Everyone has sometimes been snowed under with work. Although we can stretch to a certain point, everyone has their limits. When this limit is reached, good customer service will be affected and sales will be lost. On the other hand, it is equally frustrating to have nothing to do at work. How can work be best planned so that the workload remains ideal from the staff point of view, and so that the level of customer service is maintained?
Effective workforce planning starts with using data to predict future staffing needs. In the retail sector, the first step in dimensioning staff needs is to predict changes in the customer flow. In addition to predicting seasonal changes in the long term, a more detailed forecast is needed regarding day- and hour-specific changes in the sales volumes to complete duty rosters. This forecast will have a direct impact on staffing needs. In addition to predicting customer flows, filling shelves and other routine tasks must be taken into account.
This prediction and modelling of demand allows prediction of the optimal number of staff at each store, for each hour and day of the year. Instead of static annual budgets, the model learns constantly from experience and specifies the forecast based on available data throughout the year.
Analytics can also contribute to practices that enable optimal staffing of created work shifts. For example, reference period optimization enables easier resourcing during peak seasons. Modelling of local trends regarding sick leaves, employee turnover, and preferred days off can help predict the need for extra workers. Optimization of contract structures facilitates an optimal volume of work and guarantees sufficient flexibility for the employer to manage variation in staffing needs.
Overall, purposeful dimensioning of the staff eliminates a significant number of hidden costs in the long term, enhances the efficiency of recruitment and work orientation processes, and offers efficient leadership indicators. Advanced analytics makes it possible to increase the smartness of the existing workforce scheduling software, and increases the level of automation and predictability of staff management.
Store- and department-specific workforce optimization has yielded excellent results: In addition to ensuring good customer service, the solution improves cost efficiency and increases the satisfaction of the staff.
- Allocating personnel based on demand reduces staff costs, because it allows the total number of working hours to be reduced. It also enhances the quality of customer service during peak hours, which is reflected in increased sales, says Pauli Dahlbom from People Geeks.
- I believe that using data and advanced analytics in decision-making and processes that are related to the workforce are clearly moving to the next era. Modelling of HR and operational data, for example, allows us to understand relations between different phenomena and to create more accurate forecasts based on this data to guide our clients operations.
- Our cooperation with Houston Analytics has generated added value for our customer companies. I have noticed that there is currently a lot of interest in the use of data in decision-making relating to the workforce, Pauli explains.
For many companies, the first step towards effective, data-driven workforce planning is difficult. For this reason, People Geeks and Houston Analytics are about to include People Analytics training on the topic in our service selection. You will soon be able to find more information about the training on our website.
In the picture Pauli Dahlbom, People Geeks
Peoplegeeks offers a wide range of consulting services to help businesses enhance their people operations, recruitment and workforce management processes with data-driven insights.