Is your competitor managing their workforce better than you? How would you know? What is the benchmark for assessing your workforce and what trends are emerging in managing your workforce better?

Workforce Management solution have come a long way in the last ten years and the growth is accelerating. When I visit a range of companies their maturity can be largely classified into one of four levels. Each level of maturity delivers significant benefits to your organisation if you can embrace it.

Most businesses I visit are Level 2 maturity with elements of Level 1 and / or Level 3. Where is your business at? How much money are your workforce processes costing you each year? What would happen if your competitors reach level 4 before you? How do you free up costs to increase your maturity?


The Workforce Maturity Levels


Maturity Level 1: Paper / Disconnected Management

  1. Rosters and / or timesheets are done on paper
  2. Rosters are built on ‘experience / gut feel’
  3. Overtime, penalties and compliance is calculated manually


  • Low / No Cost to set-up


  • Labour intensive
  • High level of errors (can lead to legal action / back pay)
  • Open to high levels of time theft (failure to submit leave and difficult to capture timeliness issues)

Maturity Level 2: Time and Attendance / Basic Electronic Rostering

  1. Timesheets are captured electronically
  2. Rosters are built using Excel / home made tools but still based on ‘experience’ / ‘gut feel’ / ‘typical week’
  3. Some Overtime, penalties and compliance is calculated systematically but other processes require ‘interpretation’ / ‘process’


  • Starts linkages with payroll, reduction in errors compared to manual processes


  • Labour inefficiencies and lost customers due to misalignment of wage investment
  • ‘Gut Feel’ delivers inconsistent approach across sites / company
  • Still often quite labour intensive
  • Issues with linkage between time and attendance and rostering tools
  • Still open to compliance issues and time theft

Maturity Level 3: Optimised Scheduling

  1. Roster is built via guided effort curve and automatically generated
  2. Time and attendance is coupled with scheduling system
  3. Some overtime, penalties and compliance is calculated systematically but other processes require ‘interpretation’ / ‘process’


  • Greater alignment of labour investment to customer / demand effort
  • Easier identification of waste
  • Reduction in site based labour to build schedule


  • Some areas of business are easier to calculate demand than others
  • May not cater for individual circumstances (drive time to work, impact on government benefits)
  • Large change issue regarding moving business to One Way of Working
  • Requires larger central investment to set-up and maintain capability
  • Some overtime, penalties and compliance is calculated systematically but other processes require ‘interpretation’ / ‘process’
  • Limited trend analysis (overtime or compliance hotspots)

Maturity Level 4: Personalised, Error Proofed, Intelligent

  1. Ability to auto-detect and avoid errors
  2. Ability to maximise personalisation of rosters without impacting company goals
  3. Highlight and auto-analyse negative (and positive) trends and root cause
  4. Intelligent demand including external factors (weather, competition, promotion, disruption, events)
  5. Driven by artificial intelligence


  • Greater engagement of employees
  • Significant reduction in effort to manage payroll and rostering
  • Ability to react to positive and negative trends earlier
  • Increase in customer satisfaction / sales


  • Business maturing to accept evolution of workforce management
  • Quality of inputs – Are your other systems mature enough to power the new workforce?
  • Investment level to reach maturity?

So what?

Most business today should be Level 2 aiming to introduce Level 3 / 4 capability. If not, then your competitors are getting a greater return on every dollar spent on labour than you are, how long can you sustain that for?

The great thing about Workforce Management projects is that they deliver strong positive ROI which allow for re-investment to lift the maturity further. The most common statement I get when I start a project is ‘we didn’t realise how much opportunity we had until we started’. More importantly with technology leaping forward there are lots of cost effective ‘Level 4’ projects that can be done today to allow you to leap frog your competitors.

What are you waiting for, I will see you at Level 4.


Author: Scott Gavens   LinkedIn Logo

Scott is a Workforce Management Solutions expert having worked on implementing strategies and building solution roadmaps for more than a quarter of a million employees in over 3,000 customer sites.

Contact ATEO today to understand how we can help you understand your Workforce landscape and get unbiased advice on how to get the most out of your existing and new tools.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the author/ATEO and do not reflect the view of any current company I’m working for.