It is a long-held that introducing automation to a faulty business process will result only in proliferating the faulty process throughout the organization. Many organizations make the mistake of thinking that automation will fix their workforce management processes. Automated workforce management processes can help address business problems only if the processes they support work properly.

The ROI for WFM automation only works if it takes away mundane, repetitive tasks from your employees and enables them to focus on more impactful business processes. Those processes might be providing more employee development opportunities, a lack of which is the second most common reason employees leave companies, according to recent Brandon Hall Group research.

The difference between everyday workforce automation and intelligent workforce automation (IWFM) is that IWFM:

  • Doesn’t just streamline budgets — it maximizes budgetary spend
  • Doesn’t just lower payroll costs — it offers insights into optimizing payroll costs

IWFM future-proofs the workforce by mitigating the potentially harmful effects of a VUCA environment. 

How can you tell if you have “just” a WFM solution or IWFM?  Ask yourself if your WFM solution is providing data-driven insights into people-related decisions. If not, then you’re not using an IWFM-enabled solution.

The true value of IWFM solutions is to give employees more and faster access to the tools they need and to help understand and anticipate employee needs and wants.  

You’ll know it’s IWFM when you see it as a workforce optimization system that allows you to react at the speed of change of the outside world. A true IWFM such as WorkForce Software can be used to create more human connections, combat conscious and unconscious bias, and generate more engagement in the workforce.

Cliff Stevenson

Cliff Stevenson is Principal Analyst, Workforce Management Practice, for Brandon Hall Group. He came to Brandon Hall Group in 2015 from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) where he was a senior analyst since 2012. Cliff's experience as human capital research analyst has focused on data and analytics, performance management, recruitment, acquisition, retention, and attrition.