6 reasons essential services need workforce planning software

6 reasons essential services need workforce planning software

Essential workforces have experienced some of the biggest challenges in recent years. Industries such as healthcare, education, public service, transport, industrial, utilities, etc., have had to maintain operations while adhering to new regulations and meeting continued demand.

For these workforces to move forward, they must have the right planning capabilities because they handle people across various sites, roles and qualifications. Due to the essential nature of their work, they need the right software backing them to ensure they work at their best.

Here is how Tambla’s workforce management software, in conjunction with SAP’s Payroll and HR platforms, supports essential workforces:

1. Time and attendance

You would have a large workforce spread across multiple locations and working within varying departments. For example, healthcare organisations may have diverse staff working across different wards or between facilities, working overtime to complete their duties for the day and taking sufficient time between shifts and adequate breaks. 

For this reason, time and attendance software is necessary for your essential workforces. It allows you to immediately collect data about hours worked and absences, so you can monitor staff activity and optimise employee deployment as necessary.

When you add a self-service capability to your time and attendance solution accuracy is increased and adoption is improved. With time and attendance features made available on a mobile phone, staff can clock on and off from the same device, request leave and log extra hours worked. All of this data supports your payroll systems and team to more accurately capture time worked and calculate the correct pay.

2. Scheduling and rostering

Essential workers seldom have the luxury of a set work schedule. They often plan their lives two or three weeks into the future, depending on the frequency of roster releases. Workforce managers, too, have a mammoth job in coordinating shifts, accounting for leave, calculating maximum weekly hours, checking employee qualifications, handling late changes, etc.

Essential workforces may often experience peaks and troughs in demand depending on external factors, such as the time of year, planned events and holidays or even a natural disaster occurring. The teams responsible for planning and staffing need scheduling and rostering software that supports them in maintaining the correct staffing levels and accommodating predicted or ad-hoc changes in demand.

Scheduling and rostering software also manages shift patterns and rosters in a fair and equitable way for employees, which is vital in ensuring that staff feel fairly treated and are not overworked and have adequate time to rest between shifts.

3. Award interpretation

When you manage an essential workforce, you might need to comply with a few different awards because some roles will have different requirements. For example, someone working in administration for a public service organisation would fall under a separate award from someone working in agricultural management. You likely agree that keeping track of these awards, the work being carried out and the staff completing the work is not only a difficult task but a potentially error-prone one.

Award interpretation software will track your staff, understand the work they are completing and any entitlements under the relevant award or agreement. These factors will be applied automatically to ensure that you do right by your team regarding hours worked and their pay.

Employers who do not comply with a modern award may be penalised. These can include fines, orders to back-pay employees, and other legal consequences.

4. Real-time costing

Organisations that provide essential services need to clearly understand their operating costs to make informed decisions about pricing and service delivery. Real-time costing tracks and manages all workforce costs as they happen so you can make informed decisions about allocating resources.

By incorporating workforce budget data, you are able to manage and track the cost of your current and future schedules and rosters. With changes to a roster or schedule costs in real-time, your teams are better informed and can monitor where your budget goes and make informed decisions about resource allocation or future budgetary needs.

Real-time costing software is an essential tool for organisations that provide essential services. It can help to improve cost and budget management, decision-making and accountability around cost and service delivery.

5. Workforce analytics

Workforce analytics provides you with the reporting and insights needed for decision-making. By understanding what is happening, in real-time, you can make better decisions when planning for immediate needs and future demand.

You can watch operational performance as it happens and analyse this alongside workforce planning initiatives. With this data, you can also identify potential issues early and take corrective action before problems arise.

In addition, workforce analytics gives you a platform to identify training and development needs. In this way, you can ensure that each of your employees has the opportunity to expand their knowledge and potentially move into new roles.

6. Employee self-service

Essential workforces are often distributed workforces. For example, transport workers receive rosters, placing them in varying locations across one day of work. With so many sites managed, you need a way for employees to view their schedules, clock on or off and apply for shift changes while on the move. 

Self-service applications enable employees to manage their schedules, request leave, and communicate with HR all from one smartphone app. Workforce management processes become even easier when these apps feed information to your time and attendance or wfm scheduling software.

It can also help essential services organisations improve employee satisfaction and retention. By providing employees with the tools they need to manage their information, organisations can create a more positive work environment and improve employee morale, leading to better retention rates and a more productive workforce.

Tambla is your WFM partner for essential workforces

We are a leading professional services organisation that provides our own workforce management software alongside SAP Employee Central (HR) and Employee Central Payroll (ECP). We have the best time and attendance software that service public and private organisations, with specialities in large essential workforces within Australia.
Visit our SAP Consulting Services and workforce management tools page for more on what we can do for you.

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