Workforce optimization strategies

Workforce optimization strategies

This article was originally posted on bluecrewjobs.com

In today’s workforce landscape, finding ways to work smarter and not harder is essential. Despite the fallout from the pandemic and ongoing supply chain disruptions, expectations for businesses remain high. With customer and employee satisfaction top of mind, organizations are quickly adopting ways to optimize their workforce for optimum results.

However, this requires companies to find the operating model and specific techniques that work best for them. Organizations need solutions that work for their unique situations and subsequently for their customer base. 

Read on to learn more about workforce optimization strategies and the benefits you can expect to see as a result. 

What is workforce optimization?

Workforce optimization essentially refers to the system of strategies and practices that a company uses to organize and manage people — which aims to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs. This strategy typically combines business performance considerations with workforce management for the overall goal of using your workforce and your resources to their fullest potential. 

The most powerful element when working towards workforce optimization is information. Your organization needs actionable data, insight and analytics to find the unique strategies needed to upgrade your management and work towards maximizing your business results. 

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Why is workforce optimization important?

Optimization is intended to streamline the processes between all team members of an organization for better business outcomes. Essentially, the concept is to become more efficient and effective as your business grows, while guaranteeing your processes work in unity. This requires a deep understanding of how your employees work and how you can leverage their skills and other supportive solutions to reach your goals. Optimization is an increasingly important concept as organizations across industries are progressively adopting strategies and techniques to achieve these results. 

Effective workforce optimization eventually touches every aspect of an organization, but you might be wondering what exactly that might involve. Common aspects of a streamlined system can include:

 

Time tracking

Time tracking refers to the way businesses record the working hours of their employees and ensure they are compensated accurately. The three main components of this are time entries, approvals and reporting, which have been beneficial for organizations when performing budget analyses or identifying discrepancies in compensation. Traditionally time tracking was done entirely by hand, which was arduous, time-consuming and inevitably error-prone. Luckily, new solutions and technologies exist to simplify this process, which is generally a necessity when working towards workforce optimization.

 

Consumer-first perspective

Taking a consumer-first perspective is a typical approach for organizations trying to optimize their workforce and might require your company to change the way it looks at its operations. Customer satisfaction is likely already an organizational priority, however, this is a more plausible outcome if it’s the main objective from the beginning. Understanding what an improved customer experience looks like will be helpful to determine how to optimize your workforce to lead to this result.  

 

Scheduling

Scheduling may seem like an obvious component of workforce management, but implementing the right systems to improve your scheduling can go a long way toward utilizing your workforce most effectively. This refers to the days and times that an employee is expected to work and was also traditionally a manual process. With the right tools in place to streamline your scheduling, you can start to optimize how your workforce is utilized. 

 

Performance management

The objective of performance management is to ensure a set of activities and outputs meets an organization’s goals in a successful way. This can encompass a wide range of elements to focus on, including the performance of the organization as a whole, a department, an employee or the systems in place to manage particular tasks. Implementing proper performance management is advantageous for keeping track of employee performance and operational efficiency — for higher-quality management in the long run.

The Best Practices for Optimizing Your Workforce

Understanding the importance of workforce optimization is only the first step. It’s best to consider what strategies and systems your organization can put in place to achieve these results moving forward. While some practices may be better suited to some businesses or industries than others, there are a few best practices to keep in mind that can help you get started. 

If you’ve been looking for ways to optimize your workforce, here are some strategies and best practices to consider when transforming your systems: 

  • Utilize an elastic workforce: With uncertainty across industries, meeting variable demand has continued to be an issue for organizations — specifically those forced to navigate seasonal shifts in demand for products and services. An elastic workforce leverages external talent to give your organization the ability to scale up and down as needed. This ensures you have the right number of people at the right time, which is a necessity for successful optimization. 
  • Employ a scheduling and time tracking tool: Scheduling and time tracking are important aspects of the optimization process, but going through these processes manually is less than efficient. Powerful technology and tools exist to streamline these processes. Businesses can employ the use of advanced tools to simplify systems and maximize results. 
  • Be agile: Agility has been hugely important for companies, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation and supply chain disruptions. However, a report from Pew Research Center found that only 43% of HR professionals say their organizations are agile enough to turn challenges into opportunities. Employing strategies to improve your organizational agility is critical in the optimization process. A greater focus on agility can help your company deal with a high level of complexity while improving your systems and work output along the way. 
  • Improve communication: This may seem simple in nature but it’s a key element of a successful organization. Improving your communication keeps every member of the team on the same page and can encourage business efficiency, boost morale and improve employee productivity — which is essential to maintain performance and reach organizational goals. 
  • Have training and development opportunities in place: Because an important aspect of optimization is increasing employee efficiency, providing valuable training and development opportunities is critical. This is advantageous for reskilling and upskilling employees so they’re able to take on a wider range of tasks successfully. Moreover, this is a boon to your employee productivity and workforce engagement as a report from Lorman found relevant training is desired by 91% of employees. Skilled and engaged workers are a linchpin in an optimized workforce. 
  • Review your systems and operations consistently: When it comes to optimizing your workforce, it doesn’t happen overnight. This is a consistent process that requires regular review. Not only does reviewing your current operations help you guarantee everything is on the right track, but it also gives you an overview of what processes still need attention to enhance results. 

 

With these practices in place, your organization can bring efficiency and productivity to the forefront of your operations — and the resulting benefits are hard to ignore. 

The Advantages of a More Optimized Workforce

Employing strategies for a more optimized workforce is typically aimed at driving better business results, but these aren’t the only benefits your company can expect to see. These processes can help improve every aspect of your organization which will be continuously vital as your business grows. 

The main advantages of streamlining your processes include:

  • Reduced operational costs: Inaccurate staffing levels are costly for organizations, including both vacancies and overstaffing. Optimizing your workforce helps ensure you have the right number of employees. Not only will your company be better equipped to manage variable demand, but you’ll also save on unnecessary costs in the process. Moreover, with the help of actionable insight and analytics, you can leverage improved oversight to lower costs as well. 
  • Improved operational efficiency: Utilizing tools and technology to improve your optimization is also an effective way to increase organizational efficiency. The culmination of having the right number of employees, access to valuable data and higher visibility over the process allows you to maintain peak performance. 
  • Increased productivity: Increased efficiency inevitably leads to higher employee engagement and improved productivity. This productivity is only furthered by managers having a more complete picture of operations — allowing them to make organizational decisions more intelligently. According to a report from Forbes, engaged employees are more productive, which can lead to a potential increase in profits by 21%
  • Improved customer service and satisfaction: A clearer overview of organizational processes also leads to an improved customer experience. The combination of adequate oversight and the right number of employees helps guarantee that customers are taken care of correctly along the way, which is highly valuable for long-term success. 
  • Reduced human error: Human error is inevitable, but optimizing your workforce can quickly decrease the errors your company runs into. Tools for aspects such as scheduling and time tracking can significantly reduce the risk of error by taking a majority of manual work out of your hands. Moreover, as communication and employee engagement improves, your talent is less likely to make avoidable mistakes throughout the process. 
  • Access to deep insights into every aspect of the organization: Workforce optimization typically involves the use of advanced technology to improve the overall process. These tools can give your company insight and analytics that are needed to improve all of your systems moving forward. 

The benefits of a more optimized workforce are invaluable for organizations, but it requires time and effort to achieve success. Luckily, with the help of technology and tools, you can maximize your efficiency and results with ease.

Simplifying the Process of Workforce Optimization With Employbridge

Working towards workforce optimization can feel overwhelming, but with the help of advanced solutions from Employbridge, powered by Bluecrew, the process can be simple. Employbridge’s platform technology can help streamline your workforce practices and management, which is beneficial for your team members and overall business initiatives. 

With one platform at your fingertips, your organization has access to a high-quality workforce, powerful management technology and actionable data. These solutions aim to help your business optimize its systems, meet fluctuating demand and stay at peak performance. Employbridge’s platform handles everything from recruiting and onboarding to scheduling and time tracking — improving your visibility and management along the way. 

With the right technology and tools to aid you, working towards workforce optimization doesn’t have to be daunting. Powerful control can significantly simplify the process. Ready to optimize your workforce and operations with the help of an advanced platform? Contact Employbridge today to learn more and start your journey.