How AI can help overcome workforce management challenges

Managing a workforce has never been easier. Unfortunately, this has become more complicated in the past few years with the rise of hybrid digital work models and the gig economy. These challenges are compounded by rising employee turnover as more people leave their jobs in search of higher wages, benefits and flexibility.

To solve these challenges and enable smarter management of their workforce, organizations today are looking to artificial intelligence (AI). Because the benefits that AI can bring to a modern organization are substantial, making it worth the investment. In fact, with recent advances in AI technology, AI is now not only reducing manual efforts but actively engaging the modern workforce.

The role of AI in managing the modern workforce

Over the past few years, organizations around the world have realized the growing digital demands of running a business Modern workers are no longer satisfied with the status quo. They increasingly favor accelerated digital transformation initiatives that enable them to work remotely and improve 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 plan to do so in the coming twelve months.

Artificial intelligence plays an important role in ensuring these results. And one of the key benefits 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 allows organizations to use employee data for a variety of purposes, from analytics to reporting to predicting future needs. An impressive example is using AI to match the skills of your current employees with potential projects in the pipeline.

AI plays an important role in keeping employees engaged, especially when they work remotely. Organizations can leverage AI-powered data analytics to create customized hiring and training plans, provide real-time performance feedback, and support other workforce management processes.

Here’s 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 time to focus on proper employee scheduling, which leads to various challenges. This results in over- and under-allocation of tasks and activities, leading to problems such as burnout, wasted work time, or delays in completing tasks, which could have been easily avoided with proper scheduling.

Overcoming these challenges requires strategic scheduling that considers labor demand for each task or activity. It is also essential to assess the impact of unplanned downtime on the schedule. This becomes easier with artificial intelligence assisted workforce management solutions.

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 resource allocation and utilization, allowing workers to work faster while reducing stress.

2. Improving utilization of skills

Employees usually have a variety of skills. To make the most of the talents of their employees, managers must ensure the best use of their skills. However, traditional resource management methods often do not properly utilize the skills and time of employees to perform tasks.

Here, AI-powered predictive analytics solutions allow managers to determine the most efficient allocation of resources across tasks and activities based on skill needs and time requirements. When combined with a professional service automation tool, managers can easily avoid situations like miscalculating resource requirements based on guesswork and gut decisions.

3. Optimizing resourcing costs

For any organization, it is essential to minimize costs in order 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 maintain a delicate balance between the resources available for a project and the time frame required to complete it. This requires a thorough understanding of contracts, efficiency, availability and other issues.

An AI-enabled professional service automation solution makes it easy to match resources with demand while meeting all necessary cost and time criteria. As a result, managers can quickly allocate the right resources with the right costs to projects to complete work on time and within budget. This ensures timely delivery and enables the organization to save money on time and effort that would otherwise have been wasted.

4. Improving workforce productivity

Workforce productivity is an important metric for any organization as it is directly linked to project delivery and revenue. As such, organizations must do whatever is necessary to improve the overall productivity level of their workforce. Employees have more flexibility in their schedules and are assigned tasks according to their preferences and tend to be more productive.

AI-powered workforce management solutions can play an important role in improving productivity. These solutions can prevent sudden schedule changes and account for efficiency and competence when allocating resources to tasks. All these capabilities positively affect employee morale and productivity levels, benefiting the organization in the long run.

5. Reducing employee turnover

Organizations can combine flexible scheduling with strategic workforce planning using AI-based workforce management solutions. It allows employees to work as efficiently as possible and that too as per their choice. For example, managers can make sure their employees can work the shifts they want, make sure every employee gets enough time off, etc.

Therefore, employees gain the ability to swap shifts or take time off as needed without affecting an e-organization’s ability to deliver projects. Additionally, optimizing work schedules with artificial intelligence provides greater flexibility, allowing employees to be more engaged and satisfied with their work. As a result, they are less likely to leave an organization in search of a new job, leading to lower turnover rates.

6. Conduct fair performance appraisals

Artificial intelligence can be of great use in many aspects of workforce management beyond mere employee scheduling. Since these solutions are powerful enough to analyze large amounts of data, they can be quite helpful in performance evaluation. These solutions provide accurate insight into employee performance, enabling managers to accurately assess their workforce.

As you may know, bias is one of the biggest concerns in employee performance appraisals, which makes AI-based solutions a better choice. A key benefit of using AI in performance appraisals is that these solutions can reduce subjectivity and eliminate bias. AI-powered solutions leverage real and complete data to generate performance insights. Additionally, since AI drives the entire process, the review process is completely transparent and objective, leaving no room for personal bias on the part of managers and supervisors.

Fair assessment is important. Employees want their evaluations to be based entirely 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 appraisals, giving them a clearer picture of employee behavior and motivation.

7. Streamlining payroll processing

Payroll is a very complex process. It’s not just about filling out timesheets and making sure they’re submitted on time. Several calculations are involved, and the accuracy of these calculations is crucial. Any error in payroll calculations can lead to unhappy employees and even expose an organization to costly lawsuits.

With the help of artificial intelligence, organizations can automate payroll calculations and ensure that they are completely accurate. These solutions can use time data and pay rates to quickly deliver accurate payroll data to the payroll team. Moreover, payroll processing can be done much faster by eliminating manual effort, leading to timely payroll for your employees.

8. Ensuring salary compliance

Payroll compliance is absolutely essential for any organization. Failure to comply with all applicable laws and regulations can subject an organization to hefty fines and prosecution. At the same time, it creates a poor impression of an organization among its employees and clients, which can damage its business.

However, payroll law can be challenging to navigate for an organization that is not prepared. There are laws at both the state and federal levels — and it’s an organization’s responsibility to determine which of those laws apply to their particular business.

Artificial intelligence can do the heavy lifting for an organization. AI-powered solutions can easily apply these laws while calculating payroll and ensure that necessary tax rates and other items are taken into account. This greatly simplifies payroll compliance.

9. Streamlining the recruitment process

The recruitment process is one of the most important areas of workforce management that can be improved by implementing AI-powered solutions. It is well established that recruiting 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 mistakes during the hiring process, which is one less concern for the HR team.

According to the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022, 35% of companies surveyed said they are already using artificial intelligence in their business. Additionally, 42% of companies are currently exploring AI to adopt it into their business. The same report noted that 30% of professionals worldwide already use AI-based automation tools to save time.

Conclusion

All these statistics point to the growing importance of AI-powered tools in modern workforce management. Using AI to drive strategic management of your workforce can increase overall efficiency while enabling organizations to stay on track.

Featured Image Credit: Campus Productions Photos; Pexels; Thank you!

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Arpan Patra is currently working as Content Marketing Manager at Replikon. He enjoys good books, travel, and writing on a wide range of topics from coffee to technology.