A happy workforce is an engaged and valued workforce. Nothing conveys the feeling of being valued better than having an employer demonstrate sensitivity and respect for the worker’s time. Mobile tech enables organizations to place a higher importance on employee satisfaction and retention than on enforcing an 8-hour, on-premise workday. As we referenced last week in our post on flexible schedules, practices like mobile workforce management and telecommuting/work from home programs say to workers, "we trust you to be engaged and efficient in completing your tasks in a time frame that works for you." Below, we review two workforce trends that are critical to supporting mobile workforce managament and unlocking the benefits it provides.
It used to be impossible to collaborate and work as a team unless everyone was physically present in the same room. Broadband (high speed) internet has helped propel Cloud Computing to the forefront of business by enabling workers situated at any location to access documents from their computer workstation, laptop, tablet or another mobile device; whether they happen to be in a home-based office, an airport or even while sitting in a waiting room at a doctor’s appointment.
Cloud tools for document sharing, screen sharing, webcasting, face-to-face conferencing and other business needs proliferate. Some examples of the cloud tools in use by a growing number of organizations today include Microsoft OneDrive, SmartSheet, OneNote, Evernote and even DropBox. Tools such as Confluence can be used to virtually connect resources in different offices, home offices or those in transit. It can even integrate with ticketing/project management software like Jira ensuring accountability among resources working outside the watchful gaze of supervisors. Resources can work on documentation per their own schedules. They can access materials and information using various technologies and protocols, which is a requirement for how the mobile workforce must be engaged.
Remote/mobile resources can access needed policies, procedures or reference materials instead of being dependent upon a coworker to answer questions.
Another workforce trend supporting mobile workforce management is the growing power of data analytics. Driven by the ubiquity of cloud computing technologies, visibility into data-driven outcomes has become critical for the management of the workforce.
Operating dashboards create easily consumable data on trends either within the workplace or impacting customers. Stores and online retailers need to know not just what goods and products are selling the fastest. They also need visibility into who is fulfilling the orders, handling the customer service calls and metric on such factors as "average time for resolution" of service issues. Monitoring trends as they emerge from metrics like "worker activities completed" or "revenue" help organizations improve service levels and customer satisfaction. These trends are made visible through Data Analytics applications like Tableau, Cognos or SmartDraw.
Established HR metrics including turnover rates and time-to-fill can be visualized to answer questions regarding the overall efficiency and efficacy of past HR activities captured in tools like VMS and payroll applications.
Other tools organizations deploy to measure performance or incentivize workers are surveys leveraging both cloud computing (to disseminate) and data analytics. Tools like Net Promoter Scores have been adopted over time with survey questions such as, "would you recommend our company to field or colleague based on your interaction with this customer service agent?" or, "Was this issue resolved to your satisfaction?" Tracking and reporting on trends such as these let organizations draw distinctions between top performers and poor performers. Tools such as Webex have quick survey information tools built into their cloud platforms while tools like Survey Monkey are designed specifically for virtual survey usage.
The mobile workforce – once a futuristic novelty idea – has become the way business is done in the 21st century. For help designing and managing your own mobile workforce management program, talk to the experts at nextSource.
This post provided by nextSource contributing writers Cheryl Tracz, Director of Supplier Partnerships, and Anton Robb.