning (or workforce management) features that let management teams automate many time-consuming workforce management tasks, such as optimizing working schedules, replying to time-off requests, and even ensuring total compliance with federal and local labor laws.
With an effective workforce planning process from the company ERP solution, businesses can determine patterns such as slow periods each day to optimize labor expenses thanks to real-time data collection—no more wasted time on time-consuming yet straightforward tasks.
Workforce planning helps with:
- Recruiting and Talent Acquisition – attracting the right people with the right set of skills
- Performance Monitoring – tracking and assessment of employee effectiveness and productivity
- HR Management – gain easy access to documents and contracts
- Work Hours and Absences Tracking – track the number of hours worked and days off
By decreasing hiring costs, companies can improve an already treacherous recruitment process, improve employee retention, and spot gaps in the talent chain quicker.
Research supports how effective workforce planning improves sales and employee productivity. One report showed when retailers offered employees more routine schedules that met demand, sales and productivity increased by 7% and 5%, respectively.
Relying on instinct for workforce planning rarely pays off, nor do cobbled-together solutions, spreadsheets, and manual workarounds.
Sage ERP includes workforce planning features that help companies answer questions like:
- How many customers need service throughout the day?
- The best people to schedule based on skills, experience, and availability
- The best number of people needed to meet demand
- How to ensure efficient scheduling
Workforce planning and business agility
Many companies focused on keeping costs low and adhering to tight budgets also need to find opportunities to scale up or down quickly while knowing they have the right people when and where they’re needed.
Workforce Planning delivers the intelligence to predict the skills and labor force needed for the future and anticipate change.
Preparing for tomorrow allows companies to minimize waste and keep costs low based on accurate metrics and not guesswork, reduce workforce and HR administrative costs and empower managers to drive deeper engagement with employees.
Learn more about effective strategic workforce planning and the foundations of business agility by talking to one of our workforce planning experts today.