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Best practices for developing a good WFM strategy

Best practices for developing a good WFM strategy

As an organization, it can be quite complex to set up a good workforce management strategy. You have many things to consider and it has a broad impact on your organization.

Therefore, based on our practical experiences, we share some of the key steps companies can take to develop and implement an effective workforce management strategy.

Analyze the current situation

Before you begin developing a workforce management strategy, it is important to have a good understanding of your company's current situation. This consists of analyzing the current workforce, including the number of employees, the roles they perform and their skills. This, of course, takes into account business objectives and customer needs.

Determine staffing needs

Based on the analysis of the current situation, you will determine what the staffing needs are for your organization. This includes determining the number of employees you need, their roles, responsibilities and skills. This should also take into account factors such as seasonal demand and the need for flexibility in the workforce so that you can respond quickly to changing situations.

Set clear objectives

To ensure that the workforce management strategy is successful, clear goals must be established. These can be goals such as reducing personnel costs, improving productivity or increasing customer satisfaction or improving job satisfaction. Make the goals as specific as possible and also make sure they are easily measurable.

Invest in and implement the right technology

You used to see spreadsheets being used for scheduling. But this involves a lot of manual work, and in today's dynamic work environment, situations are constantly changing. Working with a spreadsheet takes too much time, too much manual work, cannot be automated properly, has disadvantages in terms of accessibility and flexibility and is also not optimal with regard to security and privacy.

That's why technology is an indispensable tool for an effective workforce management strategy. Workforce management software helps you plan staff, manage rosters, record hours, record leave, communicate with employees, comply with laws and regulations, pay salaries, data insights and more.

There are several workforce management software solutions available. Consider which software and which vendor best suits your organization and needs. Remember that a workforce management system never stands alone, but is part of a broader "landscape" of applications or systems. Think of HR and payroll software, for example. So also carefully consider how the intended system fits in with your existing systems and processes.

New or different way of working

Furthermore, it is important to know that defining a WFM strategy often also leads to a new way of working within the organization. During the selection process, therefore, make a good inventory of which supplier can best support you in this. How much experience does the supplier have with similar projects? Does the supplier have its own, local support department, or is this outsourced? These are important questions to consider in the selection of a (new) WFM package.

Involve your employees in the WFM strategy

An effective workforce management strategy is not just based on technology or processes. It is also important to involve your staff in the process. By this we mean communicating the goals and strategies with staff and involving them in creating the schedules. By involving your employees, you increase motivation and job satisfaction.

Monitor progress and make adjustments as needed

An effective workforce management strategy is not static. It is important to regularly evaluate and adjust your workforce management strategy based on changes in your business or the marketplace. By monitoring and adjusting the strategy, you ensure that it is always aligned with your needs and goals.

Be well advised by experienced providers

Workforce management has a broad impact within your organization. Therefore, when organized properly, it has a useful effect for the entire organization, creating synergy across business units.

But it can also be a complex challenge. Where should you start? What choices should you make? Who should organize the project and process? Just some of the important questions you need to agree on as a company. Get advice from an experienced party and look not only at the software, but also at the company behind it. Do they have the competencies to take your organization and workforce management process to the next level?

Stef van Dijk
About the author Stef van Dijk

Stef van Dijk has extensive experience in supermarkets and knows the food retail industry inside and out. Stef writes blogs on all relevant issues around workforce management and food retail.

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