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FCW : January and February 2017
As government agencies face tighter budgets and widening skills gaps, making better use of their workforce data can help them save money, improve productivity and minimize compliance risks. Every organization has to manage its workforce data. There’s time and atten- dance, payroll, scheduling, leave, overtime pay, and pension pay-out data among the numerous workforce-related tasks organi- zations must track on an ongoing basis. Workforce data is important because it can reveal many things about the health of an organization. It helps identify what the workforce needs and whether these needs are being met. It can shine the light on good and bad management practices. It can point out salary discrepancies and other outlying factors. However, workforce data is most valuable when agencies can use it to make better decisions. This is where workforce management technology can help. These tools and systems automate data collection and management, and provide analytics capabilities to help agencies better manage their employees, save money and plan for the future. Reduce Errors and Cut Costs Workforce data comes in many forms. There are some agencies that still rely on low-tech processes to collect and track this information. Some still use spreadsheets to manage time and attendance, for example. They may lack systems to accurately track the varying types of leave including personal, sick, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and military leave. This gets even trickier when agencies are managing a mix of hourly and salaried employees. Many agencies also manually piece together schedules for employees who work in transit or public safety, making the process prone to errors. “If they don’t have an automated system they are liter- ally going through index cards,” says Rock Regan, Industry Director, Government and Education, at Kronos, Inc. Studies show some manual processes can result in two to five percent error rates. “If you extrapolate that—some of that money can be pretty big money,” says Regan. “Labor is generally one of the big- gest expenses so even small improvements will show big returns on investments.” Accurate workforce data is essential not just for time, attendance, and scheduling, but also for efficient project management, overtime management and workplace compliance. Government agencies tend to allocate money on a project basis, and labor costs are a large part of that. They need to accurately measure the labor component of a grant or a specific project, such as a bridge inspection. Without accurate accounting for labor, project costs can easily spiral out of control. EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS: AUTOMATED WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT Workforce Management Looks to the Future Automation and analytics help reveal the value of workforce data to inform better decisions. Shutterstock
November and December 2016