Successful companies today recognize that the right workforce management (WFM) strategy delivers a multitude of business-critical benefits — from efficiency and productivity gains to increased employee engagement and improved retention. In other words, ​these organizations are keenly aware of the link between WFM and their bottom line. But if your company isn't there yet, it might be because you're still wondering where to start with workforce management. 

And that's fine — Randstad can help. Developing a WFM strategy that mirrors business priorities and consistently delivers positive outcomes may not be easy, but it can pay dividends for your business. Read on for four points of entry for building a WFM strategy that works.

prioritize what's important 

Any strategic initiative that's rolled out without complete alignment on short- and long-term priorities between stakeholders is doomed to fail — and your WFM strategy is no exception. In developing priorities, you'll need to have buy-in from senior leadership, so it's important to start the conversation and win an ally from the C-suite as early as possible. From there, connect with relevant stakeholders to figure out what's most important for your company today and for where it's going tomorrow. 

What's your top priority? Enhancing decision-making capabilities? Gaining greater visibility into employees' day-to-day work? Boosting engagement levels among current employees? Attracting higher-quality candidates down the line? The right WFM strategy can deliver on all of the above — but not all at once. You've got to determine which matter most today if your strategy is going to be successful. 

For example, if your biggest problem today is retention, you'll want to prioritize a strategy that encourages engagement and helps your staff see that they're valued and well-compensated. Once engagement increases, retention will follow suit, and you'll likely also see productivity gains that boost your bottom line. Or, if candidate quality is your biggest pain point, you'll need a strategy focused on enhancing your employer branding and makes multi-channel recruiting a priority. 

Answering these questions isn't easy, but getting alignment at the outset will pave the way for a successful implementation that leads to positive outcomes down the line. 

identify and fix your broken processes

Every effective WFM solution begins with a candid evaluation of the state of the talent practices at your company. Try to figure out where processes are breaking down, and why they don't result in the outcomes that you want. It's so important to pinpoint and quarantine bad processes — because if you don't, whatever WFM solution you decide on will likely suffer from the same issues. And that will ultimately inhibit the overall effectiveness of your transformation efforts with WFM.

For example, since 44 percent of organizations use three or more internal systems to handle workforce management processes, it's easy to how things might get lost in translation from one system to the next. But if problems like that aren't addressed before implementing a WFM strategy, all your hard work will be wasted. 

get your ducks in a row

Whatever goal you decide is most important, you'll need everyone to be aligned in support of it. That's key, because no matter who officially owns or champions the new WFM strategy, implementing that strategy and making it a reality is going to require a collaborative effort.

If you're struggling with alignment, strategic partners like Randstad are often a big help. Our staffing experts are skilled at connecting with multiple client-side stakeholders, securing buy in, working consultatively to identify areas of overlap — and ultimately building consensus around value-driving WFM initiatives. Bringing in an outside partner — one with deep domain expertise in the talent space and a unique perspective on the challenges facing your company — can go a long way toward bridging the gaps between different groups within an organization.

research possible solutions

There are any number of different WFM solutions out there — from "plug-and-play" software to full-service strategic partners like Randstad — so you'll need to dive into the space and do some research to find the solution that's best suited for the needs of your company. Some of these are general purpose solutions, but others have far narrower use cases, like identifying and closing talent gaps, maintaining and monitoring budgets, ensuring compliance or keeping track of employees' time. If your goal is, say, to keep tabs on employee skill development, then a narrowly focused technology solution might be the ticket. But to effectively deliver on a broader range of strategic goals, something more will likely be needed. 

Finally, it's a good idea to think back to the business priorities that you landed on earlier, and use these as the "true north" that guides you in your search. You should also bear in mind that any purely technology-based solution is going to require significant input and buy-in from your company's IT team, so involving them in the discussion early is a best practice.

consider next steps

If you follow these four steps, implementing a WFM strategy that drives business growth is a goal easily within reach. The benefits of doing so — greater workforce efficiency, improved productivity, increased employee and customer satisfaction and more — are clear. 

Need additional support developing a WFM solution that will move your business forward? Find out all of the ways Randstad can help.