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According to research from Aberdeen Group, successful organizations make better use of workforce management platforms. How do they use them more effectively? Smart leaders can use this tool to shave down payroll expenses, calculate the demand for vacation time versus time allotted, and allocate flex time. These and other techniques will help your organization use WFM to create a lean 21st-Century workforce.

1. Manage Payroll Expenses
Both research and the real world point to the fact that paying workers a higher hourly wage produces salutary results in both productivity and customer satisfaction. The idea of using WFM to manage payroll doesn’t focus on reducing hourly wages, but rather intelligently managing total workforce hours. Tracking busy vs. idle time and eliminating redundancies can help employers staff themselves efficiently without damaging workers’ morale.

2. Calculate Vacation Time
Employees who actually take their vacation time tend to be more productive—but Americans are the most vacation-averse people in the entire developed world. With workforce management software, employers have the ability to make sure that their employees use the incentives they’re offered.

Managers can track unused vacation time, flag workers who probably need a vacation, and then reap the benefits of a happier and more motivated workforce. What’s more, WFM can provide tools that allow workers to self-schedule their own vacation time and coordinate with their co-workers to avoid gaps in coverage.

3. Allocate Flex Time
The number of part-time workers in the United States has been on the rise, currently comprising over 18% of the US workforce. While this situation perhaps isn’t ideal for the US economy, it is something that managers should be able to work with or take advantage of. Workforce management software allows companies to comfortably integrate part-time, temp, and contract workers with their ordinary workforce, again without the risk of redundancy.

4. Manage the Gig Economy
Lastly, employers can take a workforce management approach towards the increasing share of US workers who work remotely or freelance as part of the gig economy. Although giants like Uber and Lyft are probably the first companies that come to mind when you think about the gig economy, but gigs are swiftly making their way into retail.

As an example, Amazon is now hiring freelance delivery drivers en masse for same-day deliveries via its Amazon Flex program. Drivers simply download an app, drive to a distribution center, pick up their packages, and become deliverymen. Whether it’s for logistics or customer service, other retail companies will swiftly follow suit — and they’ll need a sophisticated workforce management system on the backend in order to be successful.

Simply having a workforce management platform isn’t quite enough to elevate a company into the ranks of the top performers. A company needs to be able to use it well. With the use-cases above, organizations will be able to identify redundant practices, ensure that their workers use their incentives, and adjust to a number of trends that will shortly come to affect the retail economy.

These practices are still just one moving part in a complex system that top performers use to excel in the changing world of retail. For more information, take a look at the Aberdeen report, Store-Level Workforce Scheduling for Profitable Omni-Channel Fulfillment.

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