Recipes for optimal WS (EN)

The two main ingredients for optimal workforce scheduling


Almost every organization strives to satisfy its customers, and good, motivated employees are crucial for this. The trick is to recruit and retain good staff, and deploy them in the most financially efficient manner possible. Efficient deployment is impossible without optimal workforce scheduling. But what do you need in order to make this happen?

Data-driven planning

In order to get the right person to the right place at the right time, it’s especially important to take all of the data into account during the planning process. The information you need must always be known and correct. Some of the things you need for this are the answers to the following questions:

For which processes are employees trained and suitable? And what’s their productivity like? Some people will be better at some things than others. Knowing this, who can you best deploy for certain types of work?

For which tasks are they trained or certified? For example, consider the operation of machines, knowledge of devices and work tasks to be carried out, the directing of teams, particular specialisms and language skills.

What is the availability of the employees? This not only concerns whether or not they can work on a particular day or at a particular time, but also which hours they’ve already worked. It’s particularly important to ensure that people comply with the Working Hours Act in situations involving irregular shifts.

How much work is there? To achieve optimal planning, it’s important to correctly estimate the amount of work. It’s also important to be as specific as possible, because many service organizations deal with fluctuating demand.

All in all, that’s a lot of information. Nobody can take account of all that data and provide optimal planning without some form of help. You therefore need a smart system to support the planner.

Insight into the big picture

Optimal workforce scheduling can already result in cost savings for one activity in a company. When there are several activities taking place in one building or within one region, the profit to be realized is even greater. This means it’s important to look at the big picture.

Many organizations make use of temporary employees. Thanks to the insight into the availability of your own employees across departments, you can deploy your own employees to maximum effect before hiring external staff. Not only does this save on costs, permanent employees already have experience with your way of working and are more quickly integrated into other departments than temporary staff would be.

Everything therefore revolves around the optimal deployment of your own employees. The right person in the right place. Only once your own employees are optimally scheduled, both within and across departments, is it relevant to look at hiring temporary workers. And because you have a good overview at that moment of the positions in which you need people, it’s also easier for the temporary employment agency to provide you with the right people.

What does this actually mean for you?

Four benefits of optimal workforce scheduling are as follows:

  1. More insight and more control:
    Better coordination, both internally and with external parties such as temporary agencies. The right number of people with the right skills in the right place. Automatic real-time monitoring of working hours, qualifications, regulations, business objectives, desires and preferences. Easy adjustment and intervention in various processes enabled by having a complete overview.
  1. Lower costs:No unnecessary overtime or hiring of temporary workers. Greater productivity by deploying the right people in the right places. Saves time on planning and communication processes, HR processes and other back-office processes.
  1. Satisfied customers:
    Accurate coordination of deployable workers according to the amount and type of work contributes immediately to achieving a higher level of service. It also has a positive effect on the better monitoring of costs.
  1. Greater employee engagement:
    When your employees can do what they’re good at, they enjoy their work more. And greater insight means that you can more easily deploy them in another suitable workplace if they’re keen on having a change. You can also work towards a process in which employees have the opportunity to influence their own roster.
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