Total Business Magazine

Mitigating Challenges With Effective Workforce Management

Peter Harte is the Vice President of Enterprise Sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) for Kronos Incorporated, a leading global provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Founded in 1977, Kronos has grown into a $1.4 billion global organisation that provides purpose-built solutions for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organisations — including half of the Fortune 1000 — and more than 40 million people in over 115 countries use Kronos every day.

In his role, his primary responsibility is to provide expertise to customers by helping them manage their most valuable resource: their employees. The majority of his time is spent meeting with business leaders who are transforming their companies from the inside out, and supporting them through the current and future challenges facing their workforce.

Peter believes deeply that organisations should look at their workforce as more than a cost, but as their strongest strategic advantage, and furthermore, they should look to cloud technology to further support and strengthen the employee experience. In his interview with Total Business, Peter discusses the most common difficulties that workforces face and how correct usage of workforce management can help to mitigate these challenges.

 

What challenges do businesses with a large workforce face? How are these best overcome?

Organisations with a larger workforce often mean more moving parts. They’re likely employing both hourly and salaried employees, working in multiple locations with different office environments and policies, and serving a wide variety of roles and departments.

With a big spread of employees, types of work, and potentially geographies, an underlying unified solution — or suite of solutions — to can help to align growing organisations who want to retain one core culture.

Combining workforce management with human capital management strategies can help large organisations manage, support, and develop their broad workforce — encompassing everything from streamlining timesheets and monitoring payroll, to offering virtual training and optimising performance management.

 

Do those in retail, manufacturing and healthcare face challenges unique to their industry?

Certainly, these three sectors are all facing their own sets of challenges and transformations, which directly impacts the work lives of their workforces. Healthcare organisations are grappling with widespread burnout across the industry; manufacturers are undergoing their own digital transformations, both in their products and in the technologies they use; and retailers are regularly faced with the ebbs and flows of seasonal shopping and holiday peaks.

One thing these industries all have in common is that the vast majority of their workforces are often white-collar shift workers — manning the store, working in the plant, or walking the hospital floor. Employers in these industries require their workers to be onsite and present in order to get their job done, and most often that these employees work aren’t your standard 9-to-5 days — they’re at all hours of the day and come equipped with their own unique compliance standards and requirements. Think mandated rest periods and meal breaks.

This is where technology that enables accurate shift scheduling and easy shift-swapping comes into play. Solutions that allow employees to check their schedules in real time or swap shifts as needed, in or out of the work environment, can empower hourly workers to manage their own work-life balance while still meeting the needs of the business. Plus, by ensuring accurate schedules that accommodate rest periods and individual employee shift preferences, organisations can work to mitigate potential compliance risks and even help avoid costly violations.

 

What experience have you brought to Kronos from serving as a global sales manager of AT&T?

Open up any personal application or technology that people use outside of work and chances are good that it’s been built in the cloud. Why should work technology be any different?

recent survey from The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated revealed that 40% of employees in the UK feel their job is harder than it should be because of outdated technology, and more than half (52%) believe their personal technology is more modern and user-friendly than what they use in their workplace.

When employers provide their employees with intuitive, responsive solutions that reflect the ease of use and real-time qualities they’ve come to expect in their personal lives, they’ll meet modern expectations and empower workers in their day-to-day tasks. This is a critical component of recruiting and retaining talent across the employee lifecycle.

These mobile-first, intelligent cloud solutions are not only helpful for individual contributors — they’re game-changers for leaders and people managers. Just like the cloud untethers information from a specific device, cloud technology untethers managers from their offices, freeing them up to join their teams in the store or on the floor. Ultimately, employee-facing cloud technology that’s built to provide a seamless and satisfying employee experience can dramatically boost engagement, enhance productivity, and impact business performance.

 

How is workforce management best handled when it comes to a global company with employees all around the world?

The most important thing for a global company to remember is that with each of its regions comes its own unique set of cultural values that are inherently important to that region’s workforce. Not only that, but each region has its own set of policies and processes around work lives, employee benefits, and payroll management.

In order to respect and reconcile these disparate attitudes and expectations, it’s critical for global organisations to marry in-region expertise with agile workforce management technology that can match corporate benefits and offerings with the overall values of the corporate culture.

 

How is workforce management changing over time? Is there anything you anticipate in the future?

More than ever, the global job market is shifting in favour of the workforce: Great employees have a choice of where they want to work, and organisations that have the infrastructure and technologies to empower employees with unprecedented work-life balance and free up managers from administrative tasks will have the strongest competitive advantage in the market. The future of work will favour companies who focus on embracing the humanity of work and who invest in building a highly engaged workforce to drive innovation and better business outcomes.

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