Knowing when to hire more employees is a critical decision. If you hire too soon, increased production may not cover the additional labor costs. If you wait too long, you may lose clients or miss production deadlines.
Enter workforce management analytics. They can see what you can’t. WFM can help you find the perfect time to hire. Then your rate of growth will continue on schedule. (Or even improve.)
Workforce management software tracks your profit-per-labor dollar. First off, you need to enter your performance indicators so your WFM software can track them. It will show you how to make the most of your current workforce. When the analytics show that the potential of your current staff is maxed out, it’s time to interview. Then your WFM software will help you with your hiring decisions.
The type of performance indicators you measure will depend on your business. The most common is productivity. Every business measures productivity differently. It could be sales of products or services. It could be the number of hours billed on a project. Your workforce management software may have industry-specific tools.
Training ROI impacts the cost to hire. Re-training can help your current staff be more productive. WFM software helps companies create structured training protocols. Then they can track training efficiency and improve outcomes.
Employee Retention Rates
You can measure retention rates by department, team, or location. Some companies track by project or client. When considering a new hire, WFM retention rates should factor into the decision. You want to measure voluntary and involuntary terminations. Both will help you know when to hire. They will also help you choose the right candidate.
How does your workforce management software measure something like employee morale?
Performance review tools provide a systematic way to track and record how employees feel about their jobs. These are often underutilized by managers but gather actionable insight.
Employees are often reluctant to tell managers when they need additional help. They don’t want to admit they aren’t keeping up. When they are required to respond to a performance survey, they are more likely to be candid.
Customized Performance Reviews
Managers create their own survey for their team(s). This way, they are highly specific. Use a lot of open-ended questions. They may reveal issues you didn’t know existed.
Managers can then make changes based on the responses. Your team may need refresher training. You may discover a problem with workflows. You may want to relocate teams.
You can use this feedback cycle to improve morale and productivity. Your current employees know what’s working and what isn’t. When morale and productivity are both high, your team may be ready to expand.
Time and Attendance Data
Time and attendance data can also give you insight into employee satisfaction. If a typically punctual employee starts coming in late or missing work—it may indicate a drop in morale. Look for time and attendance trends in your WFM software.
You probably monitor customer feedback continually. It may be your most important performance indicator. If your WFM software shows a downward trend in customer satisfaction, it may be due to understaffing. Talk to your customer service team. Read online chat transcripts. You need to see things from your customers’ perspectives. It will help you know if the problems are due to understaffing or something else.
Do your employees spend their time putting out fires? Do they miss meetings and take days to answer emails? Chaos can trigger a downward spiral in productivity and morale. Advanced WFM software has tools to automate workflows. You can automate any process or at least track it to some degree.
Take the time to create workflows in your software. It will be time well spent. Your employees can collaborate to create and refine them. When your team uses them to catch up with the backlog, you will have a clearer picture of your status. Let the dust clear before you make major hiring decisions.
WFM software provides high-level overtime controls. If your employees are working more overtime than usual, find out why. WFM analytics will show if it’s a seasonal spike that will pass. If the trend continues, it could show that your team is at maximum capacity.
Your scheduling software can help you adjust schedules to limit overtime. Modifying your schedules can optimize your current employees. Job roles ensure the necessary qualifications are present on every shift.
Your workforce management scheduling tools do more than fill shifts. Scheduling analytics indicate where cross-training can be more cost-effective than hiring. If you have a large part-time workforce, you can check with employees to see who wants to move into full-time positions. This leads us to our next topic.
What Type of Employees Should I Hire?
Your workforce management software tracks your full-timers, part-timers, contract labor, interns, and temps. When you are ready to hire, it can guide you on what type of positions to fill. Bringing on a new full-time employee may not be the best decision if you are entering a new market or introducing a new product. A contractor may make more sense.
WFM employee profiles help you see which skills your current employees have. It also shows where these specialties are allocated. You may need to expand the collective expertise of your workforce. You may discover that some of your employees are over-qualified for the actual work they are doing. You may be able to hire lower-paid workers as you grow. Use your employee profile tools to optimize employee skills and experience.
Workforce management software does a lot more than track employee time. Workforce management analytics help you strategically optimize your labor force.
SwipeClock has workforce management products for manufacturing, healthcare, construction, education, food and beverage, and hospitality. To learn more about how to use WFM analytics to grow your business, see SwipeClock WorkforceHUB.
By Liz Strikwerda