Human resources are a crucial part of any organization’s success. From interviewing and onboarding to training and performance reviews, HR has the vital job of making sure employees feel supported by management from the day they’re hired. This is particularly important—and challenging—for businesses with a mobile workforce, since deskless workers are out on their own rather than in the office.
And in a world where a mobile, deskless workforce is becoming increasingly common, digital technologies are more essential for supporting HR than ever before. In fact, MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global market for HR analytics tools will grow to $3.6 billion by 2024. Despite this rise, it can be challenging to use all available tools to their full potential. That means there are missed opportunities for empowering and enabling mobile workers and, in turn, engaging customers. Technologies like workforce analytics, automation in workflows, and more are instrumental for maximizing success of a deskless workforce.
How Data Can Lead to Operational Improvements
It’s hard to optimize productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction without knowing what’s happening with your mobile workforce. Deskless workers are the face of the company, and they appreciate their time being used wisely as much as management and customers do. There are many benefits of collecting and analyzing data from your mobile workforce, such as:
Accurately Measure and Predict Capacity
Making the most of each mobile worker’s time without overbooking them is a fine line to walk, but ample data can help. Measuring an employee’s productivity and output over time is the best way to predict that person’s capacity in the near future, which can ensure their workload is appropriate, jobs get done on time, and customers stay happy.
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Identify Shortages in Talent
In turn, data on the productivity and efficiency of your deskless workforce can shed light on how the workload is being shared and whether understaffing is preventing work from being done. For instance, you might employ a large group of people skilled at home repairs, but are short-handed when it comes to workers licensed to do certain types of electrical work. Having data about what types of jobs are coming in, which ones are being completed, and which ones are stalled due to worker shortages can help your HR staff identify areas that new hires could help support.
Uncover Performance Issues
Collecting data about your mobile workforce can also reveal issues with individual workers. If an employee is consistently behind schedule on a certain type of job, for example, this may reveal that they need more training in that area, equipment needs to be upgraded, or they otherwise need more support. If a mobile worker is behind schedule on all jobs all the time, this may reveal more fundamental issues that that employee is facing.
Ensure Fair, Merit-Based Scheduling for Deskless Workers
When a person handles scheduling, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate their biases—like being more likely to give a coveted shift to, or to approve a time off request from someone they see favorably. But that’s not a fair system for the employees that might not be in the scheduler’s good graces. By aggregating and analysing data related to schedules—like who’s getting which shifts, how often, and who’s assigning those shifts—you’re better able to spot patterns that might indicate biases.
Better Match Mobile Workers Based on Performance and Skill Sets
Many jobs require specific skill sets, so companies often need to match the right workers with the right assignments. Especially in industries like construction or health care, not every deskless worker is going to have the same qualifications, training, and certifications that some jobs require. Keeping tabs on data related to employees’ skill sets and past performance on their assignments helps ensure the right person is working on the right job, every time.
Accelerate Hiring Processes
When you have more information about what skills are well represented in your workforce and what areas are lacking, you can fine-tune your hiring process to support the teams and areas of your business that need the most help. Whether you’ve got an over-abundance of employees looking for Tuesday shifts but a dearth each Saturday, or need to add workers with certain skills or qualifications to fill gaps in talent, having detailed information about your current workforce can ease the burden of looking for new hires.
Improve Employee Experience and Engagement
As great as it is for the company’s bottom line for employees to work efficiently, smooth workflows also create a better employee experience. No one wants to feel like they’re wasting their time, whether it’s due to inefficient scheduling, miscommunications, being mismatched to jobs they’re not best suited for, or other time-sucks. What’s more, HR departments can collect data on the employee experience itself, like by conducting regular surveys about job satisfaction and engagement, which can identify issues early on.
How Deskless Productivity Software Can Help
While it’s true that collecting data is critical for implementing the above improvements, it’ll be hard to make those improvements if your data collection process is weak. Deskless productivity software is the keystone in that process. Automating as much of the data collection as possible—as well as automating any adjustments made to workflows based on the results—makes it easier to manage your mobile workforce. With robust field service management software, you can:
Eliminate Manual Data Collection
Manually collecting and organizing large amounts of data on each worker’s progress and productivity, customer ratings, schedules, and more is incredibly time-consuming—and error-prone. But mobile workforce management software is designed to collect the most useful information automatically, with little to no effort needed by either the individual worker or someone behind-the-scenes. For example, a mobile app that field service techs use could offer real-time location data to help provide insights into travel-related metrics like travel time, response time, and more.
Collect Data in the Field, Even Offline
Absolutely vital for a mobile workforce is the ability to collect data on the go. Top-notch mobile workforce management software should account for potential connectivity issues and jobs that must be carried out in remote locations that are out of service range by providing offline capabilities. With offline functionality, workers can be sure that any mission-critical information is always available to them and that they can still collect on-the-job data. Once they’re back in range, they’ll automatically sync with the servers.
Increase Data Security
Ever since organizations started instituting bring your own device policies, mobile workforce management software developers have been working on ways to make data more secure across any device. Now, enterprise mobility management solutions have reached a point where employees can use company apps safely and securely on their own devices, keeping important enterprise data, from customer and vendor details to personnel information and more, safe.
Connect Disparate Systems
The best deskless productivity software seamlessly connects to your existing, legacy systems, from CRM, accounting, and more. It’s critical that all the programs and systems your company uses in its workflow can communicate and connect effectively to get work done. By connecting these disparate systems, you’ll be able to break down the silos that divvy up your data and see all of your vital information in one place.
Ensure Easy Usability
Collecting data from a mobile workforce is only useful if that collection happens without hindering the jobs at hand. That’s why the right deskless productivity software is designed with employees in mind. Solid UX helps ensure that everyone at your organization, from mobile workers and schedulers to managers and other decision makers, can access the functions critical to their jobs quickly, easily, and consistently. As a result, you’ll be able to collect all of the information you need to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
Help Your HR Department Help You with Workforce Analytics
Having the right mobile workforce management software is pivotal to helping you collect and make the most of your workforce data. However, finding the software that can help you get there can be tricky.
Skedulo offers robust mobile workforce management solutions that can help you capitalize on your data. Weave your disparate systems together so your data works together; generate actionable reports and at-a-glance dashboards to help you gain deeper insights into the information tied to your workforce; and more. With Skedulo’s mobile workforce analytics solution, make more strategic decisions, boost productivity, and improve customer and employee experience.
Want to learn more about managing your mobile workforce in the ever-evolving world of deskless productivity? Hear what 100 IT industry executives think about how deskless productivity is evolving in our State of the Deskless Workforce webinar.