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  • Writer's pictureAndré Cavaco Leitão

The Future of Workforce Management: How Automation is Changing the Game

Yes, our Workforce Management processes are still arguably some of the most manual processes in any business. From here, I am asking you to open your mindset and be prepared for a shift to automation that will be a game-changer. Releasing businesses from the handcuffs of outdated and poor-quality processes dependent many times on paperwork and spreadsheets is going to be the focus of significant technological innovation and disruption in the coming years.

We must learn from other industries that have been at the front of multiple automation revolutions in recent years.

Nowadays, we often hear about automation being adopted to address one or multiple pain points in the Workforce Management cycle. You've probably experienced it yourself, from time-off processes to real-time alarmistics with automated triggers to automated performance diagnosis. Those are just simple examples I've personally experienced in the recent past. I can only imagine how much we can achieve in the future.

1. The Evolution of Workforce Management

Workforce Management has been an essential part of business operations for many years. The concept of managing employees and optimizing productivity dates back to the Industrial Revolution. Initially, Workforce Management was focused on improving manual labor processes and maximizing the utilization of resources. However, with the advent of technology, the concept of Workforce Management has evolved significantly.

The evolution of Workforce Management has been driven by the need to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce costs. In the past, Workforce Management processes were manual and relied on paper-based systems, spreadsheets, and other outdated technologies. These processes were prone to errors, delays, and inefficiencies, leading to reduced productivity and increased costs.

Within the contact center industry, Workforce Management has been evolving, holding hands with the multiple revolutions of the service industry, from phone only to the rise of email and now more digital channels across a full spectrum of the customer journey. Yes, indeed, we are still trying to figure out omnichannel while believing that multichannel is the same thing. Still, this new wave of technology innovation is likely to disrupt how we support each business and most likely support the quest to find omnichannel integrations.

With the introduction of those new technologies powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, the future of Workforce Management is likely to change rapidly. Modern WFM systems are more advanced and offer real-time insights into business operations. Yes, I said insights, many of us still recall when the most you could get was a red, green scale or just a wall of numbers to process and report on. These systems provide better visibility into employee performance, work schedules, and other critical data to help managers make informed decisions.

2. What is Workforce Management automation?

Workforce Management automation is the process of using technology to automate various aspects of employee management. It involves using software tools and systems to manage employee schedules, time tracking, performance management, and other critical Workforce Management functions.

Workforce Management automation can automate various processes, including scheduling, time and attendance tracking, payroll processing, and employee performance management. By automating these processes, businesses can reduce the amount of time and resources required to manage their workforce, improve accuracy and reduce errors, and increase productivity.

Some of the key features of Workforce Management automation systems include employee scheduling tools, time and attendance tracking systems, and reporting and analytics tools. These systems are designed to help businesses optimize their workforce, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency.

But let's speak about other types of automation.

Robotic Process Automation or RPA is skyrocketing with more and more companies doubling down how the potential to streamline their processes, even though the reality is that many times, the processes and tools are not even able to qualify for a direct automation business case without a process change.

Many of you probably recall AHK, AutoHotkey, a company created back in 2003, and I still remember when back in 2009, I could fully automate generate reports by creating scripts replicating my manual processes. That is my first experience with modern Automation.

Nowadays, the industry leaders, according to Gartners 2022 RPA Magic Quadrant, are UIPath, Automation Anywhere, Microsoft, SS&C Blue Prism, and NICE.

If you still need an Automation partner, I strongly recommend adding this to your 2023 strategic plans.

3. The Benefits of Automated Workforce Management

Automated Workforce Management offers a range of benefits for businesses of all sizes. Some of the key benefits include:

Increased efficiency: Automated Workforce Management systems can help businesses streamline processes and reduce the amount of time and resources required to manage their workforce.

Improved accuracy: Businesses can reduce errors and improve accuracy by automating processes, leading to better data and more informed decision-making.

Better visibility: Automated Workforce Management systems provide better visibility into employee performance, schedules, and other critical data, which can help managers make informed decisions.

Increased productivity: Businesses can improve productivity and increase output by optimizing employee schedules and workloads.

Better compliance: Automated Workforce Management systems can help businesses ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations, reducing the risk of penalties and fines.

The future of Workforce Management is undoubtedly heading towards automation. As businesses continue to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the market, automation offers a unique opportunity with a wide range of benefits to organizations. The evolution of Workforce Management has been a long time coming, and the benefits of automation are clear. From reducing human error to increasing employee satisfaction, automated Workforce Management has the potential to transform the way businesses operate. It's time to embrace the future of Workforce Management and reap the rewards of technological innovation. So let's take the leap and explore the endless possibilities that automation can bring to our businesses.

Our challenge is simple, embrace the change and make it a success.

Check out the weWFM Podcast for more content about Automation

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