workforce management technology

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

What workforce management technology can do for you

Tighter budgets. Increased compliance burdens. Too many manual processes that waste far too much time and effort. Sound familiar?

With these challenges confronting most state and local government agencies today, managing the workforce and controlling costs can be difficult. One way agencies can boost productivity and cut costs is through workforce management technology.  It helps state and local governments make sure the right employee is working on the right project at the right time – and at the right cost – to best serve the public.

Below are some ways that workforce management technology can benefit all levels of government, including specific ways it can help reduce costs, minimize compliance risk and make better labor-related decisions.

Automate key processes and reduce costs

A significant percentage of state and local government agencies continue to rely on manual, paper-based methods to manage processes such as timekeeping and payroll. Not only are these methods extremely time-consuming and prone to error, but they also contribute to increased labor costs and inflated payrolls – often an agency’s single largest controllable expense.

Workforce management solutions automate time and attendance, payroll and other manual processes, eliminating paper timesheets and other time-consuming processes that waste public servants’ time and inflate the budget. This technology can meet any specific requirements agencies may have, such as pay plans, employee leave and flexible schedules. Automation also helps state and local governments reduce the risk of costly payroll errors and avoid unnecessary overtime.

Then, to help manage to the budget, workforce management technology provides the controls managers need to view, analyze and adjust the cost and number of resources (full-time, part-time or contractors) that are working on a particular program or budget. Managers can then align their specific activities to a proper budget line item. Armed with this data, they can better plan for the future, improve their ability to renegotiate contracts and make sure they are meeting their objectives – within budget.

Minimize compliance risk

Today, most state and local governments face a climate of increasing regulation and public accountability. Yet at the same time, many lack an effective way to systematically comply with stringent federal and state regulations and union rules. They may also have a hard time proving that they are properly spending the public’s money and meeting statewide and legal standards. One thing is clear: Attempting to serve the public good openly and transparently without an automated solution is extremely challenging.

Workforce management technology can automate complex calculations and rules associated with government wage and leave laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and with collective bargaining agreements. This helps agencies should they face Department of Labor audits, employee grievances or negative press associated with noncompliance.

Achieve accountability and transparency

Agencies can also achieve the “unprecedented level of transparency, oversight, and accountability” requirement to receive grant funds or relief funds with workforce technology.  Systems can record government labor expenditures in a centralized database, provide detailed audit trails and easily analyze any and all labor costs, giving managers real-time data that can provide insight into agency operations and allow them to  respond rapidly to reporting requirements and audits.

Better labor-related decisions

Real-time insight into larger labor issues and trends is another benefit to workforce management technology.

Consider overtime. Too often government agencies view overtime as unavoidable, but with visibility into employee hours, managers can see when they are approaching overtime thresholds and take action to prevent it. Additionally, scheduling applications can let supervisors create optimum schedules to proactively minimize overtime.

And the cost of labor, of course goes well beyond regular wages paid -- it can include such variables as benefits, overtime eligibility, future pension payouts and more. Workforce management solutions let agencies see these in full – and use them to their full advantage.

Administrators who believe workforce management technology is beyond their budget would do well to examine the costs of doing nothing. Considering that these solutions can help managers improve productivity, control costs and make better labor decisions, the decision not to implement workforce management is often one these agencies simply can’t afford to make.

About the Author

Rock Regan is the director of industry marketing and strategy, government and education at Kronos Inc.

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