A recent Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that Millennials make up the largest percentage (35%) of the U.S. labor force. Generation Z is not too far behind.
Both generations make up nearly half of the American workforce already. And both have mobile-first expectations; millennials have been dubbed “mobile pioneers” and a staggering 98% of Gen Z owns a smart phone. It’s no surprise that a growing trend for employers is to rely more on mobile-friendly messaging (think: short and snappy) as opposed to long written communications.
The 2010s were the “decade of mobile” for personal communications and consumer preferences, and 2020 will only increase this emphasis. Workforce management is officially mobile now, too.
Here are the 3 accompanying trends you need to be prepared for.
Proactive Workforce Planning
Employers need to start focusing more on anticipating talent needs rather than reacting to them.
As Michael Stephan, Deloitte’s U.S. human capital leader, told HR Dive, “It’s going to change the way HR business partners approach workforce planning. Not just how many heads you need, but ‘where is the best place to access this particular talent?’” Employers will have to put more effort into initiatives that draw candidates in over time, rather than rush to fill a vacancy.
While Stephan is specifically referring to talent acquisition, proactive talent strategies across the board will be prioritized in 2020.
An area that can use a major reactive-to-proactive upgrade is employee vacation planning.
Some organizations have an annual vacation planning strategy in place to set leave expectations before the year starts, allowing management to know who is going to be available and when. While this is certainly proactive, it’s difficult when you’re juggling requests coming from different sources (paper forms, emails, text messages). Not only do scattered leave request processes provide little to no transparency to the rest of the team, but it’s also hard to keep track of your approvals.
Meanwhile, other organizations don’t have a year-long strategy in place and instead approve or deny requests as they come in. For larger enterprises that rely on their shift workers and have peak times, this makes it nearly impossible to allocate your employees’ time off for the most optimal weeks.
With a mobile-based and automated annual vacation planning system, you can quickly approve or deny employee requests based on pre-existing rules while providing visibility and centralization to everyone. Organizations with manual long-term planning processes can spend months going through every employee request. Automation can take minutes.
Speaking of automation…
Automating Manual Processes
The old adage “work smarter, not harder” is an underlying theme of nearly every 2020 workforce management trend. With technology’s rise only soaring with the prominence of mobile-based solutions, there is more pressure to find faster ways to complete administrative tasks.
Let’s take scheduling for example. While assigning employees to a job (or jobs) during a shift is a critical operation, this can take some schedulers hours or even days. With an automated scheduling solution, you can cut this necessary but time consuming task down to minutes, automatically assigning employees based on a multitude of rule criteria and regulations.
Once the schedule is complete, another day-to-day operation that takes up too much of managers’ time is dealing with unexpected absences.
You may currently be spending more time managing schedule changes over other business-driving tasks. Finding qualified replacements (qualified being the operative word) at the last minute is stressful. Rather than doing your actual job, you’re stuck flipping through company directories, dialing numbers until your fingers are sore, and leaving voicemails that off-duty employees may not be eager to respond to. While absences may come with the territory of any work environment, that does not mean that you need to be stuck with old-school backfilling processes.
Indeavor’s Smart Backfill™ tool lets front-line management automatically fill vacancies quickly and accurately. Only qualified employees (based on certifications, hours worked, and availability) will be called or texted with the opportunity to fill the vacancy. Each action is automatically logged, creating a centralized system of record that can show call out rules were met and what actions employees took.
Schedule smarter, not harder.
The last trend brought about by the transition towards a mobile-first work environment is the growing need for centralized data.
2020 is the year you do away with filing cabinets and keep all pertinent workplace data in the cloud. That way, valuable employee information—from skills to vacation time—won’t be lost. Such information will also be stored in the same place that outlines other critical analytics, like schedules and historical data versus demand.
Having up-to-date and easy-to-find employee and labor demand data helps you make better in-the-moment decisions.
An added benefit is the enhanced traceability that a centralized system of record can provide. Someone is complaining that they never get offered overtime opportunities? You can quickly check and see if and when they were called. Another worker got re-certified for a skill that was close to expiring? You can quickly find their information to update it, so they don’t lose out on particular job opportunities. There was a job that failed to be done during a particular shift? You can quickly check the schedule and see who was working, where, and when.
The Indeavor Solution
To address the expectations of Gen Z, 2020 is increasing the urgency to invest in a cloud-based, mobile-friendly labor management system. Mobile solutions have the ability to innovate scheduling and empower workers by providing more visibility and control over their schedules.
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Indeavor’s solution offers clients an end-to-end, cloud-based employee scheduling and absence management system. By integrating with your human capital management and enterprise resource planning systems, you can leverage a robust platform that provides you with real-time employee data. Relieve your supervisors of manual tasks and the constant mental fatigue brought upon by scheduling changes by automating the entire process, connecting the data to all of your existing corporate systems, and ensuring you always have the right qualified employee in each position.