Workforce management crucial for business optimisation

26 April 2019
Strategic Workforce Management: involve your employees

As a WFM specialist, I want to make optimum use of my experience in order to have maximum impact in the organisation I work for. But how do I get my organisation to look at workload in a different way? And how can I show the management that workforce management is essential for business optimisation? Better said: how do I get the ideas of workforce management in the mind of every employee?

My task is to provide the right tools for efficient scheduling of employees: scheduling employees at the right time and in the right place. From my experience I know that this is not a walk in the park. I knew that properly forecasting the workload is crucial in order to improve schedules and increase the influence of employees on their schedules. For this I needed insight into ‘where the time is best spent in terms of work’. I needed the labour standards for my workload calculations.

Asking an external research agency was obvious. However, I had insufficient budget for a large time study project and I needed the results fast. How could I make an accurate forecast of the workload? And how could I respond to today’s questions and use the knowledge of the employee on the floor? The answer is simple: use facts, not the gut feeling. But yes, that is a challenge in itself…

After a game of squash and discussing it with friends, we quickly came up with an idea: use the employees’ smartphones. Why don’t we make the employees researchers for the time studies to gain immediate insight into labour standards? A kind of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). “What an easy-to-use app!”, was the feedback. With this app they have a role in increasing their own happiness at work.

I was able to let the employees collect the data in a fun and playful way without being dependent on an expensive research agency. The employees are enthusiastic because I can share the result in a relatively short time. I now have my specific labour standards, with which more efficient planning is made possible and profitability can be increased.

RunTheDay, the tool for carrying out time studies, helped me to put strategic workforce management on the map!