How To Leverage Automation To Optimize Workforce Management
Wednesday October 5, 2022
Automation for workforce management is the future of everyday operations, and it is transforming how companies run by simplifying workflows. If you didn’t know this before, here’s everything you need to learn to hop on this rising trend.
Digital transformation is inevitable. As technology continues to evolve, so does the way we manage our workforce. The recent pandemic has pushed many organizations to re-evaluate their workforce management strategies and consider how they can leverage automation to optimize their operations.
Companies have recognized the need to electrify their operations and resources management systems to be agile, efficient, and future-ready. The cloud, mobile, and social technologies have already disrupted the way work is done and the way people interact in the workplace. And, the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to create even more profound changes in the coming years.
That said, this article delves into how businesses can leverage workflow automation to optimize workforce management. We will also look at key benefits and challenges associated with automation in this context.
Firstly, What is Workforce Automation?
Workflow automation is the process of automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks in an organization. Businesses across the globe are progressively using this technology to improve efficiency and productivity, by allowing their staff to focus on more complex responsibilities. Automation at work can be achieved through various means including software, robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI).
In essence, the technology streamlines any tedious operation or process by deconstructing it into a series of steps, capable of automatic execution. This can include tasks such as data entry, sending email notifications, or creating reports.
For example, imagine you’re the CEO of a successful marketing agency. Every time a new client comes on board, your staff sends a welcome kit containing an introductory letter, a contract, additional company details, and past achievements. By handling such menial tasks with effective workflow automation software, you can send welcome emails on time without fail, reduce human errors and allow your workforce to focus on what’s more important, all at once.
Is Workforce Management Automation Important?
Automation is shaping the future of work by ridding workforces of daily administrative tasks, to say the least. Taking the time to understand and catch up on this rising technology can help companies in more ways than one can imagine.
However, before we discuss how to leverage automation in the workplace, let’s understand this – there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to this technology. A wide range of cross-system integrations, smart workflows and self-service portals combine to establish a fully-automated workforce environment, some of which we are currently using every day without acknowledging.
Organizing work based on what needs urgent attention is one of the most common everyday problems at the workplace. In this use case, automated software can help reorganize enterprise resources and time by focusing on tasks of greater value first, instead of the less important, non-commercial responsibilities.
Automation for workforce management has also come a long way in optimizing performance reviews – from setting review cycles to developing a hierarchy, selecting questions, and creating tailored reviews and rating systems based on the requirements. Software nowadays also shares automated alerts to check whether the staff is turning up for evaluations within due time.
Innovative Ideas To Leverage Automation at Work
Now that we’ve covered the basics — what’s the next big way to leverage automation in the workplace? Does it stay limited to sending emails, or can we get more out of it? Here are some unique, innovative ways your business can make the most of the cutting-edge workflow automation tech.
– Cut Down Excess Administrative Hours:
According to a Business Wire report, the average employee spends a third of their daily work hours handling administrative tasks. Spending more time scheduling meetings, responding to emails and filling out paperwork restricts them from utilizing their energy to ideate, strategize and create.
It’s no secret that administrative tasks can be time-consuming and repetitive. But what if there was a way to automate those tasks so you could focus on more important things? Considering the global service market witnesses an annual loss of $5 trillion to lost productivity, now is the best time to take corrective action and direct your personnel towards more creative, innovative tasks.
– Boost Customer Satisfaction:
A recent Gartner research found that 81% of all business competitions revolve around a common parameter – customer experience. In recent years, we have witnessed a growing trend of businesses using workforce automation to entice customers and convert them into brand advocates.
By automating routine tasks, organizations can free up their valuable resources for more important tasks that require a human touch to optimize the customer experience. Automation can also help businesses ensure that tasks are completed accurately and on time, which can further improve customer satisfaction. In addition to that, automation can also improve the accuracy of data collection and make it easier for customers to access any necessary account details and/or purchase-related information and thereby, resolve their issues quickly.
– Attract & Recruit Better Talents:
The use of workflow automation in recruitment can be a game-changer for companies worldwide. The use of this cut-above-the-rest technology can help enhance the quality of hires you’re attracting, speed up the typical procedures and cut down any excess cost involved in the process.
By automating repetitive and low-value tasks, recruiters can focus on more important tasks such as building relationships with candidates and assessing their fit for the role. Rules and criteria that candidates must meet to be considered for the interview rounds can also be set automatically. This allows for a more systematic and efficient way of screening the applications and ultimately leads to better hires.
Automation can also help enhance the quality of data collected during the recruitment process. By automating data entry and tracking, recruiters can gather more accurate and up-to-date information on candidates, making room for data-driven decisions and more appropriate hiring.
– Increased Employee Engagement:
Can automation for workforce management also help motivate your staff to always give their 100% at work? Let’s find out.
Almost every business today faces the challenge of maintaining adequate employee engagement throughout the year. Employee engagement refers to the commitment and enthusiasm the workforces have toward their jobs.
A disengaged employee is a few steps away from being an organizational liability, as they’re typically unhappy with their current role and uninterested in work. Firstly, low engagement leads to a high turnover rate. Apart from the loss of productivity, it also creates the need to continuously invest in training new employees, negatively impacts morale, and makes it harder to attract and retain top talent.
In this case, automation to optimize workforce management can improve employee engagement in many ways — e.g., to automate time-consuming responsibilities and improve collaboration. Additionally, automation can also help create a staff portal where everybody can access company news, information, and resources. Lastly, creating an online forum where employees can ask questions, give feedback, and engage in internal discussions also boosts engagement.
Curious to learn more non-automated ways to increase employee engagement? Read more here.
– Higher Savings:
Did you know that the annual global wage bill rounds up to $16 trillion? As wages go higher every year, companies must focus on utilizing their workforce more efficiently.
Workforce automation can help boost efficiency and productivity in the workplace while reducing operating costs. Businesses can depend less on manual labour and improve accuracy and consistency, simply by automating the time-consuming administrative jobs at hand.
By automating the flow of work between employees and departments, companies can also improve communication and collaboration, while reducing the need for paper-based processes. This can lead to reduced errors and increased efficiency, both of which can lead to cost savings.
– Improved Forecasting:
If your company is looking for a way to improve its forecasting, automation may be the answer. The goal of forecasting is to estimate future demand for a company’s products or services. Here, businesses need to consider a wide range of factors, including historical sales data, market trends, and seasonal patterns.
That said, workflow automation can help your business improve forecasting by streamlining your processes and offering more visibility into the gathered data. Automating your workflows makes eliminating manual steps and errors and getting real-time insights into your data, a lot easier. This can help you make more accurate business predictions and assist in making more improved decisions related to resource management.
How to Implement Automation in the Workplace?
If you’re not using workflow automation, now is the time to start. However, this brings up a common dilemma – how can you best establish automation in your company environment while having the workforce onboard?
Here’s our step-by-step breakdown of how to execute this process seamlessly:
Step 1: Evaluation of Process
Before going the extra mile to establish workforce automation, it’s important to first search out the tedious, mundane areas that could be optimized with this technology.
Get started by reviewing most of your operations and administrative tasks and enlisting the ineffective, repetitive aspects that can do without extensive human attention. Do not forget to list tasks, which involve multiple employees and are easily manageable by an individual.
Step 2: Estimate Current Costs
Apart from encouraging the workforce to spend their time on higher-level jobs, the purpose of automation is also to cut down excess costs. To better understand how this integration benefits your company, ensure to calculate the amount of excess time and resources that the menial tasks usually consume daily. This helps estimate the average costs that automation can save your business.
Step 3: Market Research
Now that you’ve found a valid scope for improvement in your processes, begin searching for the right automation tool to optimize workforce management.
Also, consider whether you need to automate simple tasks or more complex processes. Do you need to support multiple users or just a few? Having such business-specific needs helps understand what you hope to gain from this investment.
Step 4: Compare & Choose The Right Software
The market is full of options, so it’s important to take the time to find the one that’s right for you. With your priorities set straight, start comparing alternatives that fit your unique business needs, without crossing your budget.
Read about the core features and standout benefits of every software, and choose the best fit depending on your requirements. Once you’ve chosen and installed the right workforce management system, offer technical training to your staff to bring them onboard and familiarize them with the new, improved work environment.
Step 5: Measure the Results
Finally, now that the software is up and running successfully, it’s time to track the KPIs and analyze whether the automation has been of help. Keep a record of the hours spent on the administrative tasks again and find out how much the operations have improved with time.
This will help understand how much costs and resources you’re saving with automation. Repeat this process for each automation program you implement, keeping an eye out for expenses and the performance of the software.
Although the narratives about “AI stealing human jobs” may sound intimidating, here’s the truth — automation can never succeed without implementing a people-first approach.
In a way, workflow automation is empowering the trend of fostering staff engagement, creating better jobs and helping businesses remain profitable in the course.
If you’re looking for an effective communication module to enhance the workforce management system at your company, reach out to us at Vocantas for a free consultation.
Our complete scheduling solution is fast, easy to use, reliable, and backed by outstanding customer support. Get in touch with us here.
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