workforce management

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to workforce management solutions and software

Workforce management (WFM) is an integrated set of processes that an institution uses to optimize the productivity of its employees on the individual, departmental, and entity-wide levels. In a corporation, organization, or government entity, WFM involves matching employee skills to specific tasks over time, quantifying the amount and types of labor needed to accomplish particular jobs on a day-to-day or hour-to-hour basis.

Overstaffing or understaffing at any level, even for short periods, should be avoided because such conditions can cut into an institution's profitability, reduce its overall productivity, frustrate its employees, and antagonize its clients and customers. Aspects of a comprehensive WFM program, which operates within the broader framework of human resource management (HRM), include:

  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Employee scheduling
  • Demand prediction
  • Payroll administration
  • Benefits administration
  • Talent management
  • Training programs and assignments
  • Performance monitoring
  • Vacation and leave planning
  • Career planning
  • Crisis preparedness
This was last updated in March 2012

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