Technology is rapidly changing our work-lives, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Even HR is becoming increasingly data-driven and is having a strategic impact on the bottom-line. The challenge in credit unions is finding an HR approach that brings all the information about employees and workforce performance across the organization together to optimize execution of the human capital strategy.
For example, a teller supervisor wants to make sure their branch is fully staffed with the most productive employees on Friday afternoons, the busiest time of their week. To ensure high-quality member service, she wants to schedule employees most likely to be there on time and meet or exceed members’ expectations for timely, accurate, and friendly service.
Toward that end, the teller supervisor turns to her credit union’s workforce management solution. She reviews data on the available employees to determine which ones to schedule based on cost, seniority, skills, and attendance record. But that’s not the only information she could consult to make sure the team scheduled to handle peak traffic efficiently and effectively are among the credit union’s strongest performers. It would also be helpful to add in performance history, including sales, service, and product proficiency, which might be available through a human capital management (HCM) solution.
Without that information, the manager is basing her staffing decisions on partial data, a drawback that could negatively impact member service and sales results. A system that integrates workforce management and HCM and centralizes all available HR data in one place can streamline operations and enable a more complete understanding of business performance.
That’s one of the scenarios—and solutions—shared in a new ebook from Kronos, “A Unified Approach: The Integration of HCM and Workforce Management.”
Workforce management vs. HCM
Workforce management and HCM may seem like synonymous, or at least closely related, terms. However, much of the software offered under these labels was initially developed and has continued to evolve in distinct directions. Bersin by Deloitte notes that the term human capital management “represents the entire range of practices and processes for managing people in an organization—which is a superset of talent management.” However, HCM technology systems, for the most part, have been engineered to support management of salaried professional staff, while workforce management systems focus on employees paid by the hour.
The result is that employers may rely one system to manage salaried employees’ performance, professional development, and compensation and benefits and another to manage, schedule, and pay their large nonexempt/hourly workforce. Or they may maintain several systems for scheduling, payroll, benefits administration, performance management, and other key functions.
In either case, it is difficult to bring all of that data together to develop, implement, and monitor progress toward human capital strategies and to comply with local, state, and federal workforce regulations.
“To stay competitive, mitigate compliance, and drive business growth, it’s time to think more strategically about your entire workforce, the practices and processes required to effectively manage, engage, and retain all your people; and the technology that’s needed to put your HCM strategy to work,” the Kronos report recommends. “In short, it’s time that HCM technology offered a unified system to bring the power of workforce management solutions to the practices and processes involved in executing your holistic HCM strategy.”
Bridging the gap
HR professionals work with managers throughout the credit union to guide its most valuable asset—its people—to become more effective, more productive, and more engaged throughout the employee lifecycle. The goal of investing in HCM and workforce management software is to support and improve outcomes across the stages of that cycle: recruiting, onboarding, performance management, staff development and advancement, and retention. Accomplishing that goal is only possible if the credit union can combine all available sets of data to drive more effective decision making and enhance business results—so the organization can bridge the gap between tracking employee work and tying it to overall financial performance.
Credit unions are serving an increasingly diverse field of membership with a wider range of products, services, and delivery channels than ever before, and they rely on an equally diverse workforce to do so. More than a third (35 percent) of Americans on the job today are millennials, ages 22 to 37, who expect employers to use state-of-the-art technology that can help them manage their work experience. At the same time, 19 percent of people ages 65 and older are still working at least part-time. That span of age, education, on-the-job experience, and expertise with both personal and technology-powered member services can work to a credit union’s advantage if it has the best tools in place to deploy and manage its workforce.
Many other business units across credit unions are tackling the same challenge. For example, marketing is looking for ways to pull together data from diverse systems to better personalize offers to members, and lending software is becoming increasingly sophisticated in wielding information required to complete the loan process and identify other ways to build member relationships. Along the same lines, a unified HCM solution can help credit unions simultaneously improve the many processes inherent in HR and ratchet up financial outcomes.
Here’s another example of this dynamic in action, adapted from the Kronos ebook: When placing reports from two systems side by side, the call center manager can see that the rate of members waiting on hold from 8 to 9 a.m. past the targeted service standard coincides with a number of employees regularly arriving late for work. An HCM solution that consolidates all employee data might help the manager see a pattern: The most frequent offenders all live 15 or more miles away and, given regular traffic gridlocks near the call center, likely deal with daily commuting headaches. Having identified the root cause, the manager can now work with staff to select and try out a range of possible solutions, from adjusting work schedules to subsidizing public transit passes.
“A unified system empowers your organization to notice gaps, link relevant employee data easily, and make informed, timely decisions that engage employees and drive business performance,” the report suggests. “When workforce management works with HCM, your organization has a well-oiled machine working in the background. Whereas capacity planning and management were previously clunky and inefficient, your users now have the data and insights they need to be more effective in their roles.”