Solid Rock Consulting

Authored by: Juanita Coley

Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of Tipsy Thursdays! I’m thrilled to have you join me as we dive into yet another essential topic for any business:
Workforce Management, or WFM. This week,
we’re going to talk about when a company should start considering WFMSo, grab your favorite drink, get comfy,
let’s get into it.

So, when should you start considering WFM? 

The answer? The Moment You Get Customers. Yes, you heard me right! You’re never too small or too big to benefit from WFM. At its core, WFM is about having the
right people in the right place at the right time to serve your customers. It’s all about balancing supply and demand.

The Early Days: WFM from the Get-Go 

If you have customers, you’re already dabbling in the basics of Workforce Management, even if you don’t realize it. WFM is all about making sure you have the right people
in the right place at the right time to serve your customers. Whether you’re running a quaint café, a bustling retail store, or a growing call center, you’re managing supply and
demand every day. Think about the following examples:

– As a restaurant owner, you adjust your staffing based on the expected traffic. You know you need a certain number of servers, cashiers, and enough food to meet the demand. 

– In retail, you ensure you have enough employees on the floor during peak shopping hours. 

– Call centers need to have enough agents on hand to handle incoming calls without excessive wait times. 

In all these scenarios, you’re already practicing WFM basics. You’re analyzing patterns, predicting needs, and adjusting resources accordingly. But when should this casual,
intuitive process evolves into something more formal?

Growing Complexity: When to Formalize WFM  

The real question isn’t whether you should be doing WFM, but at what level of complexity you need to formalize it. As your business grows, so does the complexity
of your operations. This is when WFM becomes an actual function within your company.

Here’s when you should seriously consider developing a dedicated WFM function: 

  1. Multiple Shifts and Diverse Demands. When you start having different types of shifts, varying customer demands, and complex scheduling needs,
    a formal WFM system can streamline operations.

  2. Multiple Locations. If your business expands to multiple locations, coordinating staff across sites becomes a logistical challenge that WFM can help manage.

  3. Varying Hours of Operation. Extended or irregular operating hours require precise scheduling to ensure customer needs are met at all times.

Imagine you’re using QuickBooks for your finances. It helps you keep track of your earnings, but it’s not a substitute for a full-fledged accounting department.
As your business scales, having a dedicated accounting team becomes essential to manage your finances properly. The same applies to WFM.

The Benefits of Formalizing WFM 

Having a formal WFM function in your business offers several benefits: 

  • Efficiency. Streamline scheduling and forecasting to ensure optimal staffing levels. 
  • Cost Savings. Avoid overstaffing or understaffing, reducing unnecessary labor costs. 
  • Improved Customer Service. Ensure that you have the right number of staff to meet customer demands, enhancing customer satisfaction. 
  • Employee Satisfaction. Better scheduling practices lead to happier, more productive employees. 

The Real Challenge: Scaling Up WFM

As I’ve previously stated, the moment you have customers and meeting their demands, you’re already performing WFM on a basic level. The real challenge is recognizing
when your operations have become too complex for ad-hoc management. Here’s how to identify that moment:

Operational Strain. If you find it increasingly difficult to manage schedules, shifts, and employee availability manually, it’s time to bring in a formal WFM system. 

Customer Experience. When customer satisfaction starts to dip due to long wait times, inconsistent service, or staffing shortages, a more structured approach to WFM can help. 

Employee Morale. High turnover rates and employee dissatisfaction often stem from poor scheduling and management. Effective WFM can improve employee engagement
by ensuring fair and efficient scheduling.

In essence, if you have customers, you should be thinking about WFM. The sooner you start considering it, the better you’ll be able to handle growth and complexity.
Formalizing WFM as your business scales ensures you maintain high customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and keep your employees happy. 

So, whether you’re a small business owner or running a large enterprise, starting out or looking to scale, integrating WFM into your operations is a smart move.
Cheers to making your business run smoothly and efficiently with the power of Workforce Management!

Want to explore more of this topic? Book a WFM Discovery Call HERE!

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Until next time. Go BE Great! Go Make Impact! 🙂 

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