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Empowering the modern workforce

John Hansen, Vice President, Applications Development and Product Management, JAPAC | Dec. 2, 2014
Effective management of human capital can have a decisive impact on organisational success, and it is thus imperative for organisations to deploy a comprehensive workforce management (WFM) strategy.

­Today's highly challenging business climate has made it increasingly difficult for organisations to thrive and stay ahead of the game, with constantly changing market, legislative, and industry conditions. In order to stay differentiated and maintain the long-term viability of the organisation, costs must be minimized and a unique competitive advantage created by leveraging an organisation's most valuable resource; namely, it's people. This is where the effective management of human capital becomes a key factor in an organisation's success.

As the core foundation of every business, the workforce has a direct and decisive impact on the company's bottom-line, corporate culture, productivity, and long-term viability. However, recent statistics have shed light on two worrying trends that all HR leaders ought to take note of: signs of a gradual yet steady decline in worker productivity worldwide, and acknowledgement that employees are the costliest asset in most organisations.

Based on a study by Oracle, the combination of personnel costs for salaries, benefits, training and temporary staff often exceeds over 50 per cent of the total organisational operating budget. However, In spite of this significant financial investment, many business leaders have admitted to dedicating less than 10 percent of their time to enhancing the effectiveness of their workforce management (WFM) practices. In fact, many organisations are not accurately accounting for or monitoring their labour spend, or tracking when their workers are absent or unproductive. As such, little is known about the consequent labour-related impact on financial results.

In view of this, the need to have in place the right WFM strategy has become more critical than ever before. Encompassing all the activities needed to maintain a productive workforce, WFM provides transactional and analytic functionality, as well as the business intelligence tools for planning, budgeting, monitoring, and compliance. This aids in monitoring the organisation's key performance indicators and aligning HR activities to organisational goals, thus providing businesses with strategic insights into the strength of the workforce, and identifying areas where change is necessary to positively impact the bottom-line.

Tracking accountability and labour productivity

In order to provide organisations with a better understanding of their workforce, WFM includes functions that provide HR leaders with the capability to match business demand with an appropriate labour mix.  For example, features such as attendance tracking and absence management provide insights that can then be reconciled with the availability, skills and eligibility of employees, which can aid in areas such as labour budgeting, forecasting, and task management.

Enabling real-time collaboration and insights

In line with the modern employee's need for convenience and "on-the-go" accessibility, WFM solutions have also been enriched with features such as analytics, support for mobile devices, and social networking technology to enable real-time collaboration and insight. By keeping the workforce engaged via mobile capabilities and social networking, employees will be able to collaborate more effectively and achieve greater productivity gains.


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