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Managing everyone? Don’t forget about the non-core workforce!

Workforce management (WFM) systems can help manage the core workforce more efficiently and effectively and can help with tasks such as scheduling, time tracking, payroll, performance management, and more. Often overlooked, however, are the benefits of using such systems to improve work with agency and other external workers.

The non-core workforce has been widely utilised in organisations across the UK and has shown no signs of slowing down, particularly given the far-reaching impacts of Covid and Brexit on the UK workforce.

There continues to be a boom in such workers from highly skilled and experienced contractors filling increasingly business-critical roles to temporary agency workers meeting essential, albeit sometimes lower-skilled tasks, especially on production lines. Effectively they have all entered into limited working relationships with the organisation but have been kept at arms-length as part of the “extended” workforce, perhaps by design but also potentially because of limitations around the processes and technology that might be in place.

Typically, these workers are managed by different teams and via different technologies as opposed to a single system. For example, contractors could be managed by the team or line manager that they are working for, temporary workers by the agency, and so on.

workers disconnectedThis disconnected approach can lead to siloed workers leading to management having poor visibility and missing opportunities for cost savings and efficiencies. It can also foster a lack of engagement with workers who may be delivering critical services on behalf of the ultimate employer.

Confront the challenge

Businesses should look to tackle these challenges head-on and use WFM / time and attendance solutions to monitor the availability, productivity, and quality of non-core workers alongside their core workforce. There may be multiple workstreams, with different deadlines and requirements alongside different communication channels, contracts, and invoices. This can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially if there isn’t a centralised system to manage everything and, crucially, to understand how operational demand is being met and by whom.

And that’s exactly where a WFM system can support by delivering a single view of all workforce activity:

  • Clear visibility
    It is essential to have a comprehensiveUntitled design (89)-1 understanding what’s happening within the extended workforce, but many organisations lack the technology and processes to enable accurate headcount reporting and other workforce analytics. A good WFM system will capture all relevant data to inform a holistic approach to workforce planning and enable managers to make the right calls. This ensures that those planning the resources can schedule and assign tasks to external workers based on their skills, availability, and preferences with a complete understanding of the operational needs of the business. Progress and performance can be scrutinised in real-time and provide feedback and coaching as needed. In addition, there is a health and safety aspect, with all workers clocking in and out on a single system clarity of who is present at work is assured, essential in the event of an emergency or evacuation.
  • Accurate cost tracking
    Understanding when and where thetarget cost tracking extended workforce is present will improve efficiencies for agency or contractor payments and may highlight cost savings opportunities. With suitable integration payroll and invoicing processes can be automated, ensuring that external workers or agencies are paid accurately and on time, for the work actually done. Hours from all sources can be tracked for particular tasks or projects, ensuring correct cost centres or customers are charged appropriately. Total workforce spend can be understood and budgeted more effectively through better data accuracy (i.e., avoiding errors through re-keying).
  • Ensure rules and guidelines are followed
    Monitoring worker assignments andregulations and rules  hours will help to ensure everyone is not only meeting the terms of their contracts but also complying with any other applicable regulations, whether legislative working time or company rules. Businesses can confirm that policies and procedures are followed and that everyone has the necessary training and certifications. Cloud based systems can protect confidential data and ensure people can only see the information they need to do their job. Links with access control can also prevent recently appointed probationary or even longer-term workers straying into unauthorised areas.
  • Evaluate the strategic workforce approach
    Analytic tools can help organisations rules and regs  better understand the factors that are driving success within their business, and in turn lead to directing the workforce in the right direction. Collaboration can be improved, and a sense of team spirit and engagement created. The data generated then used to recognise and reward all workers for their achievements and contributions, and acknowledge productivity benefits of particular strategies.

We would advocate businesses to focus on utilising their core workforce in the most efficient way possible through the use of robust workforce planning and management approaches. A strategic focus on getting the best from the core workforce may deliver wider knock-on impacts with respect to factors like improved engagement, trust and teamworking. However, it is clear for the moment that the contingent or external workforce is here to stay and comprises a vital component of a flexible workforce. Organisations stand to reap tremendous benefit by investing in solutions to optimise and better manage this workforce and utilise the increased flexibility it can bring.

Discover how your organisation can drive strategy, better align with cross-organisational goals, reduce costs, and optimise costs through Crown’s integrated workforce management system.

Crown WFM can help you save time, money, and resources, while increasing your productivity, quality, and satisfaction. So, if you are looking for a workforce management system, to meet the needs and expectations of both a fixed and more transient workforce, get in touch.

We would welcome the chance to talk to you further about our approach and how it might apply to your organisation. We regularly run 1-2-1 sessions with our consultants where you can confidentially discuss your current workforce challenges and explore potential workforce management solutions, including a demonstration of the Crown WFM system.

So, why not get in touch today, and see how we can help tackle these challenges.


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