The approach of Boost Juice Bars might provide food for thought.
The company uses RITEQ workforce management technology to look at the weather forecast for the coming week and will then look at historical sales data going back 240 weeks.
A complex set of algorithms can then determine how many people need to be rostered in each store at half-hourly intervals each day in order to meet the probable demand for the company’s products.
Boost Juice provides just one example of how time and attendance data can form the foundations of more sophisticated workforce management strategies.
“Workforce planning is very much a strategic HR function requiring the analysis of data in order to plan your workforce of the future,” according to David Kroser, Managing Director of RITEQ.
“It makes absolute sense that in order to plan effectively, you must have a foundation of accurate data to work with that relates to your current workforce position.”
Kroser added that it’s about more than simply gaining insight from data.
It’s a way for ‘C’ level executives to identify and continuously improve workforce performance and business contribution by actively engaging with their HR teams in building and delivering effective intervention strategies.
“When properly developed and executed, people analytics provide the opportunity for every HR Department to transform itself from an operational support role to that of value-added business partner,” he said.
RITEQ maintains that it is in the interests of both parties to recognise the value of the data that can be extracted from workforce management systems.
This data can provide insights into issues such as labour force productivity and optimisation, absenteeism rates, and the deployment of the workforce.
The workforce planning process can be broken into three key areas. It all starts with the labour demand planning: what is required based on the business plan? The second area is workforce labour supply planning, and the third is labour sustainability planning.
“Where time and attendance fits in is primarily with labour demand planning,” Kroser said.
“For example, the sort of data that becomes really important is your employee mix – FTEs, casuals, part-timers – and how optimised that mix is. How much over-time are you incurring?
“For instance, could you have three FTEs replace a handful of casuals working overtime?
“You’ll also be looking at absence trends. It’s all the metrics that feed into the demand process and thinking about what you’ll need for the future.”
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Does your CEO or CFO still believe that labour force optimisation revolves around operational matters, such as knowing who shows up for work and how many hours they do?