Workforce Management – Our Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

In every industry, niche dictionaries are wrought with words that everyone loves to use, but often fail to explain. From trending buzzwords to complex corporate concepts, the jargon jungle can be vexing. Workforce management is no different, with its own vocabulary that can seem like an entirely different language to an outsider.

But at Ento, we’re big believers in the idea that workforce management is for every business, regardless of size, experience or sector. So to open the floodgates, we’ve put together a line-up of the top workforce management terms and buzzwords used in the landscape.

You’re welcome!

Workforce management terms you should know

Derived from the word accrue, this term refers to sick leave, holiday leave and other benefits that an employee builds up or ‘earns’ over time.

Mobile is the future of workforce management, with an increasing number of WFM developers integrating smartphone compatibility into their services.

Auto Populate
Businesses that invest in workforce management software enjoy Auto Populate functions that see the system automatically enter information like hours clocked, pay rates, employee status and availability.

Attendance Management
This term encompasses all practices that involve managing employee attendance. The goal is to minimise employee downtime and maximise efficiency.

Barcode Card
Automated time tracking systems are becoming increasingly popular and see employees swipe personal barcode cards when they clock in or out.

As well as accruals, benefits also encompasses perks like healthcare, staff discounts and casual loading.

Biometric Input Device
A step up from barcode cards, Biometric Input Devices are terminals that scan fingerprints or hand geometry to ensure the right employees are logging in and out at the right times.

Boomerang Employees
A millennial movement, boomerang employees are workers that leave a company, only to return at a later date. The trend is fuelled by the rise of social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook that make it easier for colleagues to stay in touch.

Buddy Punching
An issue encountered by all industries, buddy punching is the practice of employees falsely logging each other in or out in order to get paid for time they haven’t worked.

Consumerised HR Technology
This term refers to user friendly solutions that are easy for both employees and employers to navigate.

Data Collection
Time, absence and labour data is used not only by payroll departments, but also to help with strategic scheduling, budgeting and performance optimisation.

A branch of data collection, datafication refers to the process of computerising employee data, then converting it into valuable insight.

Electronic Timesheet
Originally developed as a payroll tool, electronic timesheets are now used to record exactly how long it takes an employee to complete a task.

Employee Messaging
Leading workforce management solutions like Ento feature messaging platforms that support communication between individuals, groups and departments.

Employee Self Service
With purpose built workforce management software onside, staff are empowered with access to Employee Self Service (ESS) platforms that allows them to access, input and adjust personal information, independently of the HR department.

Encrypted File Transmission
When businesses integrate time tracking and payroll, encrypted file transmission is a critical software security measure designed to protect data from tampering during the export process.

The application of elements typically used in game-playing, in other, unrelated areas – such as marketing, learning or health. Gamification has been adopted by a number of companies, seeking to find new, innovative ways to engage employees.

Often workforce management data is exchanged between various different applications, including HR, payroll, ERP and HRIS. This process is known as interfacing.

Network Hosted Application
When workforce management software is hosted on a local network as opposed to an Application Service Provider (ASP), it’s classed as a Network Hosted Application.

When an employee leaves the business – voluntarily or otherwise – they need to be properly offboarded. This includes removing them from systems, reclaiming hardware and asking them to handover tasks to other employees. It can also include exit interviews, farewell parties and parting gifts.

Onboarding refers to the process of bringing a new employee into the business, and making them as productive as possible. It includes administrative elements, such as entering the employee into payroll and POS systems, as well as performance management elements, such as training and setting milestones.

Predictive Analytics
An elevated version of data collection, predictive analytics augments workforce management strategies with patterns and historical trends that can be used to predict future outcomes, as well as identify potential risks and opportunities.

Retroactive Calculations
When payroll errors are identified, Retroactive Calculations are used to back calculate owed salary and benefits.

A global ‘buzz’ concept, SaaS is short for Software as a Service. It means that instead of owning a system, a user is issued with a license for use which sees the software hosted at a central location.

For businesses with growth on the horizon, scalability is a must. It describes the ability of a workforce management solution to grow with the needs of a business.

Including both rostered work hours and leave requests, scheduling refers to the process of assigning, tracking and planning employee shifts.

Social HR
As well as being used during the recruitment process, social HR is quickly becoming a ‘new age’ way to boost employee engagement and spark internal discussions.

Time Theft
From rounding up hours and taking excessive breaks to ‘buddy punching’ and deliberate unproductiveness, time theft occurs when employees misrepresent their attendance.

Workforce Management
Also referred to as Human Resources Management, Workforce Management (WFM) describes the process of balancing the needs of a business with available labour resources.

It encompasses manual and automated business solutions that help organisations efficiently plan and schedule shifts, as well as manage time and tasks.

Typical processes include time and attendance, accruals tracking, labour budgeting, employee self-service, task management, forecasting and schedule optimisation.

Armed with this workforce management glossary, you’ll never be lost in the jargon jungle again.

Find out more about Ento’s workforce management software today to enjoy more efficient staff management and improved productivity today.

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