Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t always what first comes to mind when thinking about how to solve the biggest challenges HR departments face.
Yet, the use of AI in strategic workforce planning is being hailed as a game changer for transforming HR practices.
For industries that rely on shift workers - especially hospitality, retail and logistics - 2021 has been defined by staff shortages, high staff turnover and a pressing need to help employees avoid burnout.
What’s more, research we carried out earlier this year found that 83% of deskless workers in the UK say understaffing is creating a more stressful work environment, 58% have considered quitting their job because they are unhappy and a third say they would prefer more flexibility to a pay rise.
Ask yourself this; what will your workforce look like in 2022 and what can you do to help your employees avoid burnout, have a better work-life balance and want to stay working for your company?
As an employer it’s your responsibility to facilitate the work life of your employees and make sure the operations of the company are running as smoothly as possible. To help you on the way, an AI approach to strategic workforce planning can be a good starting point.
Strategic workforce planning helps you anticipate current and future hiring needs for all locations based on expected demand. In essence, it’s long-term planning to define what your long-term demand is and what the most optimal way to staff is based on your current supply and the labour model you want to operate.
Strategic workforce planning takes into account fluctuating customer demand, churn rates, contract mixes and multiple locations. To do this successfully, AI (and AI-driven workforce management software) can help you.
By analysing external supply and demand inputs like employee cost and capacity, contract types, historical customer volume and historical sales, AI can generate labour and scenario modelling that give you staffing recommendations, workload breakdown and total labour cost.
This means you can:
1. Reduce over and understaffing
By being in a position to better match supply and demand - and by having the right contract mix in place - over and understaffing becomes a thing of the past. It means you always have the right people in the right place at the right time. Your employees are happier because they are less stressed because they aren’t understaffed or are less bored because you aren’t overstaffed. Your customers are also happier because they, ultimately, receive a much better service.
2. Lower staff turnover
Following on from the above, happier staff means they are far less likely to leave the company or search for new work. The magic really begins to happen when strategic workforce planning combines flexible scheduling practices. Employees crave flexibility and when this is built into their schedules - and it’s easy for them to swap shifts or say when they can’t work - it improves both employee engagement and satisfaction.
3. Increased revenue and / or reduced costs
A good plan can quickly make the difference between profit and loss. With smarter scheduling practices and better demand forecasting, costs can be controlled more effectively. On top of this, revenue can increase thanks to your staff being able to deliver a better customer experience.
AI-driven strategic workforce planning ensures your business is not only running fast and efficiently, but also running in the right direction.
You can learn much more about the AI approach to strategic workforce planning in the free 30 min on-demand webinar with Quinyx CTO, Berend Berendsen.