The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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Time & Labor Management and tracking your key EE metrics

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You know, I never talk much about labor management (because payroll and timekeeping is boring), but here’s a great example.

If we take a quick inventory of our major systems, we have:

  • Core HR
  • Payroll
  • Benefits Administration
  • Labor Management (Time & Attendance)
  • Compensation Management
  • Recruiting Management
  • Learning Management

Labor management is actually a HUGE part of this and nobody ever thinks twice about it. Why is it a big deal? In actuality, it’s something that should be tightly integrated (there’s that integrated word again) with your HR system, Payroll obviously, Comp Mgmt, and maybe recruiting.

There are 3 key parts of a good labor management system.

  1. Labor Standards (LS)
  2. Scheduling
  3. Timekeeping (TA)

Labor standards (for example the hospital in the article above) are the number of hours, FTE, or headcount you need to perform a job. For the hospital, you need X nurses for Y beds. For a restaurant, you need X waiters for Y expected customers. The labor standards should be able to adjust for the day, time of day, time of month, and other seasonality features. You could also think of labor standards as a subset of your position management function, although PM will also include budgets.

Once you have good labor standards you can now have the system schedule your employees. You labor standards should work in tandem with employee preferences (never works graveyard shift, on-call on weekends…) to create the schedule. Schedules are automated and posted on the web so that employees log in over the HR portal to view.

Now all your employees have to do is clock in. They can do this over the web, with a network login, fingerprint scan, biometric scan, or the old swipe cards. The importance of PM and LS is that the combination of this with actual hours worked from timekeeping will tell you when you are under/overstaffed. We are always talking about metrics, but the most important metrics, hours worked v. budget, productivity v. standards… are central to labor management systems. Check out Kronos and ADP.

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