As a small business owner, you may assume that workforce management (WFM) is only for larger enterprises with bigger teams and more resources to spend on expensive software. You feel discouraged thinking that, unlike more established companies with larger budgets, you won’t be able to grow your team and expand your business more efficiently because you’re stuck using outdated manual processes for hiring, scheduling, time tracking, and HR processes.
The great news is that workforce management is for businesses of every size and owners of every experience level.
There are systems and tools designed especially to help small businesses with their unique team operation issues — all priced within a small business budget.
If you’re concerned about the time and effort it will take to transition from easy-to-use paper and spreadsheet methods to an overly complicated workforce management system, don’t worry. Let’s remove the mystery and clarify what workforce management can look like for your small business.
The processes of workforce management
Workforce management is the set of processes businesses follow to increase productivity and efficiency for their teams. Essentially, WFM is about simplifying and automating your employee operations with the right software. You can use online tools and platforms to make most of your processes more streamlined, including tasks like:
While small business owners don’t have to use complex systems to do WFM well, they should set achievable business goals before implementing completely new management tools. Developing a solid set of objectives first prevents them from wasting time and money on software and apps that don’t serve their ultimate purpose — to grow their small business or franchises in a way that makes sense for them.
While WFM focuses on updating your employee processes, it can have a far-reaching impact on your business. Specific benefits include:
- More efficiency — Workforce management allows business owners and managers to automate administrative tasks like scheduling, time tracking, and payroll. It also saves employees time by simplifying tasks like clocking in and out, shift trading, and team communication.
- Higher productivity — Monitoring attendance, overtime, and team member performance can help you spot potential bottlenecks and adjust your tasks and workflows.
- Better labor forecasting — WFM platforms like Homebase will track trends in scheduling and overtime so you can make more strategic scheduling and hiring decisions for your business.
- Increased revenue — By cutting down on inefficiencies and allowing you to focus on bigger business objectives, WFM can help you increase your profitability without having to expand your marketing budget or hike up the prices of your products and services.
- Happier employees — Team member self-service tools for scheduling, time tracking, and team chat put more control back into the hands of your staff and give them more ownership over their work experience.
Who should use workforce management?
Workforce management is for companies of every size, but it’s particularly essential for:
- Small business owners who are running their operations on their own or with a small management team.
- Owners and managers who don’t have much administrative or HR experience and need extra support to help them meet their business goals.
- Shift supervisors and team leads who often feel stressed about covering shifts and creating schedules for team members with varying degrees of availability.
- Employees who are stressed about taking on more responsibility than they would have in a larger business, or those who often get frustrated about delayed schedules and inaccurate paychecks.
The best tools and software for small businesses
Once you explore the wide breadth of options of WFM tools on the market today, you’ll see how easy they are for owners, managers, and employees to use. Here are a few options that are well-suited to small businesses and franchises.
Homebase is a team management platform that streamlines scheduling, time tracking, communication, and payroll for hourly, shift-based teams. With the platform, managers can create schedules in minutes and share them via the Homebase mobile app. Employees can then receive auto-reminders for upcoming shifts and clock in directly from their phones. Once they’ve started time tracking with a GPS-enabled time clock, Homebase immediately converts their hours into timesheets for payroll.
Business owners can also use the platform to write job descriptions, hire, and onboard new employees before their first day of work. Best of all, Homebase is great for helping small business owners stay on the right side of employment law — users that have access to Homebase’s HR and compliance features can contact one of our HR experts at any time to answer questions about labor and tax regulations most relevant to them.
You can access Homebase’s time tracking, scheduling, messaging, and hiring tools for free for up to 20 employees. For more advanced features, Homebase pricing starts at $20 per location per month.
Connecteam is an employee management app that serves small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with automated scheduling, time tracking, and team chat features — all accessible via its mobile app. Managers can also use Connecteam to assign tasks and subtasks for every shift, making it a great solution for businesses where quality assurance is of the utmost importance, such as in the construction, care, and hospitality industries.
Connecteam has a free plan for up to ten users, and more advanced plans start at $29 per month for the first 30 users.
Arcoro is a platform providing HR solutions specifically for the construction industry. The software offers workforce management features like hiring, applicant tracking, time tracking, scheduling, benefits, and compensation tools for your salaried employees. It also makes training and developing your construction teams easier with built-in performance and learning management systems.
Arcoro pricing doesn’t provide pricing on its website, but you can contact their team for a quote.
Ideal for “deskless,” mobile businesses in industries like healthcare, real estate, and residential maintenance, Skedulo’s scheduling and dispatching features help assign the right jobs to the right people, keeping clients satisfied. As your team members go out into the field, Skedulo lets you view their locations and job statuses and check in with mobile messaging if they need assistance with a task. Finally, when employees call in sick or get a last-minute client request, you can use the work offer feature to find available workers quickly.
To learn more about Skedulo’s pricing, you can book a demo and get a custom quote from their sales team.
Paycom is a human capital management platform that helps business owners streamline applicant tracking, performance management, and HR data and compliance. But it’s also a payroll solution with various tools for paying team members and giving them early access to their wages. For example, business owners may also appreciate their employee self-service payroll feature called Beti (Better Employee Transaction Interface). This feature guides employees through checking and correcting their own timesheets so they can ensure their paychecks will be accurate and reduce managerial liability.
Contact Paycom’s sales team to get a custom quote for your business.
Ease your workforce management task load with Homebase
The fact that you own and run a small business doesn’t mean you have to be limited to painstaking manual paper and spreadsheet processes. Just the opposite: You’re probably so busy acting as an owner, manager, and HR professional every day that you need an easy-to-use workforce management platform to act as your digital assistant.
That’s why our customers feel so relieved when they add Homebase to their toolkit. As an intuitive team management app, Homebase helps you cut back on time spent at a desk scheduling team members, checking time cards, arranging shift swaps, and ensuring new hire paperwork is in order.
With tools for time tracking, scheduling, hiring and onboarding, payroll, and HR and compliance, Homebase not only helps you save time and helps you lead a more efficient team, but it also gives you peace of mind that you’re reducing labor costs and doing it all by the book.