Managing a workforce has never been easy. Unfortunately, it has only become much more complicated in the last couple of years with the rise of hybrid digital work models and the gig economy. Compounding these challenges is the increasing employee turnover as more and more people continue to leave their jobs in search of higher wages, benefits, and flexibility.
To solve these challenges and enable more intelligent management of their workforce, organizations today are looking at artificial intelligence (AI). It is because the benefits that AI can bring to a modern organization are considerable, making it worth the investment. In fact, with recent advances in AI technology, AI is now not only reducing manual effort but also actively engaging the modern workforce.
The Role of AI in Managing Modern Workforce
Over the past couple of years, organizations across the globe have realized the growing digital needs of running a business. Modern workers are no longer content with the status quo. They are increasingly in favor of accelerated digital transformation initiatives that enable them to work remotely and enhance and empower better employee experiences.
The 2022 Gartner CIO and Technology Executive Survey also revealed that 48% of CIOs have already deployed artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) solutions or are planning to do so during the upcoming twelve months.
Artificial intelligence plays a pivotal role in ensuring these outcomes. And one of the critical advantages of incorporating AI into workforce management tools is that it helps automate a wide range of tasks and activities like scheduling, budgeting, compliance, payroll, employee development, and more.
AI also allows organizations to leverage employee data for various purposes, from analytics to reporting to predicting future needs. A fascinating example is using AI to match your current employees’ skills with potential projects in the pipeline.
AI plays a significant role in keeping employees engaged at work, especially when they are working remotely. Organizations can also leverage AI-powered data analytics to create customized hiring and training plans, deliver performance feedback in real time, and support other workforce management processes.
Here are some of how AI is helping organizations overcome modern workforce management challenges.
1. Accurately Determining Resource Requirements
In any organization, managers and leaders rarely have the time to focus on creating accurate employee schedules, leading to several challenges. This results in over and under-allocation of tasks and activities, leading to issues like burnout, wasted work hours, or delays in completing tasks, all of which could have been easily avoided with accurate scheduling.
Overcoming these challenges requires strategic scheduling that considers the labor demands for each task or activity. It is also essential to evaluate the effect of unplanned time off on the schedule. This becomes easier with a workforce management solution that leverages artificial intelligence.
These solutions can accurately analyze existing resource demands while accounting for future requirements to create truly flexible schedules. As a result, managers can create schedules that improve the allocation and utilization of resources, allowing employees to get work done faster while reducing stress.
2. Improving Skill Utilization
Employees usually have a variety of skills. To make the most of their employees’ talent, managers must ensure optimal utilization of their skills. However, traditional resource management methods are often unable to properly leverage the skills and time of employees to get work done.
Here, AI-powered predictive analytics solutions can allow managers to determine the most efficient allocation of resources across tasks and activities based on skill demands and time requirements. When combined with a professional services automation tool, managers can easily avoid situations like miscalculating resource requirements based on hunches and gut decisions.
3. Optimizing Resourcing Costs
For any organization, it is vital to keep costs to a minimum to maximize the profitability of any project. Unfortunately, resources and time are two of the most significant cost components of any project. Therefore, managers must strike a fine balance between having resources available for a project and the timelines needed for completing it. This requires a thorough understanding of contracts, skills, availability, and other factors.
An AI-enabled professional services automation solution makes it easier to match resources with demand while meeting all requisite cost and time criteria. As a result, managers can quickly assign the right resources with the appropriate costs to projects to get the work done on time and within budget. This ensures timely deliveries and enables the organization to save money on time and effort that would have otherwise been wasted.
4. Improving Workforce Productivity
Workforce productivity is a crucial metric for any organization as it is directly linked to project delivery and revenue. As such, organizations must do what is necessary to improve the overall productivity levels of their workforce. Employees with more flexibility in their schedules and are assigned work per their preferences tend to be more productive.
AI-powered workforce management solutions can play a pivotal role in improving productivity. These solutions can prevent sudden schedule changes and account for skills and qualifications when allocating resources to tasks. All of these capabilities positively affect employee morale and productivity levels, benefiting the organization in the long run.
5. Lowering Employee Turnover
Organizations can combine flexible scheduling with strategic workforce planning by using AI-based workforce management solutions. This allows employees to work as efficiently as possible and, that too, as per their preferences. For example, managers can ensure their employees get to work shifts they would like, make sure that each employee gets enough time off, and so on.
Therefore, employees gain the ability to swap shifts or take time off as needed without impacting an e organization’s ability to deliver on its projects. In addition, optimizing work schedules with artificial intelligence offers higher flexibility, allowing employees to be more engaged and satisfied with their jobs. As a result, they are less likely to quit an organization searching for new jobs, leading to lower turnover numbers.
6. Conducting Fair Performance Evaluations
Artificial intelligence can be of immense use in various aspects of workforce management beyond mere employee scheduling. As these solutions are powerful enough to analyze vast amounts of data, they can be pretty helpful in performance evaluations. These solutions provide accurate insights into employee performance, enabling managers to assess their workforce fairly.
As you may be aware, bias is one of the biggest concerns with employee performance assessments, making AI-based solutions the better choice. A key advantage of using AI in performance evaluation is that these solutions can reduce subjectivity and eliminate bias. AI-powered solutions leverage real and complete data to generate insights into performance. In addition, since AI governs the entire process, the review process is completely transparent and objective, leaving no room for personal biases of managers and supervisors.
Fair evaluations are important. Employees want their evaluations to be based purely on their work. When their efforts are objectively reviewed, employee morale improves significantly, leading to higher engagement and satisfaction levels. Managers also benefit from fair evaluations, giving them a clearer picture of employee behavior and motivations.
7. Streamlining Payroll Processing
Payroll is an enormously complicated process. It is not just about ensuring timesheets are filled and submitted on time. Several calculations are involved, and the accuracy of these calculations is of the utmost importance. Any error in payroll calculations can lead to unhappy employees and even put an organization at risk of costly litigation.
With artificial intelligence, organizations can automate payroll calculations and ensure they are completely accurate. These solutions can use time data and pay rates to deliver the correct pay data to the payroll team quickly. Moreover, payroll processing can be done much faster by eliminating manual effort, leading to on-time pay for your employees.
8. Ensuring Payroll Compliance
Payroll compliance is absolutely essential for any organization. Failure to comply with all applicable laws and regulations can result in an organization being held liable for hefty penalties and litigation. At the same time, it creates a poor impression of an organization among its employees and clients, which can hurt its business.
However, payroll laws can be challenging to navigate for an organization that is not prepared. There are laws at both the state and federal level — and it is the responsibility of an organization to determine which of those laws apply to their specific business.
Artificial intelligence can do the heavy lifting on behalf of an organization. AI-powered solutions can easily apply these laws during payroll calculations and ensure the necessary tax rates and other items are taken into account. This makes payroll compliance vastly easier.
9. Streamlining Hiring Processes
The hiring process is one of the most significant areas of workforce management that can be improved by implementing AI-powered solutions. It has been well established that hiring for any position requires considerable effort and time. With AI-based solutions, recruiters can quickly reduce the time and effort required to find suitable candidates.
These solutions are designed to quickly sort through multiple resumes and identify the most suitable candidates based on established criteria such as location, skills, and experience. Advanced AI-powered technologies, such as natural language processing, help increase accuracy. This results in fewer blunders during the hiring process, which is one less worry for the HR team.
As per the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022, 35% of surveyed companies stated that they are already leveraging artificial intelligence in their business. Additionally, 42% of companies are currently exploring AI to adopt it within their businesses. The same report mentioned that 30% of global professionals already use AI-based automation tools to save time.
All of these statistics underline the increasing importance of AI-powered tools in modern workforce management. Using AI to drive strategic management of your employees can increase overall efficiency while enabling organizations to stay on the right track.
How AI Can Help Overcome Workforce Management Challenges was originally published on ReadWrite.com on Nov. 21, 2022, by Arpan Patra. Featured Image: Kampus Production; Pexels.com. Thank you!