Workforce management software enables an organization to manage a significant portion of its expense allotment — its workforce. WFM software solutions help automate processes, streamline labor-intensive tasks, analyze massive amounts of data, and use algorithms to ensure the right workers are available at the right time and cost. To extend the system’s capabilities, WFM software is sometimes included in human capital management (HCM) platforms.
Composed of integrated tools and features, workforce management solutions enable all types of workers to accurately record hours worked and absences. It reduces manual processes, shows availability of workers, helps report safety incidents, and improves workforce productivity. Also, companies are able to control costs, run payroll accurately, minimize compliance risks, and gain valuable insights.
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Best Workforce Management Software
Workforce management helps optimize the productivity of employees, as this software includes a combination of tools for forecasting, scheduling, labor management, time and attendance, performance management, compliance, payroll and benefits administration, succession management, and employee empowerment. The following are our top recommendations, in no particular order.
Workday offers a payroll and workforce management software that is flexible enough to meet the needs of all types of workers, from full-time to freelance. It has intelligent automation, a flexible system, and actionable insights and analytics. It includes an intelligent scheduling and labor optimization tool that matches worker availability, preferences, and skills to open shifts.
Workday supports compliance and helps account for worker protections. The time and attendance tool is part of a unified system that also includes absence, HCM, and payroll. It comes with mobile check in/check out with geofencing, and automated mass approvals. Other features are mobile self-service, automatic notifications, voice-activated time-off requests, a full view of schedules, time balances, and pay; absence management, and global payroll partnerships.
Integrated time, attendance, and PTO
Easy to use
Needs improvements in user access and permissions administration
Oracle Cloud HCM is a comprehensive solution that connects human resources, talent management, workforce management, and payroll. Users get a consistent experience across devices. As part of HCM, its integrated workforce management software links time, labor, and leave management with payroll, financial, and personnel data.
Oracle WFM software includes absence management that can support global coverage; a no-code configuration tool to easily change rules and policies; and real-time visibility across PTO, HR, payroll, and time and labor. Users can enter data through a calendar with drag-and-drop capabilities.
The software supports workers of all classifications, and can account for meals, breaks, premiums, penalties, schedules, and holiday pay. Other features include flexible scheduling, absence data analytics, and workforce health and safety dashboards and reporting.
Ease of use
Comprehensive information fields
Good product support
Reports have limited customization
Users wish for more online tutorials to better understand features
ADP Workforce Now
ADP Workforce Now is a single workforce management software solution to help companies improve time and attendance tracking, automate scheduling, and simplify leave management. It is an integrated system that includes time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, compliance, analytics, and payroll. Users are able to use mobile capability, take advantage of machine learning, and automate administrative processes.
ADP Workforce Now has digital time clocking, automated alerts, timecard approvals, and exception reports. Its scheduling tool helps users visualize labor needs, find the best person for a shift, share open shifts, and manage shift swapping.
Other capabilities are absence management with quick access to accrued time-off balances, automation of work and pay rule governance, hours tracking, and overtime calculations, as well as workforce analytics and benchmarking. The software can also integrate with other payroll and HCM software.
Quick view of benefits and time-off balances
Mobile app clock-in and out
Integrated performance management
Users wish for a UI refresh
Navigation is not always intuitive
Ceridian Dayforce is a comprehensive cloud HCM software platform that combines HR, payroll, benefits, workforce management, and talent management. It is scalable and flexible, providing real-time updates and calculations. The workforce management component enables users to increase operational efficiency and improve compliance with labor rules.
Dayforce includes time and attendance tracking and pay calculations while adhering to federal, state, local, and union regulations. The labor planning tool lets users create forecasts based on historical data, and a scheduling tool allows managers to deploy schedules for staff to access online or through a mobile app. The software also has leave management, task management, and time clocks on tablets, smartphones, and on the web.
Integrated performance management
Comprehensive view of employee data
Limited electronic payments
Complex steps in customizing reports
UKG offers workforce management software solutions to businesses of different sizes. All solutions help drive performance and streamline scheduling, time, and attendance.
UKG Dimensions is workforce management for midsize to large organizations. It is a global solution that includes timekeeping, scheduling, mobile access, and AI-driven insights. The WFM solution helps drive digital transformation and connected technologies, balance employee needs against company goals, and manage unique industry needs with a global workforce.
UKG Ready is flexible HR, time, and pay software for small businesses. It leverages tools for HR, talent, payroll, and time in one solution. The software helps companies optimize limited resources and improve profitability using a modern cloud solution.
Time and attendance tracking
Modern user interface
Granular access configuration
Limited succession planning features
Users wish for a more flexible and simple reporting process
Paycor is an HCM solution that integrates workforce management software along with HR, payroll, talent management, employee experience, and benefits administration. Users can track time, manage requests, and optimize labor distribution with automated timekeeping. It also provides the workforce self-service capabilities to manage their time, punch in and out, record an activity, and view timecards with a mobile app.
Paycor provides a single source of data across time, payroll, and HR. It has a time dashboard that allows users to view and manage time-off requests and hours worked, as well as display a breakdown of overtime spend by department, manager, or location. Users can also easily create, manage, and communicate employee work schedules, while allowing employees to view, manage, and receive schedule updates.
Ease of setup
Favorable reviews of built-in ATS and LMS systems
Mobile experience needs improvement
Users wish for enhancements in document and forms management
Paylocity provides a workforce solution that includes workforce management, payroll, HR, talent management, and benefits administration. The all-in-one HRM software and payroll service helps companies tackle unique challenges by providing responsive support and the latest compliance updates, trends, and best practices.
Paylocity workforce management software includes time and attendance features built on a single database solution. Automated time tracking, reporting, and notifications ensure an error-free payroll run. Users can easily create, view, and edit schedules; leverage rules to minimize compliance risk; and empower employees with shift claiming and swapping. Other features include mobile, web, and kiosk time clocking; geofencing; and a temperature scan log report.
Rules-based labor compliance checks
Lengthy process of adding new tax jurisdiction
Navigation can be tricky for new users
Deputy is scheduling, timesheet, and time clock software that enables companies to manage their workforce efficiently. Users can create a smart team schedule in minutes and share it instantly. Demand forecasting helps users plan shifts easily and predict staffing requirements based on different demand signals. It has a simple drag-and-drop tool, one-tap shift replacement, direct staff swapping, leave and availability, and AI-powered auto-scheduling.
Deputy has time and attendance features like a time clock app, attendance tracking, built-in messaging, health and safety tracing, reporting, and integrations. It makes capturing time, verifying work, and timely payment easy for staff and management. The workforce management software also has wage and hour compliance tools and guardrails, news feed, task management, and performance management.
Shift scheduling functionality
Time and attendance tracking
Limited customization options
Not as many direct integrations as competitors
When I Work
When I Work is scalable workforce management software for both SMBs and enterprises. For small business of up to 100 employees, it offers employee scheduling and team messaging software with the option to add time and attendance features. For at least 100 employees, this vendor offers an enterprise workforce management system that includes a mobile app, HCM integrations, and secure API.
When I Work lets users manage time off, fill shifts, trade shifts, manage tasks, and display team availability from mobile devices. The employee time tracking app helps track attendance, breaks, and time off. The software lets users turn any device into an employee time clock. Companies can control paid cost rules and schedule integrations. A secure team messaging tool for desktop and mobile devices keeps teams informed, engaged, and productive.
Shift scheduling management
Time and attendance tracking
Ease of use
Users wish for more reporting functionality
Needs a simpler way to integrate with other apps
Nowsta is a technology platform that combines workforce management software with an on-demand labor marketplace. It provides companies a system to hire, deploy, and pay all types of workers, from direct hires to hourly, gig, or temp workers. Some of the industries that use the platform include stadiums, hotels, food vendors, and warehouses.
Nowsta provides employers AI-powered scheduling, time tracking, cross-platform messaging, and real-time notifications to help them streamline operations and drive cost savings. Workers get a transparent work experience and access to functionalities such as a virtual bank account that shows instant wages after clocking out of their shift, a digital paycheck, savings account, and payroll integrations.
It also allows companies to manage flex workers, source resources through a built-in agency network, centralize requisitions, and apply comprehensive labor analytics.
Ease of setup and use
Integrated payroll features
Needs simpler way to add or change break times
Users wish for more granular permissions in viewing attachments
Many of today’s workforce management tools integrate with comprehensive HR systems for enterprises. However, there are also solutions for small businesses and specific industries.
Enterprise workforce management solutions are available in many human capital management (HCM) systems, providing a centralized database of employees and workers. It covers the entire employment lifecycle, from hiring to retiring.
Aside from controlling the scheduling and deployment of the workforce, it links time, labor, and PTO with payroll, benefits, compensation, recruiting, learning, performance management, and career development, among others.
Small Business WFM
Small business workforce management solutions come as all-in-one HR solutions. Typically, this software has features to streamline processes and simplify compliance. It also empowers employees with intelligent workflows, automated schedule creation, and cross-platform mobile access. These features enable smaller companies to optimize limited resources with affordable and scalable solutions.
Some workforce management tools are industry-specific. For instance, call center WFM solutions ensure consistency to meet client service level agreements. Specific features can include agent workload prediction, customer demand-based schedules, and integration to help desk software.
Another type of industry-specific workforce management tool is for deskless and mobile workforces. It has features to manage scheduling and dispatching for field work, appointments, or shifts fixed at locations. Industries that use this type of WFM software include field service, healthcare, residential services, and real estate.
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Workforce Management Software Features
Workforce management software provides specific benefits, such as accurate time data, improved availability and productivity, increased performance, and cost savings. Essential system features that help produce these advantages include the following:
Labor forecasting: Enables users to plan the right mix of workers in different scenarios without exceeding the allocated budget.
Smart scheduling: Customizable and flexible tool that finds the best worker for a shift based on an organization’s forecast needs and rules. Users can fill open shifts in advance or on-demand, as well as swapping shifts with co-workers.
Time tracking: Compatibility with different devices, such as mobile phones, makes it easy for workers to capture hours worked. This feature is often linked to approval process flows, overtime management, company policies, and a payroll system.
Absence management: Enables managers to view time off balances, track leave requests that comply to regulations, compare data with industry benchmarks, and manage absenteeism.
Regulatory compliance: Allows managers to configure rules to help comply with company policies, wage laws, union contracts, health mandates, and environmental safety.
Reporting and analytics: Includes dashboards for viewing real-time schedule, timesheet, and attendance data. Reports to give insights and benchmarking tools to improve performance.
Team messaging: Built-in communication tool for messaging, notifications, requests, and feedback from managers and workers.
Automation and integrations: Streamlines processes and expands functionality across business systems and other applications.
Jose Santos is a long-time contributing writer for project-management.com. He is a subject matter expert in the field of project management and has many years of experience writing about project management software and tools. He has written hundreds of articles for the project management industry, including numerous software reviews, book reviews, training site reviews, and more.