June 28, 2022
We are so excited to publish this piece in collaboration with the team at Deputy, a global workforce management platform for employee scheduling, timesheets and communication.
There was a time when workforce management was focused on the simple things - finding good employees that would be happy sticking to their job description. It’s not that time anymore, and things have gotten more cutthroat in the corporate world.
Gone are the days when mere employee satisfaction was enough. 90% of businesses say that their markets have become more competitive - that has ultimately redefined the standards at which organizations are meant to hold employee performance. Now, employee satisfaction is the bare minimum. The real challenge is keeping your employees engaged and motivating them to go above and beyond.
In this market environment, what role do workforce managers play in keeping performance up and ensuring their organization’s survival through all kinds of challenges and competition?
Employee engagement is a concept that strives to understand the relationship between an employer and their employee. Beyond this definition, employee engagement is also an approach to workforce management that seeks to encourage employees to care about their employer and the organization they work in.
Employees that are highly engaged are motivated to work towards the company’s goals, care about their company’s goals and values, and don’t hesitate to go above and beyond.
Ensuring high levels of employee engagement is the only way today to ensure a company’s survival and eventual success.
When people do their work with care instead of just going through the motions, the results speak for themself. Increased efficiency, better ideas, lower turnover, and increased customer satisfaction are just some of the things your company stands to get when you invest meaningfully in your employees and in their wellbeing.
The right company culture is one of the most important things for most employees, and they’re even ready to walk away if they don’t get the flexibility and support in their work that they’re looking for. Good corporate culture developed by ongoing workforce management has long been tied to better revenue and low turnovers.
According to this article in Harvard Business Review, better workplace culture – something that is fostered by continuous employee management – saves employers from high turnovers. In workplaces with a culture focused on cutthroat competition, healthcare expenditures are 50% higher, and the costs keep piling up when these stressed employees disengage.
In terms of attracting better talent, workplace culture plays a crucial role. Following The Great Resignation and the pandemic, the labor market focus has shifted to become employee-centric. What this means in practical terms is that employers are putting in additional efforts to carefully design the candidate journey, starting from the interview and all the way to offboarding.
Just like in sales, recruitment experts have come to appreciate the value of retention vs. acquisition. Attracting and keeping better candidates boils down to offering things others don’t – and simple perks and financial bonuses don’t cut it anymore. Today, workers want an improved work-life balance and flexibility (which leads to improved productivity), and this is why workforce management is a crucial aspect for getting better candidates.
A company’s online reviews make all the difference, especially when it’s a small one just starting out. Think about it - how many times have you decided not to make a purchase with a business because of bad or mediocre online reviews? In a world where consumers are overwhelmed with options, it’s important for businesses to set themselves apart with the right kind of online presence.
A single bad review can make or break your organization in its delicate formative years, and it’s nothing to ignore later either. This is because customer reviews play a very important part in any customer’s buying journey – bad customer reviews might convince them not to spend money on your product, and no one is short on alternatives these days.
An example would be Northwest Registered Agents and ZenBusiness. While Northwest is an older organization, ZenBusiness was able to distinguish itself in the industry through great customer reviews and is now recommended over Northwest Registered Agents by experts on Nerdwallet and Forbes.
When employees are engaged and care about their work, day-to-day operations run more smoothly. According to an analysis on employee autonomy and engagement, experts determined that when employees are engaged, they’re more autonomous. This improves things like role clarity, adaptability, and commitment to the workplace. All of these things are essential for your business to consistently perform highly within your industry.
In terms of managing your workforce, improving daily operations begins by having clearly defined roles, job descriptions, and processes. Once these are set up, your staff will have established responsibilities – even KPIs if applicable – and will be able to structure their individual work to meet targets, as well as collaborate with co-workers on bigger projects.
If workforce management is efficient and easy, it will allow for additional flexibility with employees. Being one of the most valued perks of employment nowadays, flexible hours and/or shifts improve productivity by empowering employees to gain control over their day. Naturally, this is not applicable across the board, but where it is – it yields results!
If there’s anything that became clearer in the last few years, it’s that change is never a bad thing, and companies need to always be prepared for it in today’s global economic climate. Change management across organizations was put to the test in 2020, and it’s safe to say that companies now want to stay on top of that.
One of the trickiest aspects of it, though, is managing employee resistance to changes. Employees are usually resistant to change because they don’t feel confident that their employer will look out for their best interests, or they feel reluctant to change how things work around the office.
However, this isn’t the case with engaged employees. Employees who care about the organization are more open to change when they see it’s in the best interest of the organization. They also show more confidence in company leadership and lend their support instead of resisting the change. This increases your ability to react quickly to change, and might even put you ahead of the competition in certain situations.
In order to keep employees engaged, you need to put in constant work to maintain the organization’s relationship with them. This means investing time and effort into making sure you and the organization’s employees are all on the same page.
Here’s how you do that:
Most organizations have a lot going on across different departments. This means that there may be a team out there tasked with creating content with no idea what process it goes through before being published, or who decides what topic to work on in the first place.
But once employees know how their contributions fit into the bigger picture and what their work does for the company, they will treat it with more importance.
A good work-life balance is something that all workers need today. Not only does it keep them happy, but it also improves their satisfaction with their work, and hence efficiency. Workforce managers and team leads alike can use smart software and custom tools to develop an employee schedule that meets the needs of the employees working under them while keeping the organization’s needs at the forefront.
In order to keep employees engaged and happy, show that you care about their professional development and their future within the organization. Investing in your employees’ development isn’t just for them, though - at the end of the day, your organization will benefit from their skills and expertise.
Managing a team isn’t simple, and it definitely isn’t a job that can be done without the right tools. From tools to manage tasks and keep track of employee performance to software that helps managers with employee recognition, there are countless things that can help team leaders lead better. Equip your managers with all the tools necessary to ensure efficiency and make their job easy for them.
Positive reinforcement is a trick as old as time, and for good reason. When good work in the workplace is recognized and appreciated, everyone is motivated to do better and cares more about the work they do. On the other hand, a lack of feedback can allow employee performance levels to drop significantly. Try to make regular check-ins with employees a habit.
In order for employees to believe they are truly contributing to the organization, they need to know that their input and feedback are valued and listened to. Listen to your employees when they say they can do their jobs better with one tool instead with the other, when they express any concerns about scheduling, and pay special attention to employee survey results. Don’t just listen though - you need to act on this input!
Not only does delegating responsibility save managers a lot of time, but giving your employees the chance to show you what they can do is hardly ever the wrong decision - and it saves managers a lot of effort. Highly skilled professionals also appreciate being given agency and freedom over their projects.
While constant workforce management seems like a never-ending task (because it is), it is one that is absolutely essential, and one that your organization’s future might even depend on. In an economy as competitive as today’s, engaged employees make all the difference when it comes to a company’s survival and prosperity.