Workforce Optimization | 3 mins read

What is Workforce Optimization? Why You Need It & Best Practices

what is workforce optimization why you need it best practices
Michelle Jaco

By Michelle Jaco

Workforce optimization, or WFO, is a collection of tools aimed at improving operational quality and performance. It works as an umbrella term that holds a suite of software products including-

  • Audio and screen recording
  • Quality management
  • Workforce management
  • Performance management
When these optimization solutions are aligned, businesses can run smoother, employees can be more effective, and management quality will drastically change for the better, as employers will be able to scale the operation up for down in order to meet the demands of customers.

Contact centers also utilize WFO solutions. With strategic use of WFO and analytics tools, contact centers can compete with larger customer service organizations. These tools carry customer data that helps human resources or other back office team members drive decisions based on employee engagement, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and sales acceleration across a business.

WFO is an important factor in sustaining operational efficiency. To put it simply workforce optimization helps a business work smarter, and not harder.

Best Techniques and Practices

To improve workforce optimization, there are many effective strategies to consider-

Implement time and attendance software - By automating time and attendance software, it eliminates wasted time and errors associated with manual timekeeping. This form of robotic process automation expeidtes the employee time and attendance tracking process.

Monitor performance analytics - Analytics tools deliver intuition into a workforce's effectiveness, performance, and productivity. WFO tools give performance-based insights to help companies decide which processes work best and which need to be improved. This will drive customer success and improve overall sales.

Improve communication between managers and employees - Introducing technology into a workforce allows for stronger communication between managers and employees. With the use of technology to automate managerial processes, such as creating schedules or employee time tracking, management performance increases and allows for communication directly with employees.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Why Employers Should Use Work Force Optimization

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Workforce optimization gives insight into every aspect of a business. Overall, this insight can lead to greater employee productivity. By giving employees as much information as possible, employees can then make the best decision possible for the completion of a task.

WFO works by predicting future demands and to ensure the right employees for specific jobs are scheduled. By employees tackling the job correctly and efficiently this results in greater customer satisfaction.

Let's use an example to gain a better understanding- It's summer and businesses are operating at its peak hours. Customers are complaining that they aren't being helped fast enough. A manager may look at this scenario and consider if there are too many or too few employees on the floor. But the bigger issue is if this employer has the right employees working the right positions. Work up to each individual's particular skillset(s).

With the same scenario, this time, the employer uses WFO to create a different outcome. By analyzing customer interactions, customer experiences, customer engagement, and workforce engagement, management will have a stronger understanding of how many employees are needed to support demand, which employees are the best fit for each task, and capable to appropriately staff for coverage.

How to Make it Work for You

Improve Customer Service
Implementing WFO in call centers results in improved customer service by analyzing the quality of communication, aids in finding the cause of customer conduct, help to work on the performance of call center agents, and helps reduce the queue times.

Besides call centers, business owners should take the customer-first perspective in order to understand his/her customers to further enhance the customer experience. For example, conduct a customer experience audit, or be open and willing to discuss customer's feedback.

Time Management and Attendance Tracking
Manual tracking of employee time leaves management vulnerable to human error, buddy punching, and several other factors that could become costly to a business. By using attendance software employers can track employee time errors and crackdown on overtime hours and buddy punching. By using automation this optimizes a companies workforce.

By seeing an overall view of employee attendance, this gives employers an idea of employee productivity and morale. For example, managers can see who's always clocking out early and arriving to work late. This then decreases issues with tardiness and increases overall employee morale.

Automated Time Clocks and Time Tracking
Automated time clocks are devices that host time management and track employee attendance. Certain time clocks such as biometric time clocks, require employees to personally identify themselves in order to clock in, such as a fingerprint scan. This instantly eliminates buddy punching. Buddy punching is when an employee punches in for a fellow coworker before he/she arrives at work.

Automated time clocks also track employees who are working overtime hours, thus allowing management to correct the issue to avoid any future overtime costs.

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Streamline Scheduling
Scheduling software can save an ample amount of time for any management team. This software allows quick and constant access to employee's availability, scheduled time off, attendance records, and performance records all in one database.

Scheduling software can also reduce overlaps or gaps in scheduling. Combining all of this information allows for optimal employee scheduling, making sure the most qualified employees are being used for the tasks that are needed in a timely manner.

Track Performance and Tasks
By tracking employee's tasks and performance employers can gain an in-depth insight into whether workers are meeting daily goals quickly or efficiently. Automation also accurately forecasts productivity in the workplace and maps out where areas could use improvement.

Tracking software can also help management prioritize tasks. By eliminating an overload of tasks for management, this increases management performance. Task tracking can then allow management to prioritize and get the most important projects out of the way quickly and productively.

Improve Communication
Workforce optimization processes revolve around communication. Communication is vital for any workplace whether it's face-to-face communication or messages via email, therefore employers need to have a communication structure in place.

By using team management software, it lets management effectively communicate from a single platform and send messages to groups or individuals to keep staff updated and informed.

Workforce optimization is not a quick fix. It takes time to gradually implement each new system, but by starting WFO it leads a business closer to satisfied customers and employees who are engaged and ready to show up and do their best work.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

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