Workforce Management | 11 mins read

How Restaurants Benefit from Workforce Management

how restaurants benefit from workforce management
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

What is Workforce Management?

What exactly is workforce management? Organizations that use WFM employ a set of business activities and best practices to optimize employee engagement and ensure productivity. WFM can also help to predict labor costs and manage workforce scheduling.

As a result of regular workforce optimization, an owner makes sure the right people are at the right place at the right time to complete key tasks. WFM harnesses human capital to improve time management, resource management, and minimizes operational costs. This helps to maintain a competitive edge, improve morale, and decrease turnover rates.

An effective workforce management system empowers businesses to extract valuable insights into employee activities. For example, an owner may use workforce management tools to gauge the number of employees he/she needs to finish a specific job in a given week. Or, a department manager may use WFM software to track worker performance each day.

Owners frequently use WFM in a call center to predict the number of customer calls and transactions. This optimizes employee performance management and scheduling, which can improve customer relationships. There are an infinite number of ways to use management tools and WFM to streamline operations and decrease inefficiencies.

Workforce Management Processes

Business owners incorporate WFM in the workplace to manage numerous departments and processes. In particular, Human Resources utilizes HR software to optimize time attendance policies and streamline the benefits administration. Here are the other functions that workforce management solutions handle.

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1. Workforce Management Optimizes Forecasts and Budgets

Businesses need to know the required resources to complete specific projects during different seasons, such as the holidays. Because labor expenses constitute such a large part of overall revenue, it's critical to budget for employee wages, taxes, and benefits. A good workforce management solution can use forecasts to streamline scheduling and stabilize employee workload.

2. Workforce Management Improves Scheduling

Scheduling used to be a complicated and time-consuming manual process. With self-service management software, supervisors can automate scheduling based on company needs. WFM tools can factor in vacation days, availability, and compliance. Because an automated solution speeds up this process, the HR team can spend time completing more important tasks. This increases productivity, minimizes human error and eliminates waste.

  • Set up a routine to create schedule each week
  • Allow everyone a chance to work the day shift
  • Make sure all changes go through the owner
  • Regularly reevaluate the scheduling system

3. Workforce Management Improves Employee Performance

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Businesses use real-time insights from WFM software to know which employees perform at optimum service levels. These solutions also help supervisors pinpoint the factors that drive employee engagement. Because there is a huge link between engagement and productivity, businesses use insights to improve employee satisfaction and ensure workers deliver timely and high-quality results.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

4. Workforce Management Ensures Compliance

Every year, compliance requirements become more complex. Organizations that fail to comply with tax laws and employee labor laws risk litigation and a ruined reputation. Compliance concerns also encompass certification tracking and training, forgotten breaks, union requirements, and sick leave. An effective management system minimizes human error and improves compliance, which saves time and money.

5. Workforce Management Improves Payroll Accuracy and BA

Manual payroll includes timecards, timesheets, and other employee time tracking systems. These outdated systems are ripe for human error, buddy punching, and fraud. Organizations use an automated management solution to optimize time management and decrease unnecessary payouts. Custom reporting features enable HR managers to handle the benefits administration and quickly identify inefficiencies.

6. Workforce Management Optimizes Workforce Planning

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Workforce management software and tools enable organizations to track employee time and manage time-off requests correctly. Workers can easily input requests through a mobile app or the work portal, and HR can quickly approve/deny them. This eliminates the need for paperwork, back, and forths, or multiple signatures. It also places much of the responsibility on the worker, rather than HR. This enables the HR team to save time and work on more important projects.

What is Workforce Management Software?

Workforce management software is a program that handles employee scheduling. It may integrate with other HR software systems or function on its own. These tools collect valuable workforce data that helps business owners make good staffing decisions.

WFM tools also provide self-service options so workers can manage time-off requests and check pay stubs. This minimizes extra work for the HR team and saves money in labor costs.

WFM tools are more modern, but the WFM concept has been around for decades. Time tracking was the first manual process that became automated. Now, organizations use WKM tools to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize workforce inefficiencies.

The growth of cloud computing and business analytics encourages numerous organizations to invest in WKM tools. Because labor costs are so expensive, more businesses use WKM software to maintain a competitive edge.

  • The global workforce management software market is $7.03 billion in 2020
  • The market will reach $9.93 billion by 2026
  • Companies that use WKM tools save 6-10% of costs in under 12 months
  • A manager that creates schedules with software saves an average of 9 hours per week

The Importance of Workforce Management

If businesses use the correct software solutions, processes, and tools, they can optimize the employee experience and increase productivity. This will lower labor costs and increase the bottom line, which helps to maintain a competitive edge. WKM is not just a set of tools or procedures. It is a way to extract valuable insights that help to optimize future decision-making. Here are the top reasons why WKM is important.

1. Workforce Management Handles Evolving Employee and Business Needs

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In the United States, Workforce needs and business requirements grow more complex each year. Businesses typically included a workforce with a set number of hours each week. Now, there are hourly workers, salaried workers, part-time employees, remote workers, and seasonal employees.

As a result, it's more complicated to schedule and maintain compliance. As the workforce changes, it's harder to handle regular employees and contingent workers. A good workforce management solution can minimize HR workload, prevent scheduling problems, and meet compliance requirements.

2. Workforce Management Ensures Effective Talent Management

The labor force can make or break the company. Workers are expensive to an organization, so they need to be efficient and productive. It's also critical to employ the right employees and optimize talent management. Organizations need to hire the right people at the right time to ensure a good customer experience and offer the best professional services. This will help maintain a competitive edge in a global economy.

Good management solutions and WKM processes help to manage employees to increase productivity and minimize expenses. This will also improve employee engagement and morale, which decreases turnover rates. Organizations can offer better incentives and promotions to high-performing workers. They can also work with less efficient employees, or discipline them accordingly.

3. Workforce Management Decreases Waste

Owners need to operate in a lean manner to be successful in today's business environment. Those who don't manage their workforces tend to waste money and increase inefficiencies. What is the purpose of employing a workforce if they aren't as productive as they should be?

With the use of artificial intelligence and WKM tools, an owner can decrease waste across the organization. Valuable workforce data helps to improve decision-making, and scheduling tools minimize waste. Greater transparency into the workforce enables supervisors to pinpoint weak areas, along with high-performers. Moreover, forecasting tools allow companies to predict future scheduling needs. This will minimize extra work for the HR team, improve employee productivity, and maintain high engagement levels.

How Restaurants Benefit from Workforce Management

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Out of a list of industries that face challenges, the restaurant industry is at the top. Restaurant owners can't handle a workforce the way they did a few years ago. With new health regulations, difficult economic conditions, and great uncertainty, effective workforce management is a must.

Good restaurant owners need to utilize the correct management tools to be competitive and decrease labor costs. Here are how restaurant owners benefit from WKM tools

1. Workforce Management Enables Good Hiring Practices

Restaurant owners can't just hire anyone; they need to hire the right people. With a fluctuating economy, owners need to do everything possible to maintain a competitive edge. An owner must streamline the onboarding process, find the right candidates, and provide the correct training.

WKM tools can handle new hire paperwork, benefits administration, and time tracking. This minimizes the number of business owner tasks so he/she can focus on finding the right candidates.

2. Workforce Management Improves Employee Training

Good training is critical to minimize high turnover rates, improve employee morale, and ensure good customer service. Workers need the right number of training procedures and tools to know how to perform their jobs. Some WKM functionality provides training options, which increases employee engagement. This also removes some training responsibilities from coworkers or the owner, because they can point the employee to these materials for direction.

  • Create an employee training program and strategy
  • Host regular training sessions for workers
  • Use experienced employees as trainers
  • Cross train employees
  • Set specific training objectives

3. Workforce Management Aligns with Changing Demographics

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It's less common for younger people to start out in the restaurant industry. The majority of restaurants now look for older employees who want to work full-time. This is actually a major benefit to restaurant owners, as these workers typically want more hours.

Older employees want to remain at the restaurant for far longer because they rely on it as their primary income. WKM scheduling software can tweak benefit packages and perks towards this demographic. It also provides more certainty to workers who want it, which ensures greater engagement and productivity.

4. Workforce Management Mitigates High Turnover Rates

Turnover is expensive. It can be frustrating to hire, train, and budget for new hires who suddenly leave. Because it's not unusual for workers to spend two or fewer months at a restaurant, leaving suddenly doesn't always impact their job prospects.

WKM software optimizes scheduling and ensures everyone receives the hours they want. It enables employees to handle time-off requests, manage benefits, and swap shifts. This improves employee morale, reduces uncertainty, and streamlines operations. As a result, the staff is much less likely to leave with little notice.

How WFM Software Helps Employee Scheduling

Scheduling is a critical responsibility for restaurant owners. Employee scheduling may impact turnover and engagement more than any other factor, including wage rate. Traditionally, owners struggled to handle the schedules of dozens of part-time workers. They used handwritten notes or Excel sheets and then posted them to the employee bulletin board. Every week, several staff members would ask for a different shift.

This created more work for the owner, wasted time, and caused discord between employees. Thankfully, WKM software now solves many of these problems. Here are the top ways WKM software can optimize employee scheduling -

1. Workforce Management Enables Scheduling in Advance

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Restaurant and retail scheduling are probably more complex than other industries. The majority of workers are part-time and can only work a set number of hours. Furthermore, overscheduling one employee in favor of another can sow discord and result in poor morale.

Restaurant owners can use WKM software to do scheduling in advance, follow regulations, and support employee work/life balance. This results in a happier workforce, better customer service, and reduced stress for everyone.

2. Workforce Management Software Provides Shift Trading Options

Every restaurant owner knows how annoying it is for an employee to request a shift swap. The owner needs to revisit the schedule, change everything, and hope it impacts nobody else. WKM software enables restaurant owners to place this responsibility onto the worker.

Employees can automatically swap shifts with coworkers, which the owner can quickly approve. Workers can monitor their schedules on a mobile app. It is less likely that employees will show up for the wrong shift, get confused, or take a sick day during a busy time.

3. Managers Can Customize Workforce Management Software

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Managers can customize their WKM software to set rules for scheduling. If owners pick the correct WKM tool, they can track employee certifications, set alerts for expiration dates, and generate star team templates. Owners can then schedule the right employees for busier nights, put new hires on slower days, and ensure all workers maintain compliance.

This will ensure the restaurant derives the most benefit from its WKM tool. As a result, the owner will save money, increase profits, and improve customer service.

Key Takeaways of Workforce Management

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In conclusion, here is what to know about workforce management -

  • Workforce management tools forecast scheduling, improve budgeting, handle time and attendance, monitor performance, ensure compliance, manage payroll, and enable vacation planning.
  • Workforce management tools handle evolving company and employee needs, decrease waste, and optimize talent management.
  • Workforce management tools improve hiring practices, improve training, align with changing demographics, and mitigate high turnover rates.
  • Workforce management scheduling software enables advanced scheduling, provides shift trading options, and allows managers to customize scheduling features.

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