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How to choose the best workforce management software

What is workforce management software?

Workforce management (WFM) software helps organisations plan and manage important HR services. Tasks like onboarding new employees, rostering shift workers, managing attendance and leave requests and tracking hours are all made simple by using WFM software.

This technology can equip employees with the tools and information they need to manage their payroll details and time tracking. It can also give you the data you need to make informed decisions about hiring, onboarding and employee schedules.

Why use workforce management software?

A key benefit of WFM software is that it reduces the time and costs associated with employee management, while giving you greater control of your payroll and workforce management process. WFM tools let you automate and streamline critical workforce and HR functions, including:

  • employee onboarding

  • rostering

  • time capture/hour tracking

  • leave/time off requests

  • payroll processing

  • tracking budgets and sales efficiency.

10 must-have features to look for in WFM software 

1. Employee onboarding

Get new hires into the system and equipped to do their jobs quickly with pre-employment onboarding workflows, digital information collection and automated alerts that notify managers when employees complete their onboarding.

An onboarding system lets you:

  • reduce back-and-forth emails and minimise paperwork 

  • integrate onboarding with payroll software so you can get new hires into your system quickly

  • give new team members instant, self-service access to work information and process instructions.

2. Rostering

Rostering and timesheet technology allows you to break free from time-consuming, error-prone manual rosters. A smart rostering tool lets you create templates and manage rosters from one central dashboard. 

WFM software should also allow you to plug in important information like staff qualifications, availability and contract details, then automatically match shifts to available staff. Another important feature to look for is alerts and notifications to keep managers and employees informed about schedule conflicts, overlaps, employment rule breaches and shift changes.

3. Time and attendance tracking

A time tracking feature accurately captures employee hours, leave and overtime. It also helps prevent fraud or time-theft with methods like geo-tagging and face recognition.

MYOB's time tracking apps let employees use a mobile device to clock in and out. Automated alerts notify managers when employees are approaching or exceeding their allocated hours, and reports give you visibility into labour costs, so you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your workforce budget.

4. Absence and leave requests

Your WFM software should allow employees to ask for time off directly through the dashboard, helping managers track leave entitlement balances. 

Other features to look for include:

  • absence forecasting to prevent scheduled shifts clashing with approved time off

  • real-time updates on who's working and who’s not

  • visibility into leave balances and upcoming leave

  • shift swapping so employees have more control over their time (also reduces absenteeism)

  • automated approvals or alerts so managers can stay on top of leave requests.

5. Payroll management

Integration with your payroll management system means you can automatically account for employee hours worked, breaks, overtime and public holidays, so you can stay compliant with labour laws. Leave requests and approvals are also fed into the payroll system, keeping leave liabilities current. 

Payroll integration means you have accurate, up-to-date data and complete visibility into logged hours and breaks. It also speeds up onboarding, with the required employee information accurately recorded and communicated to payroll. 

And, finally, roster automation factors in awards, employee agreements and legislative requirements.

6. Budget tracking and forecasting

Automatically calculate costs for each rostered shift with budget tracking — a feature that helps you tie budgeted sales to actual labour costs. This feature is useful for businesses with fluctuating sales, like restaurants and retail stores. 

Budget tracking helps you make sure you're not over- or under-staffing. It also gives you visibility into areas where you may need to adjust your budget. Planning for upcoming busy or slow periods is easier with budget tracking since you can compare historical data to current and forecasted sales.

WFM software lets you view upcoming events, public holidays and staff availability to see what your workforce should look like in the weeks and months ahead. 

7. Automated compliance monitoring

The best workforce management tools automatically monitor rostered hours to make sure you stay compliant with the Fair Work Act and rules regarding awards and enterprise agreements. Avoid hefty fines and penalties by having these safeguards in place to protect you and your employees. 

8. Workforce analytics

Workforce analytics provide actionable data to inform scheduling, performance management and communication across your workforce. 

Analyse data to identify trends, assess employee skills, optimise schedules and make more informed decisions about staffing, hiring and workforce needs. Understand how your workforce is performing and where you may need to make changes. By considering factors like absenteeism and turnover, you can identify issues early and take steps to mitigate them.

9. Data security

Data security is a top priority when you're dealing with sensitive employee information like payroll data, time off requests and performance tracking. The best WFM software includes features that help you comply with data privacy laws and protect sensitive data from unauthorised access. 

Look for features like two-factor authentication, data encryption and access control to protect your data. Single sign-on also increases efficiency by allowing employees to access multiple systems with one set of credentials instead of multiple (oft-forgotten) passwords.

10. Mobile accessibility

Your workforce is mobile and you should be, too. Employees, managers and administrators should have access to information from their mobile devices. Look for a WFM that includes a mobile app so employees can view their schedules, managers can approve time off requests, and administrators can easily check messages. 

Integrate workforce management and payroll with MYOB

MYOB offers workforce management and payroll in one integrated solution, so you can manage onboarding, rostering, timesheets and payroll from one dashboard. With your HR, operations and payroll together in one cloud platform, you can:

  • increase efficiency in core business processes

  • gain visibility for scheduling, tracking and reporting, 

  • maintain compliance with labour laws and enterprise agreements,

  • improve your employee experience, and 

  • help your business achieve its full potential.

MYOB has you covered.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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