EX, Agile Work Driving Advances in Workforce Management Software

Companies are turning to Workforce Management software to streamline processes and foster a culture of self-service, open communication and teamwork, new study says

workforce management

Companies looking to enhance employee experience (EX) and maximize the performance of increasingly agile workforces are driving advances in workforce management software, according to a new study from Ventana Research, the software research business of Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2024 Ventana Research Buyers Guides for Workforce Management notes the focus on EX has grown steadily in recent years amid worker demands for greater flexibility and a tight labor market. At the same time, enterprises are challenged by workplace logistics and the need to optimize labor. These dynamics continue to impact organizations, particularly enterprises with substantial numbers of hourly workers like those in retail, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality, the study says.

“Workforce management software providers are paying attention to what is really impacting workers and those that manage them,” said Matthew Brown, director, Human Capital Management Research, at ISG’s Ventana Research. “They are developing and delivering capabilities that build trust and confidence in technology and its ability to seamlessly integrate into daily processes and behaviors in a way that feels additive more than ever before.”

At its heart, workforce management software is like “the supportive backbone of a company,” the study says, offering a suite of tools that streamline processes and foster a culture of self-service, open communication and teamwork.

The key components of today’s workforce management software are smart forecasting, agile scheduling, comprehensive absence management and precise time and activity tracking. By ensuring the right people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time, organizations can efficiently and profitably meet customer needs and business demands.

“For business leaders, workforce management is a dynamic puzzle that involves understanding not just who is available but who works best together, how to manage staffing levels and how to leverage diverse talents, including those of gig workers. It’s about seeing both the big picture and the fine details,” Brown said.

Software providers continue to integrate AI and ML capabilities into their workforce management products, the study says. Such capabilities will permit scheduling that benefits both employee and company, enable seamless fulfillment of time-off requests balanced with customer needs and provide virtual assistants to improve efficiency and job satisfaction. Time recording will be enhanced with finger scans and facial recognition, and advanced analytics will enable managers to accurately forecast labor demand.

Mobile-first product strategies are the norm in workforce management software, the study notes, with advanced mobile capabilities increasingly connecting workers with targeted learning opportunities that make them eligible for certain shifts or jobs as part of normal workflows.

Workforce Management Suites

The 2024 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Workforce Management Suites assesses 10 software providers – ADP, Dayforce, Infor, Oracle, Quinyx, Replicon, SAP, UKG, Workday and WorkForce Software – that offer comprehensive suites including activity and task management, analytics, collaboration, time-clock support, mobility and integrations with enterprise applications including human resource, financial and business productivity platforms.

The research ranks ADP atop the overall list, followed by Oracle and UKG, all of which are designated Leaders due to their top-three ranking.

Workforce Management Basics

The 2024 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Workforce Management Basics evaluates 15 providers – ADP, BlueYonder, Dayforce, Infor, Oracle, Paychex, Paycom, Paycor, Quinyx, Replicon, SAP, UKG, Workday, Workforce Software and Zebra – that provide basic timekeeping and scheduling tools. ADP, Oracle and Dayforce were ranked one through three overall to earn a Leader designation.

“The requirements for workforce management and support of an hourly-based workforce have historically eluded the portfolio of applications from HCM providers,” said Mark Smith, partner, Software Research, at ISG. “This research sets a new standard for evaluating software providers for any sized enterprise no matter if they need a suite or if the basics meet their requirements.”

The Ventana Research Buyers Guides for Workforce Management are the distillation of more than a year of market and product research efforts. The research is not sponsored nor influenced by software providers and is conducted solely to help enterprises optimize their business and IT software investments.

Click on Workforce Management Suites Buyers Guide and Workforce Management Basics Buyers Guide to read executive summaries of the reports. The complete reports, including provider rankings across seven dimensions of product and customer experience and detailed research findings on each provider, are available by contacting Ventana Research.

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