Workforce Management

What is Workforce Management?

What Is Workforce Management (WFM)?

Workforce management refers to the processes and techniques implemented by organizations to optimize employee performance and productivity. It involves planning, scheduling and tracking each employee’s activities and developing their skills to meet business goals.

Workforce management helps you:

  • Assess team strengths
  • Delegate tasks
  • Consider future objectives and goals
  • Identify skill gaps
  • Solve workforce-related problems

Assess Team Strengths

The first step in WFM is team assessment. The aim is to evaluate where your team’s strengths lie and how those skills directly contribute to your organization’s goals. Other aspects to consider include employees nearing retirement so that you can anticipate future vacancies.

Some companies also conduct an external assessment to know more about the talent pool outside their organization. Knowing what talent is available, how hard it is to acquire and the cost of acquiring is all key to planning for the future.

Plan development takes a lot of research. Evaluating your entire workforce requires an in-depth look at your team. Fortunately, WFM systems offer a variety of tools that can assist with this.

From evaluating employee performance to generating custom reports, a workforce management solution provides valuable insights into your team’s strengths.

You can also use various tools to assess your team’s strengths, such as personality tests, two-way feedback, teamwork surveys and performance reviews.

Some specific features that can help with this include:

  • Performance Evaluation
  • Workforce Analysis
  • Attendance Database
  • Employee Self-Service
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • HRM Integration
  • Onsite Training

Delegate Tasks

Once you have a clear picture of each employee’s area of expertise and competencies, you can use this evaluation to assign them skill-relevant tasks. This distributes work efficiently among staff members and in a way that benefits both the organization and employees. By entrusting them with tasks that align with their strengths and personal interests, you can foster professional growth and increase job satisfaction.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when delegating tasks:

  • Develop a clear understanding of the tasks’ requirements, objectives and outcomes, and make sure employees have the necessary knowledge and capacity to complete them.
  • Communicate task requirements, performance expectations and deadlines to employees and provide relevant instructions and training.
  • Establish quantifiable goals and milestones to track employee progress.
  • Regularly monitor task progress, provide feedback to employees and address any performance issues promptly.
  • Ensure that workloads are distributed fairly, and avoid burdening workers with disproportionate tasks that may lead to poor quality work or burnout.
  • Foster a collaborative work environment where employees can share knowledge and best practices, and seek timely assistance from colleagues.

Consider Future Objectives and Goals

Effective planning requires assessing your business’s performance metrics and reviewing your future business plans and organizational goals. It also includes an estimation of what you’ll need to reach those goals — that might mean additional staffing or readjusting workloads.

This aspect of workforce management can become particularly easy with a workforce management tool that can help you collect and analyze business data. It generates reports to show you the specific details of how your business is doing.

These business insights help you calculate realistic goals based on past performance. Companies also use these insights to assess their team’s strengths. The data also highlights the needs your team may be unable to meet.

For example, if you plan to implement new software, you need to be sure you have employees who can learn the ins and outs of the new system and teach others how to use it.

Some of the functionalities to look out for in your WFM tool include:

  • Position and Department Definitions
  • Schedule Optimization
  • History-Based Forecasting
  • Predictive Algorithms
  • Custom Reports
  • What-If Scenario Planning
  • Trend Analysis

Identify Skill Gaps

After assessing your team and your requirements to meet the long-term goals, you may notice some yet-to-be-filled gaps.

Workforce management solutions assist with this by providing insights into team performance and highlighting opportunities for improvement. It also lets you easily identify the missing skills from your workforce and determine the best ways to address the skill gap.

A full-service workforce management solution also provides insights into various factors to help fill these skill gaps. For instance:

  • Identify the skills and competencies that are most critical for each job role using skills assessment.
  • Identify the specific training needs for each employee or group of employees with training needs analysis.
  • Identify employees with potential for future leadership roles and create development plans to help them acquire the necessary skills using succession planning.

Solve Workforce-Related Problems

Once you have a clear vision of your goals, how to accomplish them and your requirements to do so, it’s time to do the actual work. You should consider various solutions to determine how best to meet employees’ needs and fill the skills gap among your workforce.

One potential solution is training. Training and development may be the simplest solution if your employees have most of the skills you need.

If you require a different skill set entirely, consider hiring externally to obtain those skills. Remember that external talent assessment we talked about earlier? That’s where all that research will be useful.

Regardless of your chosen solution, make sure you have a plan for moving forward. For instance, you might need to schedule additional employee training or prepare to integrate new team members and departments.

Fortunately, the various functionalities of workforce management solutions make workforce planning as easy as possible.


What is workforce management?

Workforce management is the process of optimizing an organization’s workforce to improve productivity, efficiency and profitability. It involves employee scheduling, time and attendance management, labor forecasting and performance monitoring, making it critical for managing a remote or hybrid workforce.

What are the goals of WFM?

Here are some common goals of workforce management:

  • Optimally allocate resources to meet operational demands.
  • Ensure the organization has the right talent, skills and capabilities to meet changing needs.
  • Minimize overtime and reduce absenteeism to control labor costs.
  • Leverage data and analytics to make effective management decisions.
  • Comply with labor laws and regulations regarding working hours, breaks, overtime and other industry-specific requirements.
  • Establish a culture of continuous improvement by regularly evaluating workforce processes and practices.
  • Build a positive work environment that promotes employee satisfaction and well-being.
  • Nurture employee skills, provide L&D opportunities and build succession plans to prepare employees for future leadership roles.

Why is WFM important?

WFM is essential for organizations of all sizes and industries. With a comprehensive WFM solution, organizations can optimize their workforce, reduce inefficiencies and improve their teams and processes.

Here are some of the benefits of workforce management:

  • Accurate labor forecasting and scheduling to help overcome overstaffing, overtime or time theft challenges.
  • Timely adherence to local, state and federal laws to prevent non-compliance risks like lawsuits and fines.
  • Mobile accessibility and self-service tools that help employees use the system without time or location constraints.
  • Automated processes that save time by reducing manual workload, improve accuracy and minimize administrative burden.
  • Real-time insights into critical KPIs like engagement rates, customer satisfaction and retention volumes that allow you to make process changes and improvements for better performance.
  • Two-way communication across all members of the organization to boost engagement and participation.

What are the common challenges in WFM? How can they be overcome?

Some common challenges in workforce management include schedule and roster conflicts, talent shortages, absenteeism, non-compliance with labor laws, wage theft and manual processes.

Here are some ways to overcome these challenges:

  • Automate scheduling with a WFM solution to ensure efficient and accurate scheduling that considers employee availability and workload.
  • Establish clear attendance policies and monitor attendance using WFM software, and address absenteeism promptly to prevent it before it becomes concerning.
  • Conduct regular meetings with employees to understand their problems and come up with solutions.
  • Keep detailed and accurate records of each employee’s working hours, salaries and deductions and bonuses.
  • Stay on top of labor laws and regulations to ensure compliance. Use WFM software to generate time-tracking reports to verify compliance.
  • Use collaboration tools to keep remote workers engaged and ensure standard performance.
  • Use historical data and industry trends to forecast labor demand accurately and then optimize schedules and staffing levels to match demand.

What’s the difference between workforce management and human resource management (HRM)?

Workforce management (WFM) and human resource management (HRM) are two distinct but overlapping fields.

WFM focuses on optimizing an organization’s workforce to improve efficiency, while HRM focuses on managing the employee-employer relationship and creating a positive work environment. While WFM ensures that your employees have the right skills and schedules to perform their jobs, HRM ensures optimal resource utilization to meet business goals and objectives.

WFM involves tasks such as employee scheduling, time and attendance management, labor forecasting and performance monitoring. HRM, on the other hand, includes tasks such as recruitment, onboarding, compensation and benefits management, and employee relations.

While both aspects of business management are crucial to business success, they have different goals and functions. By integrating HRM and WFM, organizations can create a comprehensive approach to managing their workforce and achieving business objectives.

What is workforce planning?

Workforce planning is the process of analyzing, forecasting and planning organizational activities to meet current and future employment needs. It aims to ensure the business always has the human capital it needs to run efficiently and effectively — now and in the future.

Developing a cost-effective talent acquisition strategy that closes any talent gaps is also a major component of workforce planning.

Additionally, effective workforce planning includes regular analysis of employee productivity. If the workforce is underperforming, then changes like adding a learning management strategy can help increase productivity.

Similarly, strategic workforce planning aligns the workforce’s needs with long-term business goals. That includes succession planning, which ensures plans are in place to quickly fill essential management roles, typically for higher-level roles.

Workforce planning involves many moving pieces. It includes your employees, their active development and your organizational goals.

With multiple moving parts, workforce planning will be most successful if you actively evaluate and update your plans. You can easily automate this heavy workload by implementing workforce management software with features that can track and analyze data for you — making your planning process easy as pie.

What are the goals of workforce planning?

Implementing workforce planning helps identify where your organization would benefit from expanding teams and areas where your employees would benefit from additional training. It helps you find the right employees who have the skills necessary to take up various job roles.
However, there’s more to accomplish by actively implementing workforce planning practices.

One goal of effective workforce planning is problem prevention. A major part of workforce planning is thoroughly assessing each department’s skills and whether those departments’ employees have those skills. By conducting this assessment, you’ll be able to recognize gaps where skills are missing and be able to correct that issue before it becomes a source of pain.

Another goal of workforce planning is to maintain successful leadership. Effective workforce planning helps you recognize the leadership positions that are currently open or soon will be open. With that in mind, you can assess which employees would succeed in those newly open positions. You can also plan their training for the new role, making for a smooth transition.

Finally, the ultimate goal of workforce planning is to increase productivity and efficiency. Integrated workforce planning provides analytics that can provide data about how your plan affects the business.

Planning gives you a clear overview of your organization’s performance metrics so that you can set realistic goals for the future. Implementing a workforce planning strategy that includes quantitative and qualitative metrics sets your business on the path to long-term success.

It sounds like a large workload will be required to meet these goals. In reality, there are only a handful of core tasks to benefit from workforce planning. However, if you’re new to workforce planning or just incredibly busy, workforce management software can streamline these tasks to simplify the entire process.

What are the key features of WFM software?

Key features of a workforce management system include:

1) Employee Scheduling: You can create and manage employee schedules that align with operational requirements while considering factors like employee availability and skills, labor laws and individual preferences. This ensures the right number of staff members are assigned to the right tasks at the right times.

2) Time and Payroll Management: WFM solutions help you track and manage each employee’s working hours and overtime and manage PTOs, sick leave and other absences on a centralized dashboard. You can easily generate payrolls, calculate benefits and accruals, provide compensations and more based on their working trends.

3) Performance Management: WFM software allows you to track employee activity and monitor their performance against business objectives in real time. It allows you to offer regular feedback and coaching to employees, identify areas for improvement and recognize top performers.

4) Skill Development and Training: You can provide a range of training and development opportunities to enhance each employee’s knowledge and capabilities through online or in-person workshops, on-the-job training, and eLearning and mentorship programs.

5) Workforce Analytics and Labor Forecasting: The software offers analytical data reports that give valuable insights into workforce trends, productivity and overall performance. You can evaluate this information to identify opportunities for improvement, optimize resource allocation, and make data-driven business decisions.

6) Regulatory Compliance: The software ensures timely compliance with industry-wide workforce regulations for minimum wages, leave entitlements, GDPR, audit and financial record-keeping and more.

How do I select a workforce management system?

When selecting which workforce management solution best fits your business, you’ll want to consider your specific requirements, everything from must-have features to what deployment you need.

Make sure you conduct adequate research to find top-rated solutions, talk to the service provider about system capabilities, and evaluate vendor responses to compare their services and industry experience.

While evaluating your options, look for a solution that:

  • Provides self-service time entry and management to employees.
  • Allows you to configure the platform according to business and workforce needs.
  • Alerts you in case of compliance issues and changing regulations.
  • Integrates with external platforms like payroll, project management and HR, and offers complete visibility into the operations of each system.

However, if that sounds daunting, look at our free requirements template and use that as a basis for your list. We’ve also put together a free comparison of workforce management systems.

Are you looking for more help finding the right workforce management solution for your business? We’re happy to help. Get personalized recommendations by messaging or via phone at 855-850-3850.

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Workforce management articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Zachary Totah

Content Manager

As SelectHub’s Content Manager, Zachary Totah leads a team of more than 35 writers and editors in their quest to provide content that helps software buyers find the right system for their company.

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Ryan McElroy

Ryan McElroy

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Ryan McElroy is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub who writes content on EHR, EMR, home health, telemedicine and construction scheduling.

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Pooja Verma

Pooja Verma

Content Editor and Market Analyst

Pooja Verma is a Content Editor and Market Analyst at SelectHub, who writes content on Endpoint Security and Supply Chain Management.

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Ritika Dixit

Ritika Dixit

Market Analyst and Technical Content Writer

As a Market Analyst and Technical Content Writer at SelectHub, Ritika Dixit researches the market for multiple categories, and develops content primarily for the site’s HR Management category.

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Madhurima Dey

Madhurima Dey

Content Writer

Madhurima Dey is an India-based content creator specializing in Technical Content Writing. She currently produces content on the HR and workforce management spaces that builds knowledge.

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Creating a Culture of Appreciation: Employee Recognition Awards in the Workplace

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Employees are the foundation of any business. Taking the time to recognize their contributions and accomplishments can make all the difference in your workplace. Employee recognition awards can help strengthen morale, inspire better performances and let your employees know how much you value them.

In this article, we’ll discuss the types, examples and benefits of employee recognition awards, and the various ways you can reward employees for their work.

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What Is FMLA Abuse? A Comprehensive Guide

November 9, 2023
Unfortunately, FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) abuse occurs. When companies do catch it, the cases frequently end up in court, where the company can only prevail if they can show that they meticulously recorded the leave, carried out a comprehensive inspection and were able to establish beyond a possible suspicion that the abuse occurred.

Although employee rights are well guarded, you, as an employer, have legal options available when dealing with FMLA abuse, provided you have substantial proof to back up your claims. With the correct strategy and workforce management software, you won’t need to worry about FMLA abuse cases much.

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Effectively Manage Employees Using Software Technology

November 8, 2023

The workplace is changing at a rapid pace. Thanks to new advances in technology, many organizations are utilizing more tools to better understand and manage employees. Workforce management software, employee scheduling software and communication platforms are all helping companies perform more efficiently.

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Influence Positivity In The Workplace: A Comprehensive Guide

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November 6, 2023
Having and encouraging positivity in the workplace does not imply excessive joviality, blind optimism or the avoidance of negatives. Instead, it entails being pragmatic about people or situations at the job and recognizing both ups and downs.

Ensuring the prevalence of positivity in the workplace is an important aspect of workforce management.

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Workforce Management Capabilities, Requirements and Features Checklist

November 1, 2023
Unpredictable employee scheduling has become the norm in many industries. Workforce management software features help navigate today’s complex business environment by managing and tracking employees’ time.

Whether it’s retail workers, food service employees, on-call tech assistants or professionals in the 9-to-5 sector, the need to handle scheduling issues like overtime, remote work and frequent travel is universal.

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Workforce Management Integration Takes Your Business To The Next Level

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October 31, 2023

No business runs smoothly without proper management. That involves being aware of how efficient your staff is and whether or not you’re meeting your objectives as an organization. Knowing how many people to schedule, when and for which tasks is a big job with many moving parts. It’s time to face the music. All of the little tasks involved with running your business add up to be one big, time-consuming mess. What if there was a solution that would make that dizzying mess a bit easier? Workforce management software is the solution, and WFM integration will take your software to the next level.

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What’s Trending in the Workforce Management Software Market

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As technology advances, workforce management software becomes an increasingly more important tool for business processes. Data analytics now play a bigger role in determining future business plans than they have in the past, and web-based software solutions make it easier for businesses of any size to obtain these insights. Software solutions are growing in popularity as an addition to HR departments in various industries — and, not surprisingly, the workforce management software market is expected to see significant growth over the next few years.

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Workforce Management Strategies: A Comprehensive Guide

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October 27, 2023
A famous quote reads, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” True for life, true for business.

Let’s say you have the most competent workforce and all the necessary equipment for optimal productivity and a seamless cash flow. Is that all you need? The answer: No.

Workforce management has another key aspect — workforce management strategy. What is it? How does it work? How can you build a strategy suitable for your specific needs? You’ve landed in the right spot for all the answers.

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Employee Recognition Programs: A Comprehensive Guide

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October 26, 2023
You’re an HR administrator offering your employees the most suitable compensation, the best benefits and the most reasonable amount of time off to unwind. Sounds like a top-notch deal! It should be enough to engage, retain and earn the loyalty of your employees. But is it?

Your recipe for employee satisfaction seems to be missing a key ingredient — employee recognition programs. Whether you’re just introducing them into the mix or looking for ideas to amp up current employee recognition programs, you’ve landed in the right place.

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What Are Labor Costs? A Comprehensive Guide

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October 24, 2023
You may want to fully comprehend labor cost and how it affects you if you work in HR, finance, auditing or management. You can calculate this value by adding the prices of all staff wages and benefits. Further, you can leverage reliable workforce management software or accounting software to automate labor cost calculations.

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Fighting Burnout: A Guide To Overcome Workplace Exhaustion

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October 20, 2023
Burnout is nothing new to working professionals. Constant anxiety and tension can make fighting burnout and achieving a work-life balance challenging, and leaving it unchecked only makes negative feelings snowball.

In this article, we’ll shed some light on the symptoms, causes and consequences of burnout, and offer tips to help you achieve a healthier, less-stressed workstyle.

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What is Mobile Workforce Management? How to Transition and Manage It

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October 18, 2023

Throughout history, we’ve seen a handful of major shifts in how a workforce exists. For example, the industrial revolution brought factories, lowered labor costs and poor working conditions. Fortunately, the workplace has changed since then, giving employees far better working environments and improving workplace attitudes. Some of the modern revolutions include the addition of technology, such as workforce management software, which helps to streamline HR practices. Currently, we’re living in the early stages of yet another workplace shift with more and more businesses prioritizing remote employment options that requires effective mobile workforce management.

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Employee Satisfaction Surveys: A Comprehensive Guide

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October 16, 2023
An employee satisfaction survey effectively measures job performance, work-life balance and employee engagement. It enables you to gain valuable insights into your employees’ experiences, which will aid in retaining employees, enhancing performance and fostering your company’s culture. Managers often carry out employee satisfaction surveys by leveraging comprehensive workforce management software.

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What Is Labor Tracking? Importance, Benefits and Features

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October 2, 2023
The capacity of a team to work efficiently and constructively is critical to the success of any project. Adopting various workforce management software and time-tracking tools improves labor tracking usefulness and performance.

Leveraging labor tracking, companies can evaluate actions to boost employee performance.

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All The Best Employee Recognition Ideas

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September 27, 2023
From an HR perspective, what keeps employees going? Do employees stay committed to an organization just for the compensation and benefits? Or is there more to the story?

An often overlooked key factor in the mix is employee recognition. But what exactly is it? What are the different types? Why is it important to your workforce management strategy? We’ll walk you through everything, including some employee recognition ideas you can implement in your company.

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What Is Workforce Planning? Significance, Benefits and More

September 19, 2023
Good planning is the secret behind any successful business. To achieve it, you should have a clear direction and establish both your short-term and long-term goals. But how can you ensure you’re on the right track?

Engaging in extensive workforce planning is essential to an overall business plan. From forecasting your future workforce needs to developing strategies to address them, you can be confident that you’re well-prepared to tackle any future challenges.

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What Are Labor Law Violations? A Comprehensive Guide

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September 15, 2023
Labor law violations can be one of the trickiest issues you face as an employer if you don’t adhere to labor laws and regulations. No matter how burdensome or challenging these laws may be, the government takes such laws seriously, and ignoring them can have several serious repercussions.

But if you have the appropriate strategy and workforce management software, you won’t have to fight hard to avoid labor law violations.

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Future of Workforce Trends in 2023

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September 13, 2023

The state of the workforce has drastically altered in recent years, resulting in dynamic workforce trends. So what are the trends in workforce management you need to be aware of to recruit top talent and retain your current employees?

Compare Top Workforce Management Software Leaders

Workforce Management Trends in 2023

The quality of your workforce has a direct impact on your bottom line; the better an employee feels about a company, the more likely they are to increase productivity and earn your business more money. As more businesses are turning to freelancers and private contractors for specific tasks, employees are requesting more control and flexibility when it comes to their schedules.

What This Article Covers:

Key Takeaways

  • Of those currently in hybrid work models, 85% prefer it to traditional on-site work.
  • The U.S. is seeing a decline in employee engagement for the first time in a decade, dropping from 36% in engagement in 2020 to 32% engagement in 2022.
  • According to the Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey, worker well-being and mental wellness were ranked as a top primary concern by 68% of senior HR leaders.

Top Trends

As the workforce evolves, so too must your workforce management strategies and software solutions. When making a change or update to your software, consider these top workforce trends beforehand:

1. Hybrid Work Model

A hybrid working model that integrates on-site working with remote working has gained popularity in recent years and will continue to do so. Research reveals that 85% of the workforce currently in a hybrid work model prefer it to on-site models.

Organizations can utilize talent from around the world by adopting this dual strategy and specifying teams based on the most acceptable observation and professional skills available rather than accessibility. For businesses that have difficulty attracting talent — whether due to remote locations, fly-in/fly-out work arrangements, or living circumstances — there is also the opportunity of expanding the recruitment pool.

Nevertheless, the hybrid work model calls for agile teams and organizational and technical systems that support it. For your core digital and analytical aspirations, which includes cost efficiency for the company and user efficiency, the new digital dimension which is mostly the remote side of a hybrid model entails choosing the appropriate IT architectural style, systems, advancement and technology projects.

2. Better Employee Experience

Over the last few years, the shift toward a better employee experience has been one of the biggest workforce management trends. Companies are putting increased focus on their employees by engaging them more and making them feel like they’re an important piece of the business’s puzzle rather than a replaceable employee. According to HR expert Perry Timms, founder and Chief Energy Officer of PTHR, management will need to reflect this:

“We know people peak their attention, focus and productive time in different ways. They’re not programmable 9-5 fleshy robots. People’s lived experiences, life circumstances and shaping factors means there is an entire spectrum that goes beyond protected characteristics and is now that AND other factors like the space in their house to work quietly, equipment in the home and more. All of these require management to not just be about task and output. But how people feel, manage their inconveniences, need some specific understanding of the differences they have and face. This really means more ‘humanist’ management and not ‘by the book’ generic application.”

Many multinational corporations now have learned the importance of being ready for unforeseen events and being able to change course quickly. Businesses are eager to keep their competitive edge as we approach 2023 and to carry on with their accomplishment and adaptability.

Staff retention, work-life balance and worldwide collaboration will be a top consideration for corporate executives in a post-pandemic world. The new employment era demands more remarkable dedication and commitment than ever before. Also, being conscious of the future workforce trends will help businesses increase retention and draw in top talent from around the world.

Employee Engagement

Your best workers are often those who remain engaged with your business. Employee engagement refers to the extent of an employee’s passion for the work they do or their commitment to the company, as well as the effort they put in.

If employees know their role within a business and are driven and determined to do well, their performance will improve. But, if your employees aren’t engaged, their performance will suffer — and so will the rest of your business.

In 2021, the U.S. saw its first decline in employee engagement for the first time in a decade, dropping from 36% engaged employees to 34%. The trend continued into 2022, dropping to 32%.

In addition to the continued decline in engaged workers, the percentage of actively disengaged workers continues to rise — growing from 16% in 2021 to 17% in 2022.

Engaged vs. Actively Disengaged Employees Stats

Work-life Balance

According to a recent study on employee experience trends, 61% of employees who don’t always use sick days when needed specify their volume of work as the reason. This highlights the need for greater work-life balance, especially when working remote or in hybrid models.

Sick Leave Stat

With so many people pushed into remote or hybrid work environments due to the pandemic, setting boundaries between working and personal hours becomes increasingly necessary. Without limitations, it’s easy to slip into an endless workday — answering emails, checking notifications and addressing urgent tasks at all hours.

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Employee Well-being

Another major workforce trend to pay attention to is employee well-being. Now more than ever, employees will expect employers to prioritize their well-being as businesses transition back to working in the office, adopt hybrid models or remain largely or entirely remote.

Building workplace resilience requires a focus on fostering employee well-being.

According to the Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey, worker well-being and mental wellness were ranked as a top primary concern by 68% of senior HR leaders (of whom 40% were CHROs).

We can see the continued importance of this priority, given that the global corporate wellness market in the United States is currently valued at $20.4 billion and is expected to reach $87.4 billion by 2026.

Workplace wellness today entails giving employees’ physical and emotional health a high priority and making it simple for everyone to access resources, whether they work on-site, remotely or in a combination of the two.

Workplace wellness initiatives are necessary if you want to prevail in the talent competition.

According to a recent Global Wellness Institute study on health and wellness trends in the U.S., 3 in 10 full-time U.S. workers say they’re overworked.

Workplace wellness is an excellent concept for companies to retain and recruit employees.

A focus on worker health and wellness is no longer a brand new trend. However, it is a continuing trend. The call to prioritize worker fitness and well-being has been around for a few years. Over the years, administrative center well-being packages have grown in popularity, and for good reason.

Implementing wellness programs helps encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles, and these types of programs can help businesses in a variety of ways. These programs not only help improve the health of employees but can also contribute to greater productivity, decrease absenteeism and even save your business money.

The physical health of employees is not the only part of well-being that businesses should care about.

Working can help protect against mental health problems, but it can also worsen them. Employers can safeguard and encourage employees’ mental health and enable those with mental health disorders to participate fully and fairly in the workforce.

HR executives are now prioritizing employee well-being as remote working makes it harder to distinguish between work and personal time. Building workplace resilience requires a focus on fostering employee well-being.

A few simple ways that you can help support your employees include:

  • Reminding employees about resources that are available, such as employee assistance programs.
  • Encouraging employees to take mental health days.
  • Normalizing conversations about employee well-being in the workplace.
  • Offering flexibility through flex hours, remote work or other strategies that align with your business.
  • Asking employees how they feel about their current work environment and what expectations they have for the business

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3. The Evolving Workforce

The workplace, as with life, is ever-evolving. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the evolutions continuing to take place in the working world, including diversity and inclusion, the gig economy and globalization.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion have been a growing trend for the last decade, and this trend is now at the forefront of many business leaders’ minds — and for good reason. Now, more than ever, employees value work environments that reflect who they are and what they value, and a workforce that lacks diversity simply won’t cut it.

While diversity and inclusion are closely related, they are far from the same. Diversity refers to the people who work for your organization and the demographics they represent. A diverse business will have team members throughout the company who represent different identities.

However, diversity is not enough. Businesses also need to be inclusive if they hope to keep up with the demands of the workforce. Inclusion, going hand in hand with diversity, emphasizes the value of the contributions and perspectives of your workforce and how well they’re integrated into the business.

Diversity and inclusion measures are not just beneficial to employees, but rather are in high demand, according to HR consultant, Dorothy Dalton:

“The call for a more inclusive approach to workforce management is building momentum with a re-evaluation of old-school values and practices which seem outdated and unfit for purpose in new circumstances. This has led to a desire to put more ‘humanity’ into our leadership styles and corporate expectations.”

One way you can evaluate the diversity and inclusiveness of your organization is by assessing your workforce. Diversity in the workforce is easy to evaluate by looking at employee demographics. Inclusivity can be harder to evaluate as it requires a more critical examination in which you’ll likely find yourself asking questions, such as:

  • Do all of my team members feel equally supported in their roles? Is everyone on my team comfortable with the workplace environment?
  • Is there diversity at every level of my organization? Are there different identities represented in various departments? How diverse is the management team? What about executive leadership?
  • Does every team member, regardless of identity, feel that the organization values their contributions?

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion in the workforce benefits both your employees and your business. Ensuring a diverse workforce helps provide you with a multitude of viewpoints, leading to more ingenuity. Inclusion makes employees feel like they’re valuable members of the team, keeping them engaged in their work.

The workplace is evolving quickly, and businesses that don’t keep up with this trend will certainly fall behind. In fact, BuiltIn’s recent study on diversity equity and inclusion, the 2022 State of DEI in Tech, reports 67% of employees would be more likely to remain in their current positions with increased diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in place — up from 51% in 2020.

DEI Stats

Gig Economy Growth

In recent years, the gig economy has skyrocketed in terms of popularity. When you hear the term “gig,” you probably think of a band or DJ landing a venue to perform at, but freelancers and contractors, as well as the businesses looking to hire them temporarily, all fall under the gig economy as well.

According to a Mercer report on global talent trends, 6 in 10 executives expect to replace a significant portion of their full-time employees with gig workers in the next few years.

It’s becoming increasingly popular for businesses to hire freelancers or vendors under contract for short-term projects. With this comes additional payroll and software capabilities to be considered. Because freelancers and contract workers aren’t technically considered employees, their scheduling and pay will have to be handled separately from part- or full-time employees.

With the gig economy growing at such a rapid pace, businesses will have to turn to freelance hiring apps and explore remote management systems to oversee these workers.


As technology has advanced, it’s become easier to collaborate with others regardless of their location. Businesses of all sizes across industries have taken note of this and begun looking for talent outside of their ZIP codes.

Looking outside the local hiring pool gives businesses a greater chance of finding the top-qualified candidate for any open position — and it sometimes means that a gig worker will be sufficient for a job. However, with this shift in the workforce comes new challenges for managers to overcome. For many businesses, expanding the search for candidates can lead to teams dispersed across the country or even the globe.

Businesses must shift out of the traditional work model to keep up with this trend. With teams spread across time zones, communication becomes of paramount importance.

Fortunately, plenty of software on the market can help by providing integrative communication tools and organization, ensuring that regardless of how spread out the team becomes, everyone can stay on the same page about what work needs doing and by who.

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4. Digitization

Virtual and worldwide collaboration is faster, less expensive and more straightforward than ever, thanks to unified communication techniques with AI and ML functionalities. However, businesses need development goals for utilizing process automation, AI, and ML to enhance new technologies effectively. When successfully implemented, systems innovation can produce a more capable and adaptable workforce.

Companies can build digitally transformed, on-demand teams by utilizing remote work capabilities, drawing on virtual networks and communities of innovators, technicians and seasoned experts worldwide to work collaboratively. Remote work also makes it simple to hire various employees, including full-time employees, contractors and temporary staff.

Employees are becoming more accustomed to working virtually due to the expanding reliability of technology and networks and the growing accessibility of mobile computational capabilities. Successful businesses are aware that remote work is rapidly becoming the norm rather than the exception, which enables them to attract more talent and increase productivity.

Teams can work across time zones and borders while staying linked to one another thanks to digital tools like Skype, Teams, Slack, VoIP software and more. Businesses no longer have to pay for expensive flights for employees to visit customers or work with colleagues. People and organizations are freed from the limitations imposed by geographical location and defined markets thanks to technological and social agility.

Remote work provides a multitude of benefits, but many organizations in the past have been skeptical of whether or not their employees would actually work without a traditional office environment to keep them on track.

Enterprises and countrywide economies can grow their productiveness sustainably via means of improving the talents of the workforce, making an investment in higher infrastructure, adopting new technologies, enhancing workers’ protection and health, or incorporating extra green commercial enterprise practices.

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However, with the rise in remote work comes a need to implement new strategies to ensure that all workforce planning goes smoothly.

As a result, many businesses turn to workforce management software to provide tools for monitoring employee performance, generating forecasts about the future of the workforce and communicating to ensure everyone remains on the same page, regardless of of location. Similar to HR software, these tools help facilitate a variety of tasks and have become essential to businesses managing a newly remote workforce.

While these tools can be valuable in a remote workspace, not everyone is a fan of them. In fact, implementing a workforce management system can lead to employees who feel micromanaged. Some employees may even feel that management does not trust them and begin to resent the workplace.

When we asked Timms how this type of software will need to evolve, he found major room for improvement:

“I’m worried about ‘spyware’ or online time-tracking, as this demonstrates digital Taylorism – no trust and oppressive opticon-like management. Workforce management software shouldn’t even be a thing. Workflow management software yes. And with it, data that people can access to not only do their job but monitor their success and accomplishment and be able to see what others are doing and how they might help them if they get the chance. I’d prefer to see workload backlogs viewable to see where there is progress and stalling. Not to punish people but to genuinely see how well work is flowing or where it gets stuck. System-wide. Not individual keystroke tracking or camera-based intrusive spyware.”

With the workplace shifting to favor remote and hybrid working environments, businesses will need to be aware of not only industry trends but the future of workforce management software.

The transition to remote work, while fast, is still relatively new territory and will likely change as employees set boundaries for just how much visibility into their own work they’ll be willing to provide. While some organizations may find that screen monitoring provides valuable information on employee productivity, they may also face hard decisions if their employees view it as micromanagement.

As the future of the workforce shifts, software will have to adapt to keep up with evolving trends.

5. Compliance

The safety of employees is at the center of many compliance issues for businesses. If your employees believe they are operating in an appropriate, professional and secure environment, they are more likely to stay committed to you.

The most apparent advantage of compliance is that it lessens the possibility of punitive damages, penalties, labor strikes, legal proceedings or the closure of your company.

For instance, if you disregarded safety precautions and someone gets hurt, you risk receiving a sizable fine. Hire a compliance expert to ensure you are fully aware of your legal obligations and take the proper actions to fulfill them.

A notorious company for legal compliance issues will find it challenging to raise money from the general public. These problems will also impact relations with contractors, suppliers and distributors.

Keeping up with all the laws and regulations adjustments can be challenging. An automated compliance management system could revolutionize your company if your compliance team is overstretched.

The many changes to compliance regulations vary based on industry and even location. With the future more uncertain than ever, it’s highly likely we’ll continue to see regulatory changes in 2023 as well. This makes it more important than ever for HR professionals to be aware of compliance dates to ensure there are no lapses that could negatively impact the business.

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Expanded Data Collection

Businesses were increasingly employing atypical employee monitoring methods well before the pandemic. Still, this HR practice will become exacerbated by new remote workforce monitoring and collecting staff-safe-work-practices data.

Some employers are relying on technology to keep tabs on their workers, such as logging in and out digitally, tracing online work activities, and tracking employee emails or private communications. In comparison, some businesses track productivity, employee retention and well-being to understand the workforce better.

Contingent Worker Expansion

Broadening your use of and streamlining your administration of agile workers will give you critical early benefits. Contingent workers are intended to become a crucial component of any successful business. Businesses should take the following three areas should be taken into account as they begin to develop an effective, coherent contingent workforce strategy:


To reduce your business’s exposure to labor policy risk, you must monitor it constantly. Making your recruitment and worker procurements as transparent as possible will give supervisors and executives the insight they need to ensure your program keeps pace with regional, state, and federal labor. It also benefits worker categorization and drives your company’s diversity, pay, and other company values guidelines.

Program Design

Moving to a more mature method of overseeing your human resources means expanding your agile workforce program. This is an example of improved planning for supply contingencies, resource scarcity, scalability, changing market responses, etc. You must change your monitoring from reactionary, transactional sourcing to strategic solutions and services if you want to take full advantage of every benefit the non-traditional employees can offer.


Controlling tail spend is of utmost importance when implementing a prolonged workforce plan. Strict control is required to maintain coordination and accountability in labor purchases. Rogue spending, which refers to orders and contracts made in violation of agreed-upon terms of service, is in opposition to the contingency platform’s central tenet.

Social Safety Net Provided By Employers

Companies are reevaluating how they can offer equitable, streamlined and productive financial care in light of the rising employee expectations following COVID. They are refocusing on prevention by going after issues at their source, acting quickly to stop minor problems from becoming major ones, and laying the foundation for greater self-reliance and resilience.

The current economic situation has also pushed companies’ perceptions of employee experience to new heights. Personal qualities, not external forces, became priorities to both firms and people. Employing such methods can be an important strategy for enhancing staff physical and mental well-being.

Critical Skills and Tasks Are Separated

Before COVID-19, businesses considered essential roles as roles with necessary talents or the abilities an organization had to fulfill its strategic goals. Employers now understand that there’s another class of essential roles — roles essential to fulfilling vital workflows in a functioning society.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) State of the Workplace Study (2021-2022), “finding and recruiting talent with the necessary skills” ranks third in priority, with 68% of respondents reporting this as a focused effort.

Specific Skill Recruitment Stat

To construct the team of workers you’ll want post-pandemic, focus less on roles — which organize unrelated talents — than on the skills that foster the organization’s financial health and competitive edge.

Encourage personnel to broaden essential talents that can open up more than one possibility for their professional improvement, in preference to getting ready for a selected subsequent role. Offer additional professional improvement guidance to personnel to focus on reskilling current employees as opposed to seeking outside hires.

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6. Upward Mobility & Boomerang Employees

Employees and organizations faced both possibilities and difficulties due to the Great Resignation. Employers should change their emphasis for 2023 from external recruitment to internal recruitment. In other words, companies should prioritize boomerang employees rather than external hiring.

Boomerang employees — previous employees who return to an organization after a break — will probably experience a surge in 2023. The realization that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence is starting to sink in for those who left their businesses in search of better opportunities.

7. Adaptation to Automation

The dynamics of hiring are constantly shifting, so HR staff members must keep up with these changes and adopt automation if they want to survive in this cutthroat environment. When pre-screening potential employees or onboarding them, automation is essential. You can’t be doing manual labor the entire time, after all. HR must focus on additional recruitment-related issues.

Long application forms won’t cut it because employees want to feel valued by their employers. When posting their CVs on a company website, applicants are looking for a one-click apply method. Who doesn’t?

What, in this type of situation, will be helpful for the candidate using a one-click apply method? Undoubtedly, automation! To clarify a little bit, an embedded resume parser in the applicant tracking system (ATS) will make it easier to “Apply Now.”

For a while, post-pandemic employees will be in power. Therefore, giving the candidate a good experience and simple onboarding is even more crucial.

8. Investment in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Businesses spend money on CSR to:

  • Control their risk
  • Recruit personnel
  • Enhance their brand
  • Cut costs

Investment in CSR increases stakeholder satisfaction and positively impacts the company’s reputation, which results in adequate resources.

Employees desire a supportive work environment recognized for their contributions and existence. Employers can value their staff more than just by praising them at parties and then calling it a night.

The importance of mental health has been demonstrated over the past year on a personal and professional scale. With millennials and Generation Z representing most of the workforce, this trend will likely last for the foreseeable future.

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In Conclusion

As the U.S. workforce is shifting from the baby boomers toward the younger generations, a heavier focus is being placed on improving the employee experience. Employees demand more self-service modules and want more flexibility and control over their daily schedules. Workforce management software is changing to allow for more employee access and easier communication between coworkers.

With increases in communication, employee engagement, diversity in the workforce and the need for integration between multiple applications, workforce management software is evolving to do more automated work, leading to an increase in the efficiency of many companies.

Employee retention, work-life harmony and global collaboration will be top priorities for corporate executives in a post-pandemic world. The new employment era demands more remarkable perseverance than ever, and being aware of the latest workforce development trends will help businesses increase retention and draw in top talent from around the world.

As employer and employee needs continue to change, workforce trends will do so as well. Staying up to date on current and future trends as well as knowing your specific workforce management software requirements can help you make the best-informed decision.

The most considerable workplace disruption in centuries has been happening to all of us, and it won’t stop. The degree of variability in that disruption will transform. In 2023, leaders will have to develop their skills for thriving in a time of upheaval that affects their organizations differently.

Do you use a workforce management software solution? What for? Are there any workforce trends we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!

Contributing Thought Leaders

Dorothy Dalton

Dorothy Dalton is an HR Consultant (CIPD), certified Coach (Cognitive Behaviour Coaching) and Trainer including distance learning. She works in executive search and career transition as well as wider HR consulting projects. Dorothy is heavily involved in HR and Tech, particularly in potential changes to HR and workplace processes and practices including remote working and Post COVID19 challenges. She is also a keynote speaker, author, facilitator, HR blogger and media contributor. She supports organizations that seek to achieve gender balance, diversity and inclusion. Her current projects are around “bias-managed” hiring systems.

Perry Timms

Perry Timms is the founder and Chief Energy Officer of PTHR. He is also a two-time international TEDx speaker and award-winning writer on the future of work, HR and learning. His book, The Energised Workplace, became a Top 30 seller immediately after its release. Perry’s work is influenced by human-centred, design and systems thinking plus agile, inclusive and autonomous ways of working that enhance personal fulfillment and organisation effectiveness.

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This article covers everything from employee recognition examples to implementation and building your own employee recognition programs. Let’s jump in!

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To deploy changes more efficiently and combat change fatigue better, you need efficient workforce management processes at your company.

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Whether you realize it or not, you’re likely using some form of automated software. Most workforce management software already uses artificial intelligence features that help you to automate some of your daily HR tasks. So if you’re part of the growing number of professionals considering transitioning to workforce automation, you might be closer to your end goal than you think.

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