How to Choose a Workforce Management Software For Your Business

For managing staff scheduling, you need a comprehensive workforce management suite. Here's how to evaluate the right solution for your needs.

BY: REHAN IJAZ ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 08, 2019
How to Choose a Workforce Management Software For Your Business

For managing staff scheduling, you need a comprehensive workforce management suite. With alternative working arrangements becoming more common, businesses that previously had no use for such software now need to seriously consider it.

This growing market is expected to be worth $9.01 billion by 2022, as more players enter the market.

That makes it tough to figure out which workforce management software is right for your business. The truth is the right answer is never the same, you need to determine your needs.

Figuring Out the Needs of Your Business

This is the first step because not every type of workforce management software is aimed at your type of business.

For a small business, you wouldn’t purchase a piece of software aimed at managing corporations with hundreds of workers.

Ask yourself what are the greatest challenges your company faces when it comes to managing your workforce.

Do you struggle to manage absences? Are your employees suffering because of unstable schedules? Is the most common complaint received from employees is they struggle to organize paid vacation time at a time that suits them?

Not all companies will face the same challenges. So write down what your priorities are before starting your workforce management software search.

Does the Software Allow You to Easily Manage Employee Scheduling?

Did you know that 52% of employees value flexible scheduling the most? One of the most frustrating things for workers is not having the flexibility they need to balance their personal and professional lives.

From a company perspective, it’s often not possible as it’s difficult to shift people around without chaos.

The right piece of software should enable you to manage all employees from a single, real-time dashboard. Reduce communication issues by enabling managers to have the same real-time view of employee scheduling at all times.

You may also want to take advantage of shortcuts and macros so you can manage schedules in a matter of minutes.

The Power of Automation

Automation is changing the world as we know it. Workforce management software is no stranger to the benefits automation can have.

Premium workforce management software packages should come with full automation.

For example, payroll automation modules can completely streamline the payroll process. This feature reduces confusion and decreases the time it takes to manage your payroll.

Tracking staff hours, particularly when hiring contractors or part-time employees, is a common headache for businesses, but automation can make your life infinitely easier.

How Easily Integrated is Your Choice of Software?

An often-forgotten aspect of choosing workforce management software is how well it integrates with your current systems and applications.

There are plenty of great software options that just don’t integrate well with other common management systems.

Integration should be simple, and data should be processed through any connected systems with ease.

You also need to figure out whether your recording system can be unified with your brand new workforce management software.

Incompatibility can bring your organization’s activities to a halt.

Are You Considering Account Security?

Everyone knows you need workforce management software to reduce miscommunications and to make your business more efficient. However, you need to ensure the data used is safe from malicious attacks.

Workforce management software includes a lot of sensitive information and companies need to be more vigilant against attacks than ever before.

For example, it’s expected that cybercriminals will steal 33 billion records in the year 2023.

Data security should be a priority with any new software packages you integrate into your company. You should be looking for features like user activity monitoring, user behavior analytics, and automatic real-time alerts when suspicious behavior is detected.

You should review the success (or lack of) when it comes to protecting company data with any branded software you consider purchasing.

How Customizable is Your Workforce Management Software?

Every company has different needs and standards, cookie cutter software just isn’t going to cut it. Personalization and customization are two concepts the very best workforce management software packages have in abundance.

It’s something of a rarity as just 7% of companies consider personalization their number one priority.

You shouldn’t have to alter the way you do business in order to accommodate a new piece of software. Like we talked about earlier with integration, customization should be a priority.

Customization will enable you to alter the modules within the central dashboard and tailor things according to the needs of your business.

How Easy is it to Use?

Complex systems are not necessarily better. Simplicity is what leads to efficiency, and that’s one of the key reasons why a business would want workforce management software in the first place.

Every business can benefit from a workforce management software. Not every business has the technical expertise to manage complex systems, particularly if they don’t operate in the tech industry.

You need to ask yourself whether your managers are capable of handling a specific workforce management package. Is the software in question simple enough for the average person to learn in a short space of time?

Don’t just look at features. Look at how easy those features are to master.

Do You Need to Take into Account Localization?

Business is becoming increasingly globalized. Even small businesses are able to have small teams positioned all around the globe.

If this sounds relevant to you, you must take into account localization. This could be as simple as choosing software that supports multiple languages.

You also need to remember workforce management software collects sensitive data. Data regulations are different around the world. For example, the European Union (EU) introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

For a short spell after the introduction of the GDPR, many US businesses had to temporarily restrict their operations within the EU until they could fully comply.

Smart workforce management software will automatically localize itself so your company isn’t inadvertently breaching data protection rules.

If your business operates in multiple countries, localization should be a priority.

Will Collaboration Be a Problem?

Bigger businesses will typically have multiple people handling things like payroll, vacation time, and scheduling.

One of the greatest obstacles businesses face is collaboration across all these areas. If one manager was notified of an upcoming absence, they need to make sure everyone is aware of that. That’s easier said than done.

Good workforce management software should make collaboration easy. You should be looking at a central dashboard updated in real-time.

When working remotely, it’s ideal if that same dashboard can be accessed through both desktop and mobile devices. In the event a major change is made to scheduling or payroll, every relevant party will know about it.

Some packages make this even simpler by including an alerts system, so you’ll automatically receive a notification when a major change is made.

Is it Good Value for the Money?

Every business must weigh the benefits of workforce management software when compared to the monetary investment required.

It’s far from the main priority, but it can’t be ignored. You’ll find software packages at a range of different price points.

You must decide what those features and those benefits are worth to you monetarily. It’s always wise to create a financial plan so you can get a better idea of the software options you should investigate.

Can You Take Advantage of a Free Trial or Moneyback Guarantee?

Workforce management software is no small investment. For larger companies, it can cost thousands of dollars every year. Even for smaller businesses, it remains a significant investment.

Never part with your money before you try the product. Whether it’s a 30-day free trial or a 30-day moneyback guarantee, this is a good length of time to figure out whether a piece of software is right for you.

We don’t recommend choosing a workforce management package if you can’t try it out first.

What Matters to You?

Ultimately, you need to decide what matters most to your company. Make a list of the features you prioritize the most.

Perhaps you’ve experienced a security breach before and so you want to prioritize security? Maybe you would rather handle everything in the cloud? Some companies may not have a great deal of technical expertise so they’re looking for software that’s easy to learn and use.

Once you write down what you want the most from the workforce management software, you’ll be able to better determine which options you should be looking at.

Conclusion: When Choosing a Workforce Management Software For Your Business Keep These Things in Mind

There’s a lot to take in when it comes to selecting the right workforce management software. Don’t just look at the most feature-rich pieces of software.

Look at what you actually need.

That’s why before you begin your search you should pinpoint the benefits that matter the most to your business. Not every feature is going to be relevant to your operation, so why would you pay for something you don’t need?

Take your time and don’t be afraid to question the software provider to get the answers you need to make your decision.

How do you think workforce management software could benefit your business?

About the Author

Rehan Ijaz

Rehan is an entrepreneur, business graduate, content strategist and editor overseeing contributed content at bigdatashowcase.com. He is passionate about writing stuff for startups. His areas of interest include digital business strategy and strategic decision making.

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