Stepping confidently into the New Year, The WFC Group team is all abuzz over what we think 2018 will bring, from exciting new challenges to tools of the future. One common thread that seems to repeatedly pop up in conversation is expectations around ease of use, helping businesses and their employees use workforce solutions more effectively. Luckily, a lot of what we’re forecasting for this year may very well deliver. Here are five of our trends to keep a close eye on in the coming year.
New and Improved Workforce Solutions
Maybe we’re still brimming with excitement from the surprise announcement at KronosWorks in November, but we expect the launch of platforms like Kronos Workforce Dimensions to have widespread impact in the coming year. Kronos Dimensions is already championing mobility, user experience and real time intelligence on a vastly improved cloud platform, and we expect to hear a lot more how businesses are beginning to experience its benefits. Many newly forged partnerships and acquisitions by workforce solutions companies over the past year signal additional innovations on the horizon.
Hiring for Fit, Training for Skill
The Skills Gap has been a major source of anxiety for businesses in need of a well-trained workforce, like in manufacturing. There’s going to have to be some degree of compromise in the hiring process, either in being flexible about benefits and compensation or by broadening hiring criteria (like finding people who can learn quickly on the job). Companies that adapt sooner than others will have a head up on the competition.
All In On Analytics
Businesses are getting smarter about using data to make important workforce improvements, and we expect analytics to play an increasing role across many industries. Companies are identifying new key KPIs to measure progress, with productivity and employee engagement drawing greater attention. Kronos has even created special analytics packages for industry verticals, like manufacturing, retail and healthcare, answering a growing need for toolsets tailored for varying needs.
Time for Advanced Scheduling
We’re seeing growth in businesses taking a smarter, more nuanced approach to scheduling. Standardized schedules aren’t meeting the needs of employees at workplaces with hours that stretch beyond the 9 to 5. Healthcare in particular is integrating platforms like Kronos Advanced Scheduler with existing workforce solutions to schedule the right people at the right time (e.g., top performers during high-traffic hours) using helpful dashboards that process tons of information—all while keeping schedules compliant with local and regional requirements.
While automation is often associated with robots and factories, we’re excited to see continued growth of automation in workforce management. Platforms are becoming increasingly good at simplifying and speeding along administrative tasks, and businesses are recognizing the value of keeping employee efforts on more productive tasks. We’re absolutely on board for smarter automated solutions working alongside real staff to keep the good work going strong.
These are our trends, now what are yours? We’d love to know what you’re keeping a close eye on in the coming year.