WFM Mobile Technology 2015 and Beyond

July 2, 2015

By Erica (Thorn) Niesse


Last weekend I was explaining to my 16 year old niece what a pager (beeper) was, and how people had to rush to a landline or pay phone to call someone back once a “page” was received. As you can imagine this was hard for my niece to comprehend with the mobile technology we have today. The Millennial Generation (Age 15 to 35) is the first generation to come of age with cable TV, the Internet and cell phones. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce according to the US Census Bureau. With the rise of Millennials entering the labor pool, the need for mobile technology is at the forefront of development for most Workforce Management companies. This is with the hope that Millennials will adopt new technology since they have been exposed to it their whole life.

Many companies are still using a very archaic system to handle payroll, scheduling, and employee’s absences. These practices still utilize written or printed schedules and post them in the break room for their employees to review; why not put this functionality at your employees’ fingertips through their mobile devices? With the technology we have today, this can be easily done.

What mobile technology currently offers in the Workforce management platform

  • Employees can punch in and out for the day; some companies offer the ability to limit where an employee can punch in and out based on geographical location
  • Employees can view their schedules
  • Employees can enter time off, view time off, or see how much time off they have available
  • Employees/Managers can view and update assigned tasks
  • Managers can approve time off requests of their employees
  • Managers are able to edit schedules of their employees
  • Managers can correct time punches of their employees
  • Managers can approve payroll for processing
  • Some systems offer GeoSensing, which allows Managers of different departments or geographic regions to easily find and view information about specific branches/locations
  • Alerts to Managers of incidents or violations of the Employee 

Features mobile WFM technology could offer in the future

  • Geographic location technology is improving each year
    • This includes determining Punch locations of Employees, and viewing this on a map
    • Tagging the employees activities with the name of a specific location or site
  • Bar code scanner for punch locations (this will allow employees to scan a barcode at a location instead of having to clock in and out for the day)
  • Bid on or shift swaps (switching an upcoming shift with another employee) through Mobile
  • Utilizing mobile to forecast schedules based on various KPIs (Skills, Sales)
  • View performance against coworkers
  • Sending and receiving real time alerts
  • Provide real time coaching
  • Leveraging social media by connecting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other approved groups
  • Apple Watch or Google Watch technology

You should be constantly reviewing the mobile features of your current WFM technology to assure the full capabilities are being utilized, and what missing feature(s) you should be asking for from your provider.

Erica Thorn2