Why It’s Time to Leave Manual Workforce Management Behind


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Every business leader knows that their company’s success hinges on one thing: its people. Unfortunately, businesses that employ hourly workers have been struggling to attract and retain the people they need, and it’s having a trickle-down effect on their operations, the customer experience, and revenue.  

To make matters worse, changing consumer behaviors as a result of possible recession talks and an ongoing battle with inflation have made it nearly impossible to predict customer demand. So, while businesses are already trying to figure out how to optimize the employees they have, they’re doing so with no insight into when and where those people should be staffed based on actual customer needs. 

If we look at the big picture, though, there is one common denominator behind these two challenges: manual workforce management. Manual workforce management relies on outdated, time-consuming processes that make it incredibly difficult to create optimized schedules that match employees’ skills and preferences with customer demand and, as a result, fail to maximize labor efficiency and leave employees feeling frustrated.  

Fortunately, businesses can solve their labor woes by leveraging the power of intelligent automation in their workforce management processes. 

The Staffing Struggle

As businesses grapple with how to do more with fewer people, these staffing shortages are having adverse effects on their bottom line. Understaffing, for example, results in long wait times and an increase in customers walking out the door because no one is available to help them – and both of these scenarios lead to missed revenue.

Profits soar when businesses have the right number of people to match customer demand, no more no less. But, those using traditional workforce management methods are struggling to produce schedules that fulfill both the company’s bottom line and employees’ needs. In fact, according to a report from Legion Technologies, 28% of managers agree that matching employee preferences and business needs is the most difficult part of scheduling. 

Rather than rely on spreadsheets and best guesses to forecast demand and create schedules that meet it, business leaders and managers should leverage the power of intelligent automation to transform their labor operations. With intelligent automation, powered by AI-driven workforce management, businesses can tap into data like historical traffic patterns, weather, and local events to accurately predict customer demand, then create an optimized schedule that aligns skilled employees with projected demand at all times, while also taking into account each employee’s schedule preferences. 

Not only does automated demand forecasting and schedule creation eliminate the risk of under or overstaffing, but it also frees up time for managers that was previously wasted on tedious tasks. Creating schedules is one of the most time-consuming tasks on a manager’s plate, but it doesn’t have to be. With a modern, automated approach to workforce management, managers can spend time on higher-value activities, like engaging with customers and developing their employees.  

Poor Employee Experience

While creating optimized schedules in seconds may sound like a nice perk for managers, it has a massive impact on employees, as well. Aside from ensuring customer demand is met and giving managers time back in their day, intelligently automated workforce management significantly improves the employee experience. 

When talent is hard to come by and even harder to retain, businesses must do everything they can to keep their people happy. If they don’t, they risk losing them to a competitor who better meets their needs. Companies using traditional workforce management processes often run into schedules that don’t align with employees’ skills and preferences or make it difficult for people to swap shifts – which takes a toll on the overall employee experience.   

The same study from Legion Technologies revealed that, outside of pay, the number-one benefit hourly workers want is flexibility in their schedules. Key to modern workforce management is an easy to use moble app that helps employees get gig-like schedule flexibility with modern self-service tools. Through two-way communication, employees are empowered to connect directly with peers and managers about schedule updates and shift changes in real time. With more control over their work life, employees are happier and more engaged on the job. When employees have a better experience, it leads to a better customer experience.  

If businesses hope to succeed despite the economic uncertainty, labor shortages and evolving customer behaviors, they need to leave their outdated, manual legacy workforce management processes behind. Whether it’s giving managers time back or improving the hourly employee experience, intelligent automation is the key to unlocking an entirely new era of labor optimization, one that will truly drive the business forward.

Michael Spataro
As chief customer officer of Legion Technologies, Michael Spataro is an innovative executive with a strong track record for building effective and profitable organizational structures and leading sizable retail organizations to success. His expertise lies with workforce management strategic planning for across multiple business sectors with an emphasis on retail.


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