Workforce heavy organizations rely primarily on the quality of their services and this can easily be affected by the workings of the workforce and their management. Industries like healthcare can only do what they do best if they have proper workforce management systems in place for seamless functionality. For healthcare companies, providing excellent healthcare is their topmost priority. And a hospital’s worth is measured by its doctors, nurses and other staff. The workers are essential to the daily operations. They are what will help your organization be well and profitable in the future. The task of managing a healthcare workforce is one of the building blocks of a successful organization.
What is Workforce Management?
WFM or Workforce Management refers to a system of management which is responsible for staffing and scheduling to ensure that the organization runs effectively. In a big hospital environment, the amount of administrative work required for a smooth functioning of each department is not only burdensome but also vital in the functioning of the department. From managing staff and their schedules, the different shifts, breaks, the backend work, etc., all these functions can be easily handled by a Workforce Management System. The WFM system is basically an HR tool which not only helps with administrative work but also takes on significant roles like filling vacancies, handling payrolls; essentially keeping a track of the workforce to ensure overall productivity of the organization.
Why do we need a WFM System?
The conventional workforce used to abide by the usual 9-5 shift. Over the past years, the trend has now changed to make it a lot more flexible for the workers. From round-the-clock shifts to project-based freelance work, there have been numerous changes. Keeping track of each employee (full-time, part-time or even contingent) is very important, especially in a hospital setting where simple miscommunications can result in fatal consequences.
To exemplify further, imagine the total strength of the staff in big multinational healthcare providers like Fortis or Apollo. While being overstaffed can prove to be unnecessarily costly, being short staffed can have an immense effect on the level of care provided to patients. A WFM system will allow big-staffed companies to better manage their labour and working hours keeping in mind busy hours, emergencies or any regular changes. A WFM system can be as incorporated in the organization as wished. The system proves to be useful in many different areas of interest.
Administrative Work Is Now Easier Than Ever Before!
The automation of human resources is a boon to the administrative department. Like mentioned above, the WFM system can schedule, fill vacancies, manage overtime, handle payrolls and other HR duties, taking immense pressure off from human workers. The system can also help authorities to plan for the future owing to the past records saved by the system. Below are some of the key areas that are positively impacted by the advent of the WFM system.
The nursing staffs are the main care provider in hospitals or clinics and hence, this is the workforce that needs to be efficiently managed and planned. A WFM system can successfully help the authorities or CNO (Chief Nursing Officer) in planning and schedule the times and working shifts of the nurses. Additionally, this helps in preventing the overworking of the staff, managing their breaks in accordance with the work policies and also managing any emergency changes in shifts, etc.
The WFM system also automates all practices and policies. With easy user interference and design, the system can be used by anyone with some very basic guidelines. Since the system automates all data, calculations across the various departments of the organization can be carried out in a standardized and easy fashion.
An online WFM system ensures that the working hours are updated on the system at all times. This helps managers in keeping track of the quality and quantity of the workforce. If the workforce is late or absent, this helps in notifying the managers immediately. The managers can then take necessary action to keep the workings of the hospital from being affected. In cases of medical emergencies, this same online WFM system is what will help the managers in ensuring that the appropriate resources (the number of nurses to patients) are made available.
Like mentioned earlier, the WFM system is basically an HR tool with excessive features like policy managing, cost calculations, etc. The basic idea of the tool is to manage the workforce of the hospital. The online tool is excellent since it keeps the authorities updated on the state policies about leaves and work-time tracking. The system is also very well aware of the current Labour Laws and ensures that the management of the workforce is carried out keeping in mind these same labour laws. To specify, the system keeps track of all state, federal and even company level policies that need to be abided by.
The WFM system is a great way of keeping track of all the leaves and working hours of the employees. Equipped with the policies, the system itself can help calculate payrolls, leaves left, etc.
Since the system has updated records of the labour working hours, payment terms and policies, it becomes very easy to calculate the payrolls of the entire workforce, including that of the contingent workforce that works on an assignment-basis. These calculations can often be complicated and long. There is always the risk of human errors in conventional payroll calculation procedures. However, in case of the WFM system, payroll calculations errors can now be completely omitted!
Finance and Operations
A well-integrated WFM system can provide insights into the current workings of the organizations (limited to workforce management) and the costs incurred. The labour workforce is the most important factor in the workings of a hospital. Such relevant data can prove to be useful in devising future operational cost strategies. Since the system provides a track of the hours worked and the costs incurred, the authorities can easily manage labour budgets. Basically, the data from the system can help us in allocating labour budgets to various departments and operating units.
Where Do We Go Now?
With healthcare now more accessible than ever, hospitals are trying to incorporate automated WFM systems in their workings. The market is yet to show more growth. It was estimated that in the period started from 2014 to 2019, the global healthcare workforce management system will grow at a 13.8% CAGR (Compound Annual growth Rate). It is forecasted to be worth $1,453.8 million by 2019 alone.
In spite of these staggering figures, a study recently conducted by healthcare WFM system provider Kronos brought some good insights to the table. The survey had around 150 respondents from various departments like clinical, administration, HR, marketing, finance, etc. The respondents were asked to describe the current working systems of their hospitals. The majority, which comprised of 36% of the respondents, said that they have semi-automated systems which require data to be filled in manually. 30% of the respondents said that they had completely automated systems but were not integrated or used daily. The rest of the respondents were scattered in various minorities.
We see that in spite of having automated systems, the hospitals were not actively using them. This is a result of when such changes are carried out only in the corporate stage but the execution usually falls through. With the appropriate training, these systems could be prevented from going obsolete. The WFM tool could be used by absolutely anyone and the tool can effortlessly help the organization in cutting costs while also providing maximum productivity. We sense that the tool can also pose a potential threat to the administrative department since it can easily substitute an entire department. However, with the right intention and training, organizations can produce the best-known results from the Workforce Management System.