Business Tips

What is Workforce Optimization (WFO)?

Regardless of the industry, the overall goal of a business is to improve operations as time passes to ensure that all employees are productive and all systems are functioning optimally. In order to assess these qualities of a business, however, time-tested strategies must be implemented to get the most accurate reading. One of the most commonly applied strategies for these purposes is known as workforce optimization

What Is Workforce Optimization? 

Workforce optimization (WFO) is a strategy designed to monitor a specific activity, analyze how efficiently employees are handling said activity (and whether or not the organization will need to bring on more people), and determine how the business can begin to streamline those processes for improved productivity. Whether that involves applying new technologies, enforcing new workplace management tactics, or coaching employees, the end goal is to improve upon current processes for future success. 

How Does Workforce Optimization Work? 

While WFO was originally designed for call centers, the practice is applied to many different industries and it is quite easy to begin focusing on in your own business. Workforce optimization strategies generally begin with bringing all employees, owners, and stakeholders of the business together to reevaluate the goals of the company and determine which processes will need to be implemented in order to produce better results. 

In workforce optimization, management, scheduling, and pairing employees to certain positions based on their skill sets are at the core of your success. As such, some of the common processes that go into an excellent WFO strategy include: 

  • Reviewing Performance Analytics: One of the best ways to determine the productivity levels of your employees is to install software that tracks their processes, determines where they are the most productive, reveals where their performance may be suffering and provides you with a comprehensive overview of which processes are not working and need to be improved. Through analytics, you can gain valuable insight into the weak management processes in your organization. 
  • Applying New Technology That Automates Certain Processes: When you spot performance analytics that can be improved upon, the next logical step is to incorporate new technologies to automate processes that are taking up a significant amount of your team’s time. For example, let’s imagine that you run a call center and notice that your employees are losing time as a result of having to physically call and leave voicemails for customers. Rather than continuing to use this process, you can implement ringless voicemail software to drop voicemails into inboxes without having to wait during each call. Wherever technology can be applied to make the job easier, productivity levels will inevitably improve. 
  • Making Employee Communication Simpler: One major aspect of a productive workplace that many people overlook is communication. While the right processes and tools need to be provided and enforced in order to ensure that employees are doing their work effectively, open communication with management also needs to be available so that employees can quickly take care of problems when they arise. If your employees can’t reach you when they need help, both of you will be losing valuable time. When employees feel like they can communicate with those in management, processes are able to work more efficiently. 

Put simply, WFO is a way to better determine where your business can assist your employees in becoming more efficient when they are doing their work. If your business believes that your current management processes could be adjusted to aid your workers in being more productive, use the guide above to help you understand what WFO will allow you to accomplish and where you can begin.