Definition

Workforce management (WFM) software

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to talent management tools and trends

Workforce management (WFM) software is an umbrella term for desktop and mobile programs that help a business manage staff scheduling. The term originated in contact centers and other service businesses that employ a large number of workers who are paid on an hourly basis.

The goal of WFM software is to gain visibility into business metrics, such as the fewest number of agents needed at a particular time of day or the amount of time it takes to produce a particular product.

According to the research firm Gartner Inc., workforce management software has five corefunctions:

Labor scheduling: to help manage employees’ skills and compliance requirements more effectively.

Time and work data collection: to capture and report highly-detailed information about labor use.

Leave management: to process paid time-off requests with visibility into the staffing and liability implications.

Task and activity management: to deliver a more detailed view of labor management requirements to help with the sophisticated decision making required for activity-based management.

Time and attendance: to receive input from the other modules and apply rules against the reported times, based on the company’s requirements.

See Also: enterprise resource management, employee self-service, call center schedule adherence

This was last updated in March 2011

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