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  • Writer's pictureMartin Hesse

Why Your Payroll Manager Cares So Much About Their Workforce Management System

To many people, getting paid by their employer is a consistent and automated event, with funds being deposited into their bank accounts. There is an assumption that everything is accurate and that the transition from hours worked to being paid is seamless. When you’ve got the right workforce management system in place it can be exactly that. But if the organisation’s business processes and workforce management system don’t align, it can be a nightmare.

Here’s what can happen when your workforce management system isn’t right for your organisation.

Supplementing data into the workforce management environment

A poorly integrated system, where the workforce management system and payroll system don’t speak to each other, is a big headache as it can lead to data needing to be supplemented into the workforce management environment.

This could be leave balances which aren’t available to the workforce management system, or onboarding processes which result in delays between a new employee starting and their record being available for rostering or timesheet purposes.

Higher than needed headcount

An inferior workforce management system, or one that’s been poorly configured, often needs manual workarounds and double checking to make sure the award calculations are accurate. This means more people and more time being spent on tasks that can otherwise be automated.

This is costly because you’ve got a higher than needed headcount in the payroll team on top of the increased risk through human error.

Losing your best staff

The employees you want in your business are those who want to grow, learn and advance. Having a suboptimal workforce management system can be a deterrent to potential new recruits or lead to your best payroll staff leaving for several reasons;

  1. Their work is repetitive and basic, with tasks generally focused on upholding the existing system, such as error checking manual workarounds.

  2. Their experience with your existing workforce management system isn’t advantageous for their career progression, and they may look to expand their own skills portfolio.

  3. They miss out on more robust and stimulating projects because the organisation has its focus on propping up the existing workforce management system.

Creates a centralised risk for the business

If an existing workforce management system can’t complete critical operations and calculations without reliance on manual workarounds, then the business becomes reliant on employees who have the necessary experience and knowledge. This entrenched knowledge of internal business processes adds unnecessary risk and makes it more difficult for new team members to operate effectively.

Ensuring compliance becomes risky and stressful

If the existing system is ineffectual, it can become costly to implement necessary changes to the existing system as support from 3rd party vendors and applications may be required. Depending on the system, the support could be offshore, unavailable or slow to respond.

Finding the right system for your organisation

When assessing a vendor, question them about their design, configuration, implementation and training processes, rather than just the software functionality. Targeted and extensive questioning during the sales cycle will allow you to determine whether a vendor can support your organisation’s level of complexity through both technology and service.

Big and expensive doesn’t automatically mean that it’ll handle your needs. Australian awards and EAs are incredibly complex, with the Fair Work Ombudsman becoming increasingly focused on compliance, be sure to look at systems that were built in Australia for Australian conditions and have locally based support staff.

And fundamentally, talk to your payroll team. They’ll know what they like, love and loathe about your current system, and what changes need to be made for things to run smoothly.

Rosterspace is an Australian workforce management software made for advance award interpretation. To find out more head to

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main benefits of having a workforce management system?

A workforce management solution has a host of benefits for your organisation, including driving service levels, boosting effectiveness of aligning scheduling, and providing reporting for operations management teams.

What does workforce management mean in payroll?

Workforce management software automates a host of processes to ensure more accurate data and a reduction of payroll errors. Workers can report their hours with ease to ensure better payments.

What is the difference between HR and workforce management?

HR refers to the set of rules established by the organisation, while workforce management entails the methods used to carry out adherence

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