Workforce Management (WFM) self-service and engagement capabilities are key functionalities within Workforce Management technology. It allows employees to view schedules, request absences, view their own performance and self-schedule through preference and availability options.
A WFM employee portal provides an organisation with a fantastic opportunity, not only to engage their employees but to also help reduce the management overhead of dealing with workforce planning requests and reporting.
As part of the engagement toolkit, the employee portal enables the employee to take control and accountability for all elements relating to their work patterns.
So if you’re considering deploying an employee portal via WFM, here are 5 top tips you should consider to ensure a successful outcome:
1. Involve employees from the outset
This is perhaps the most critical element in a successful WFM employee portal rollout. At the earliest opportunity make sure employees are included in any scoping, communication and rollout plans. This will require support from across the board including human resources for example who can ensure all employee forums and staff associations are kept up to date with the latest news. Failure to involve employees at the earliest opportunity will lead to disengagement and lack of support.
2. Create a WFM focused culture
The deployment of a WFM employee portal can be a considerable cultural change for employees to come to grips with, particularly with suddenly having access to their work patterns, requests and performance. The “go live” period is therefore a critical time to ensure employees are on board and do not feel overwhelmed by the sudden change and onset of responsibility which may ensue. As a result, it may be worth considering testing out the implementation with a sample team of Workforce Management ambassadors first, to ensure feedback on the system is gathered before rolling out to the wider organisation.
3. Roll out key WFM functionality one by one
With a new system, the temptation will be to deploy each and every functionality within the portal from the get go. This however, may be overwhelming for the organisation particularly key departments who will be directly affected by the implementation. It may also be the case that some capabilities of the system are not relevant for the organisation, wasting key resources and time on incorporating new skills which will not be utilised. On this basis, it’s worth considering an approach which thrives in stages – this includes taking the time to roll out the key functionalities which have been recognised and making sure each element is delivering the original benefits which were first agreed upon.
4. Ensure the technical infrastructure is ready to go
Resist the urge to go live without all of the required technical integrations in place. Technical hiccups and inconsistencies are found to take the most time to rectify. Ensure all measures are in place to prevent these. For example, if you need to allow access to the portal from outside of the organisation make sure the technical team are aware of this and are working on any firewall restrictions which may be in place beforehand. If you are connecting to third party performance data to provide a more rounded view of performance then at the earliest opportunity, ensure the integration between the two is possible and robust.
5. Measure the benefits of the WFM employee portal
They say what gets measured gets done. It’s easy however, with a new technology in place and exciting functionalities to use, to forget to measure the impact on the business not only from a workforce planning and resource planning efficiency perspective but also from an engagement perspective. Each organisation will have different methods of measuring engagement and performance, however the foundation to all of this is to baseline the data at the point of deployment and measure any benefits.
There is no doubt employee portals should be at the forefront of any WFM deployment.
To find out more about self-service WFM and the benefits it can bring to your organisation, check out our article and video with our resident expert David Evans – Self-Service Workforce Management explained.