Workforce is the labour pool in employment. It is often used to describe those working for a single company or industry, but can also apply to a geographic region like a city, state, or country. Within the company, its value can be labelled as its "Workforce in Place". The workforce of the country includes both employed and the unemployed(force). The labour force participation rate, LFPR (or economic activity rate, EAR), is defined as the ratio between the labour force and the overall size of their compeer (national population which are of same age range). The term generally excludes the employers or management and can imply those involved in manual labour. It can also mean that all those who are available for work.
As workforce management has been developed from the traditional approach of staff scheduling to improve the time management, it has become even more integrated and demand-oriented in order to optimize the scheduling of staff. Besides that the two core aspects of the demand-orientation and optimisation, workforce management may also help to incorporate which is shown as follow:
1). Forecasting of workload and required staff
2). Involvement of employees into the scheduling process.
3). management of working times and accounts.
4). Analysis and monitoring of the entire process.
The starting point is a very clear definition of the work which is required through the engineered standards and optimal methods for performing each and every task as efficiently and safely as possible. Based on this foundation and demand-based forecasts the workers are scheduled and tasks are assigned, their performance is measured and feedback is provided, incentives are computed and then paid. In addition to that, online training is provided along with the supervisor based coaching to bring all the workers up to the required levels of proficiency. Workforce management is the complete approach designed in order to make the workforce as productive as possible, improve customer service and reduce labour costs.
Workforce management solutions can be deployed as an enterprise-wide and through mobile platforms. While some special software is commonly used in numerous areas such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Human Resources (HR) management, the management of the workforce is still handled using either spreadsheet programs or time recording. This results in expensive overtime, non-productive times, high fluctuation rates, bad customer service and also opportunity costs being incurred. By using such a software solution for having demand-oriented workforce management, strategic planners can optimize the staffing by creating schedules that at all the times conform to the forecasted requirements. Also at the same time, the workforce management software solution helps users to observe all relevant commands, local agreements and the contracts of the individual employees including the work-life balance guidelines.
A key important aspect of having workforce management is scheduling. This is achieved by establishing the demand by analyzing the historical data (for example the number and duration of customer contacts, sales figures, check-out transactions or the orders to be handled). Many of the workforce management systems offer manual adjustment capabilities. The calculated forecast values are then converted into actual employee requirements by means of an algorithm that is been adjusted to that particular use case. The software algorithm itself is based on the work of an Erlang though the most modern adaptations of the workforce management that is being shifted towards a richer state of management, and optimizations to the original idea.
Current and future employee requirements, availabilities, holidays, budget allowances, labour laws related restrictions, skills, short term peak loads, as well as the wage and contractual terms that have to be integrated into the planning process to guarantee optimal staff deployment. In the workforce management process, the integration of employees is an important factor so In several workforce management systems, employees can log into their availability or even planned absences and they can bid for the specific shifts so long as they have the necessary skills for the activities that are planned for these shifts.