Four salient reasons why you should digitize your workforce management

Are you sick and tired of hearing the word "digitization"? Then you probably feel like a great many entrepreneurs and employees. But just why is this the case? In most instances, digitization is associated with automation, lack of humanity, optimizations that are slashing jobs, and other, mostly unpleasant changes. But this is only one side of the coin. On the other side, we have the important issues of self-responsibility, which is promoted, for example, through shared media, platforms or information pools. Moreover, the digitization of business processes and documents dispenses with many dreary and drab routine activities. This applies especially to human resources management, which is often far too concerned with administration instead of people.

Our blog post casts a light on the opportunities that digitization offers in the area of working time management.

Flexibilizing working hours while promoting work-life balance

The tremendous potential of digitized working worlds can be shown particularly aptly by one specific topic: the flexibilization of working hours. This hotly debated topic is viewed critically by many. Flexible working hours, however, do not necessarily mean putting in vast amounts of overtime, weekend work or special services until late at night. Quite to the opposite. Digital workforce scheduling is the only way to reconcile the many employee preferences and wishes with company requirements.

Here is a striking example: Given a mere 35 employees, different starting times on five different working days create millions of possibilities for working time scenarios. This incredible complexity can only be mastered with a powerful algorithm at work in a powerful workforce scheduling software solution. Consequently, digitization is a basic prerequisite for flexibilizing working hours in the first place.

Greater transparency and fairness in duty scheduling

Another argument in favor of digitization in time and attendance management is the ensuing transparency that benefits HR, the company and employees. If working times are digitally recorded, automatically evaluated and passed on to the payroll system, this data is available to everyone involved and does not vanish into nirvana. In concrete terms, this means that the planning supervisor knows which employees have already frequently worked night shifts or weekend shifts and can distribute unpopular special services fairly and equitably among other colleagues. The workforce is informed about their roster at an early stage and can veto it if necessary. In digital workforce management, the processes function automatically via integrated workflows.

This applies to all types of approvals, e.g. for absences, holidays or overtime. Using so-called self services or mobile apps – which are also products of digitization by the way – employees can easily view their work hours or holiday balances at any time. Digital file-sharing networks and preferential duty rosters give them the opportunity to submit working time requests or to exchange services with colleagues. It goes without saying that digital workforce management also takes all the necessary qualifications fully into account!

Increase productivity, everyone benefits!

Digitization is also associated with more efficient business processes, which is usually applicable, especially in terms of complex administrative tasks. Digital workforce management, however, has an impact on many other important levels, especially on productivity. Imagine that you are working in the retail sector. Customers are leaving the store dissatisfied without having made a purchase because they have not been attended to personally, or had stand in line for too long at the checkout. If the shop team has been planned according to demand so that there are always enough employees on the floor, the conversion rate and employee motivation will increase. Everyone stands to benefit.

A professional solution for staff deployment in retailing makes it possible to take staff requirement drivers into account such as customer frequencies, number of receipts, special offers and even weather data when planning. Not to mention the wishes of the sales staff! In fact, there is a drugstore chain that merely provides a blank duty roster in which employees can register according to their personal requirements. The department manager only intervenes in planning when there is an actual need to do so. This is New Work lived in actual daily practice!

More Human Factor for Human Resources

Let's be honest: Isn't it high time that Human Resources took greater care of employees than spending time on the administration of working hours, salary, illness and holidays? Especially in times of shortage of skilled workers and Generation Y, the highest priority of today’s companies is to attract and retain the meanwhile rare species of "skilled worker". In many HR departments, however, the situation is still quite different. Most of the working time is lost on administration, routine activities and the associated paperwork. From this perspective, digitization in time and attendance management is a genuine blessing. At last the HR department has time for what is still absolutely essential, also in the digital age – the company’s employees!

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About the author

Sabine Eriyo

An ardent language lover, communication ace and philanthropist: Sabine is a passionate copywriter and communicator, both in her private life and for topics that affect the world of work. As a dedicated humanities scholar, she is also inclined to aesthetic and philosophical pursuits.

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