What is Workforce Management (WFM)?

Updated by Leigh Hutchens

Workforce management (WFM) is a way that companies make sure they have the right people with the right skills at the right time to get the job done efficiently and effectively. It's kind of like putting together a puzzle where each piece is a person with a specific job to do. And you want them to be able to do their jobs well while being happy!

What does WFM involve?

Here's a simple breakdown of what WFM involves:

  • Scheduling: Companies need to figure out how many people are needed at different times of the day or week to meet customer demands. For example, if a store gets really busy during lunchtime, they'll need more workers then. Good scheduling is beneficial for employees because it provides them with predictable and balanced work hours, promoting work-life balance and reducing stress.
  • Forecasting: Companies try to predict how much work they'll have in the future. They look at past data and trends to guess how many customers they'll have or how many products they'll need to make. This helps them plan how many employees they'll need.
  • Staffing: Once they know how many people they need, they have to find the right employees. This includes hiring and training new people, and sometimes even managing temporary workers. Good staffing means that you schedule employee's how have the right skills for a shift.
  • Time and Attendance: Companies keep track of when employees come to work and when they leave. They also need to make sure everyone gets the breaks and time off they're entitled to.
  • Performance Management: WFM also involves evaluating how well employees are doing their jobs. This might include measuring how quickly they complete tasks or how well they meet customer needs.
  • Adapting: Sometimes things don't go as planned. Maybe there's a sudden rush of customers, or some employees can't come to work. WFM also involves adjusting schedules and staffing on the fly to handle these unexpected situations.

In a nutshell, workforce management is like a big jigsaw puzzle where a company tries to fit together its employees' schedules, skills, and performance to meet its goals and keep both customers and employees happy. It's a crucial part of running a successful business because it helps companies use their resources wisely and provide good service.

Real-world example

Imagine you're running a pizza place, and you need to make sure everything runs smoothly. That's where WFM comes in. It's like a secret recipe for managing your employees and making sure your pizza place works perfectly.

  • Scheduling: You need to figure out who works when. If your pizza place gets super busy on Friday nights, you'll schedule more people to handle all the orders.
  • Forecasting: WFM involves predicting the future. Just like you know you'll sell more pizzas on weekends, businesses predict how much work they'll have. This helps them plan how many employees they need.
  • Staffing: This is like picking your dream team. You hire and train the right people with the right skills to make the best pizzas and serve customers well.
  • Time and Attendance: You'd keep track of when your employees show up for work, right? WFM does that on a bigger scale, making sure everyone is on time and gets their fair breaks and time off.
  • Performance Management: This is about making sure your employees are doing their jobs well and have the resources they need. In your pizza place, you'd want to make sure the pizzas are delicious and the customers and employees are happy.
  • Adapting: Sometimes, your pizza place might unexpectedly run out of cheese, or someone can't make it to work. WFM helps businesses adjust their plans on the fly, like calling in another chef or finding extra cheese.

So, in simple terms, workforce management is like the magic recipe that helps businesses have the right people working at the right times, so everything runs smoothly, just like you'd want your pizza place to serve the best slices in town!

How Did We Do?